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The LeCHE project and Archaeozoology

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1 The LeCHE project and Archaeozoology
Roz Gillis ARCHAEOZOOLOGY, ARCHEOBOTANY Societies, Practices and Environments National Agency for Scientific Research National Museum of Natural History

2 Pottery dumps, Caledonian Pottery, Rutherglen Before….commercial archaeologist       Caledonian Pottery waster dump baseImage 5 of 9

3 Now....archaeozoologist at Muséum National D’histoire Naturelle (MNHN), Paris

4 The LeCHE project, (Lactase persistence and the Cultural History of Europe)
Dublin-Modern cattle DNA Bristol-Pottery residues Stockholme-Weaning in humans using N isotopes A quick introduction to Team LeCHE, Anke ( Mieklia (Maniz-Jochaim Burger)-Ancient Human DNA Matthew (Dublin-Dan Bradley)- Oddney (Uppsala- Andres Gotherstrom)- Ancient DNA under selection Mélanie (Bristol-Evershed)- Carrie (Oxford- Robert Hedges)- Consumption of milk using Ca isotopes Rachel (Stockholme-Kristen Liden)- Weaning in humans using N isotopes Hege (Bone diagensis) Amsterdam Miranda Kars Nienke (Shotgun proteomics) York Matthew Collins Maanasa (Copenhagen) shotgun DNA, Tom Gilbert Pascale ( Marta (Frankfurt) Proffessor Luth. Post-Docs Freder York-coordinating sites and strontium causeway project. Doris Mannhien- exhibition/ database Maniz-Ancient Human DNA UCL- Modelling Team LeCHE Paris-Archaeozoology UCL-Modern Human DNA

5 Archaeozoology and LeCHE, detecting dairy practices in Neolithic Europe.
1. Sheep and Goat Previous milk model C. Obscure, Mid-Neol. (N= 39) A milk: A(EF= curtailed) Les Lauzières, Late Neol. (N= 43) B milk: BCEF(G= hair) My project, ESR 1, is to use archaeozoological, isotopic and biomolecular approaches to understand dairy animal management in the Neolithic. By using a broad European archaeozoological data to set the role and intensity of dairying for sheep, goat and cattle during the Neolithisation of Europe and consolidation of this process The most accurate markers for the estimation of age at death are tooth eruption, milk tooth replacement and, secondarily, tooth wear. For sheep and goat, basing on modern flocks, Sebastian Payne established typical culling profiles which can be used as models for detecting three different types of flock management strategies, respectively for meat, wool and milk. During the tens last years, several authors brought substantial technical improvements, in form of standadization and accuracy for age determination, of separate treatment of sheep and goat profiles and of quantitative and statistical processing. Vigne & Helmer, 2007, Anthropozoologica, 42, 2: 9-40. New additional Model

6 Neolithic calves weaned early:
plants δ15N (‰) 5 10 15 milk diet collagen + 3 ‰ plant diet BALASSE 2003, Anthropozoologica 7: 3-10. Milk - 4 3 2 1 6 8 16 24 32 distance to neck (mm) d15N -d15Nmax (‰) Neolithic calf 1 Present day calf ca 9-10 months Paris-Bercy Meat Confirmation of post-lactation slaughtering & of herd management for dairy Detecting milk exploitation through age profiles is much more difficult for cattle than for sheep and goat. This is due to a physiological reflex: cow cannot release milk (and therefore cannot be milked) if their muzzle is not in contact with the coat of the calf. This is why, on numerous prehistoric and historical scenes of milking like this one, cows are represented with their calf, frequently licking it. Only selection has recently produced cow lineages which has stopped this reflex. Therefore, contrarily to sheep and goat, milk exploitation of cattle cannot be detected by a peak of very young calves in the slaughtering profiles. In 1996, Anne Tresset detected a very strange culling profile in the Middle Neolithic layers of the site Paris-Bercy. This profile displays a classical peak between 2 and 4 years, which is typical for meat exploitation, but there is also an unexpected but important peak of 6-9 months calves, which seems to be completely unproductive for meat exploitation. Anne Tresset proposed to explain this peak as the consequence of the necessity to keep calves alive for milking the cows, then eliminating them at the weaning time, in order to reduce the herd at the beginning of winter. Consequently, this post-lactation peak should be a very good indicator for dairying. In order to test this hypothesis determining the weaning age of the calves at Bercy, Balasse et al. (1997, 2000) studied the variations of the collagen δ15N ratio at different heights in the dentine of the molars. Indeed weaning is a change from a milk diet to a plant diet, which provokes a tropic decrease reflected in 15N. They observed that the weaning age was ca. 6-9 months old, and therefore confirmed the “post-lactation slaughtering” hypothesis, thus the herd management for dairy. In addition, Balasse & Tresset (2005) found that the weaning age was earlier in Bercy than in present day natural domestic cattle populations. This can be interpreted either as a consequence of a shorter lactation in primitive breeds, or as the control of weaning by the herders Neolithic calves weaned early: - shorter lactation in primitive breeds ? - control of weaning by the herders ? Balasse & Tresset, 2002, JAS: 29, 853–859) Balasse et al., 1997, CRAS, 325 :

7 Early Neolithic: 6th millennium cal BC
Bercy (NMI= 61; Tresset 1996, Balasse 1999) Le Gournier (Nd= 67; Brehard 2006) La Roberte (Nd= 77; Brehard 2006) Les Moulins (Nd= 104; Bréhard 2005) V. Tolosane R21 (Nd= 25; Fontaine 2002) Stragari (Nd= 29; Greenfield 2005) Vigne and Helmer also proposed as an hypothesis, that another very strange peak of perinatal calves, which may represent another typical Neolithic practice for milk exploitation. Neolithic people may have increase the milk yield by slaughtering a small proportion of calves just after they birthed, and used the same calf for milking two of three cows. Blagotin (Nd= 77; Greenfield 2005) Trasano (NMI= 18; Vigne & Carrère, unpub.) Vigne & Helmer, 2007, Anthropozoologica, 42, 2: 9-40.

8 The equipment for bioapatite analysis
The MNHN IRMS service : a unique IRMS service devoted to human sciences The preparation lab Photo labo preparation The equipment for bioapatite analysis IRMS collagen IRMS carbonates J. Ughetto SEM 5 m

9 Joséphine Lesur Phillipe Béarez François Poplin Christine Lefévre
Anne Tresset Marie Balasse Elise Dufour We are looking forward to seeing you all at the ICAZ conference next year in Paris, the deadline for sessions is 20th November. Also coming up next year will be the LeCHE book, under the working title of ‘Beyond the Pail, adventures in inter-displinary research’. The book is aimed at undergraduate students of chemical, biological and archaeological background, to show case interdisplinary research into a common subject such as milk. We hope that the general public will be interested in this book as lactose intolerance is a ‘hot’ topic at the moment. Thomas Cucchi Jean-Denis Vigne Marjane Mashkour Sébastien Lepetz Joël Ughetto Robin Bendrey Antoine Zazzo

10 Merci pour votre attention


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