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(2,761 words)

Author(s): Raepsaet, Georges (Brüssel)
Just as today, the donkey was in many regions of the Mediterranean one of the most often used domestic animals of antiquity. It was ridden, burdened with a packsaddle or hitched in front of a cart and was one of the most commonly used sources of living mechanical energy. As for many material possessions, the literary and archaeological sources for the use of donkeys are sparse and archaeozoology is only slowly beginning to offer interesting evidence. [German version] A. Systematic zoology, origin and domestication This genus of ungulates ( Equidae) belongs to the family of Perissoda…

Land transport

(3,099 words)

Author(s): Raepsaet, Georges (Brüssel)
[German version] A. Introduction Investigation into land transport (LT) in antiquity is made difficult today because of the controversies and polemics that distinguishes much of the scholarship on the subject. The predominant viewpoint until about 1960 underestimated the significance of LT because of considerations of economic or technical history. The dichotomous view of history in Lefèbvre des Noëttes [8] - who proposed the thesis that antiquity was not capable of economic development due to inade…


(2,971 words)

Author(s): Raepsaet, Georges (Brüssel) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Jameson, Michael (Stanford)
[German version] I. General information Cattle ( Bos taurus) belong to the bovine family and are descended from the Eurasian big-horned aurochs ( Bos primigenius). Longhorn wild cattle were most likely domesticated in Central Asia between 10,000 to 8,000 BC and in the Near East around 7,000 to 6,000 BC. In the 3rd millennium BC various breeds of domesticated cattle spread throughout Europe. Herds of wild cattle still existed in the forested regions of the eastern Mediterranean, such as Dardania and Thrace (Varro, Rust. 2,1,5), as well as in Central Europe (Caes. B Gall. 6,28). In antiquit…


(4,764 words)

Author(s): Starke, Frank (Tübingen) | Raepsaet, Georges (Brüssel)
[German version] I. Introduction The outstanding historical and cultural significance which has been attached to horses since the 2nd millennium BC - first to pull  war chariots, later primarily for riding - in the area of the ancient Orient and Graeco-Roman antiquity has meant that archaeologists in the last 100 years have focused on the (esp. early) history of the exploitation of this domestic animal far more than on that of all the others. Scientific discussion in the first half of the 20th cent.…


(1,627 words)

Author(s): Raepsaet, Georges (Brüssel)
[German version] A. Introduction Hybrids of a male ass and a mare (mule: ἡμίονος/ hēmíonos; Latin mulus/ mula; also ὀρεύς/ oreús from ὄρος/ όros, ‘mountain’) or of a stallion and a female ass (hinny: γίννος/ gínnos; Latin hinnus/ hinna) are frequently mentioned in ancient literature. In antiquity, just as in the Middle Ages and in the early modern period, mules had great significance in agriculture and transportation. Besides horses, which were put to intensive economic use in western Europe from the 11th cent. until the beginning o…