The exploitation of animals in Roman Britain.
Authors: Maltby, M.
Editors: Millett, M., Revell, L. and Moore, A.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Place of Publication: Oxford
Concentrating mainly on the zooarchaeological data, this chapter reviews the evidence for the exploitation of animals in Roman Britain. The review focuses initially on domestic mammals and their exploitation, with particular attention being paid to the species that contributed the most to the diet—cattle, pig, and sheep. This discussion is followed by a shorter summary of the evidence for the exploitation of other mammals, birds, and fish. The relative importance of the different species for their meat and other commodities is outlined, and reasons for variations in species abundance, mortality patterns, butchery methods, and the stature of domestic stock are discussed. Chronological, regional, settlement, and cultural factors all need to be taken into account when considering the complexities of human–animal relationships in Roman Britain.