Archaeozoological investigation of the La Tène A-C1 salt-mining complex and the surrounding graves of Putzenkopf Nord (Bad Dürrnberg, Austria)


The present study investigates the faunal material from Putzenkopf Nord at Bad Dürrnberg (Austria). Animal remains, dated to the La Tène A-C1 period, were retrieved from the settlement and the surrounding graves. A total of 12,573 bones have been identified and analyzed for the present study, demonstrating that the faunal composition fits well to previous samples from Dürrnberg (Ramsautal, Ramsaukopf, Putzenfeld, and Putzenkopf). The analysis of domesticated specimens indicates that cattle are by far the prevalent species. The majority of finds belong to adult individuals, suggesting that they were mainly introduced in the complex after their exploitation for products by the farmers, in the vicinity of Dürrnberg. The examination of the wild fauna exhibits that game contributed minimally to the bone deposits. The comparative study conducted for the mixed material of the graves indicates some significant differences in comparsion to the domestic refuse assemblages: the grave goods were principally long bones of cattle and pig, and a relatively high percentage of animals was slightly younger. Another very interesting aspect is the existence of bone artifacts with polished surfaces or engravings. These findings provide valuable information for the interpretation of daily activities. Within this frame the comparative study among the assemblages excavated at Dürrnberg and other Celtic sites has provided additional knowledge.

Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien - Serie A
Matthias Kucera
Matthias Kucera
Vice Director, Senior Researcher