The introduction of the domesticated cat in Italy


en Anthropozoologica 25-26 - Pages 789-792

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 excavations carried out by the "Soprintendenza Archeologica di Romà" during these last years in the ancient Fidenae city have led to the identification of a building of the Early Iron Age, dated from the middle of the 8th century BC. The most remarkable characteristic of this building is its state of good preservation. It is quite likely that the building was destroyed by a  sudden fire while it was Jully in use. This possibility is confirmed by one special feature: in the south-eastern corner of the building, the destruction layer included the calcinated skeletal remains of a domestic cat, which apparently had been trapped inside the building by the fire and by the subsequent collapse. This find is especially signifïcant with regard to the state of the building when the destruction took place; moreover, it constitutes the earliest evidence of the presence of the domestic cat in ltaly, apparently slightly earlier than those found in other Iron Age contexts of Lazio, at Ficana and Cures.


Fidenae, Iron Age, domesticated cat

Download full article in PDF format Order a reprint