Frozen in time: Caprine pen from an early Islamic earthquake complex in Tel Beth Shemesh

Linoy Namdar*, Yuval Gadot, George Mavronanos, Boaz Gross, Lidar Sapir-Hen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Skeletons of ten articulated goats and additional numerous caprine remains were found in an architectural complex that was destroyed by an earthquake, dating to the 8th century CE in Tel Beth Shemesh, Israel. As this assemblage represents a unique event, of a living herd “frozen in time”, we studied it in comparison to the general “consumed assemblage” of caprinae from the rest of the site. Reconstructing the herds' demographics, by examining age and sex profiles, enabled us to gain insights into the economic, cultural, and religious habits of the local human population. Based on this analysis, we suggest that the herd was managed for meat, possibly for holiday feasts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103555
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Volume45
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • 749 CE earthquake
  • Articulated skeletons
  • Goats
  • Sheep
  • Tel Beth Shemesh (East)
  • Umayyad

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