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Bird eggs in the diet of ancient Pompeii: An SEM analysis of archaeological avian eggshell

Taivalkoski, A., Holt, E. ORCID: and MacKinnon, M. 2022. Bird eggs in the diet of ancient Pompeii: An SEM analysis of archaeological avian eggshell. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 41 , 103258. 10.1016/j.jasrep.2021.103258

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The presence of avian eggshell is often interpreted generally as evidence of food consumption. When avian eggshell is identified taxonomically it can be used as a parallel line of evidence to gain a clearer picture of ancient subsistence practices (Beacham and Durand 2007). The Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia (PARP:PS) conducted excavations in Insula VIII.7 of Pompeii, a non-elite neighborhood located near the so-called entertainment district, between 2005–2012. We predicted that domesticated chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) eggs would play an important role in the non-elite diet, as chickens were frequently mentioned in primary sources, were prevalent in the PARP:PS avian bone assemblage, and are often noted as being cheaper alternatives to other meat sources. We found that while chicken eggs made up the bulk of the eggshell assemblage, partridge (Perdix perdix) eggs made up a significant portion as well.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2352-409X
Funders: European Union’s Horizon 2020 research innovation programme grant agreement No 839517
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 December 2021
Date of Acceptance: 9 November 2021
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 09:37

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