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Pigs of the ‘Far West’ : the biometry of Sus from archaeological sites in Portugal.

Albarella, U. and Davis, S. J. M. and Detry, C. and Rowley-Conwy, P. (2005) 'Pigs of the ‘Far West’ : the biometry of Sus from archaeological sites in Portugal.', Anthropozoologica., 40 (2). pp. 27-54.


The main purpose of this study is to outline the osteometric variation of Sus from the Neolithic to the present day in Portugal.We start by focussing upon two important Chalcolithic sites —Zambujal and Leceia— with their abundant collections of suid bones and teeth. Although it is difficult to clearly assign individual specimens as wild or domestic Sus, the general patterns of distribution of measurements suggest that, at both sites, pig husbandry was more important than wild boar hunting, with slightly more wild boar being represented at Zambujal. Moreover, it appears that, in Portugal Chalcolithic, wild boar was larger than in the Mesolithic. The scarcity of data from Neolithic sites makes it difficult to determine exactly when the pig was first domesticated in Portugal. Our Iron Age to Islamic data indicate stability of pig size in these periods but an abundance of larger forms of Sus in the Islamic period seems more likely to signal an increase of wild boar hunting rather than an improvement of the domestic form. Slight shape differences between wild boar and pig third mandibular molars tend to corroborate this hypothesis. The Portuguese wild boar was and still is smaller than wild boar from regions east of the Iberian Peninsula.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Published with the help of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and the Centre National du Livre.
Keywords:Size, osteometry, Pig, Wild boar, Portugal, Sus.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
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Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:No date available
Date of first online publication:2005
Date first made open access:No date available

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