Butchery of a sheep in rural Tunisia (north Africa): repercussions for the archaeological study of patterns of bone disposal

Ariane BURKE

en Anthropozoologica 32 - Pages 3-10

Published on 01 July 2001

The process of killing and butchering a sheep in a small, rural village in Tunisia, is described. The goal of this exercise is to trace the pattern of bone disposal from the abattoir to the butcher's shop, and eventually to individual consumers, as well as to identify the marks produced on bone during the butchering process. These data will serve as a reference for archaeozoological analyses. Aside from the method of killing and bleeding the animal, which is governed by Hallal principles, logical rules involving principles of least effort govern the processing of the carcass. The tools available, the manpower and the culinary traditions of the area govern many of the decisions made by the butcher. These data provide a basis for comparison with archaeozoological collections from similar cultural contexts, as defined in this paper.


Butchery, archaeozoology, North Africa, sheep, Ovis aries.

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