Dental microwear study of pigs from the classical site of Sagalassos (SW Turkey) as an aid for the reconstruction of husbandry practices in ancient times

Sofie Vanpoucke, Ingrid Mainland, Bea De Cupere, Marc Waelkens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Microwear analysis of pig teeth from the classical site of Sagalassos (SW Turkey) is undertaken to obtain insight into pig management strategies in this region from the 1st to 7th centuries AD. Earlier research on modern pigs revealed significant differences in microwear patterns between stall-fed and free-ranging, rooting individuals. A comparison of the microwear data of the Sagalassos pig with those from archaeological and modern pigs with a known or presumed type of management shows that the microwear of the Sagalassos pigs is very different. It is suggested that the Sagalassos pigs had a very soft, non-abrasive diet, that in the first instance cannot be attributed to either management type. Therefore, the nature of the substrate on which the animals were foraging and its impact on microwear are considered and the microwear data are compared with the results of previous archaeozoological research carried out at the site. Further, diachronic changes in microwear patterns are investigated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-154
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironmental Archaeology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2009


  • Pig
  • Microwear
  • Sagalassos
  • Turkey
  • Roman
  • Early Byzantine
  • Husbandry practices

Cite this