Exploitation of the fox in the epigravettian levels of Grotta Romanelli (Apulia, Italy)


en Anthropozoologica 25-26 - Pages 319-328

Published on 01 June 1998

This article is a part of the thematic issue Proceedings of the 7th ICAZ International Meeting, Constance, September 1994

The Romanelli cave is a very important Palaeolithic deposit of South ltaly that yielded an Epigravettian lithic assemblage and a rich faunal complex including Equus hydruntinus, Cervus elaphus, Bos primigenius, various Carnivora and birds (including some arctic species), dated 10,640±100bp and 9 790±80bp. In this paper we present the results of the detailed research carried out on about 5000 fox bone remains recovered from the "Terre brune" levels of Grotta RomaneIli. Morphometric analysis on over 2300 well preserved bones assigns most of them to Vulpes vulpes. Only a few remains cannot be included in the variability range of the red fox and are compared with the measurements of arctic fox (Alopex lagopus). The analysis of the different anatomical parts and of the cut marks on the bones allows us to identify the various stages of use of the carcass: skinning, butchering (disarticulation and filleting), bone working, and also to examine the general way of exploitation of this species.


Italy, upper Palaeolithic, Vulpes vulpes, Alopex lagopus, faunal analysis, butchering.

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