Animals of Ancient Eleon Dead and Alive by Robyn Sykes

Robyn and goat

When walking up to site in the mornings I tend to forget that the Ancient Eleon site is in the middle of a rural, farming, town of Arma. It honestly reminds me of the Okanogan back in British Columbia sometimes. Throughout the day you can hear the bells from the herders and from the sites raised vantage point can see the group of sheep or goats, heading up the road. On one of the early mornings, at the end of the 4th week of the excavation, there was a surprise that greeted the whole crew; a little kid goat, only five days old, we later found out, was sleeping along one of the stone walls of the Blue Stone Structure. For me it was such a delight, she was still rickety on her legs, and was having a hard time trying to get off the stones that I scooped her up and Bryan named her Clementine (seen above). As she couldn’t stay with us for the day Brendan decided to guide me down to where we thought her home might be, one of the farmers just below the site. As we made our way down the slope it was my first chance to see the polygonal wall and it is massive, I felt like I was getting a tour of the full site, while getting to carry this little creature, I couldn’t have been happier. With some help from the other farmers Clementine was eventually returned to her herd and needless to say work that day started a little later than usual from all of the excitement. Although live animals, especially the babies, are much cuter to stumble across the site of Ancient Eleon does contain many animals below the surface of the ground as well.

Robyn animal bones

When we come across bones in the trenches, more often than not, they are animal bones rather than human. The majority of animal bones that are found and have been able to identify are from pigs, sheep, or goats. There are other animals as well and a variety of different bones that are found from long bones, the epiphyses, antlers, and teeth. This season there was a maxilla of a pig with the tusks still in tact and the left side of a horse mandible. Every day at site is a new adventure because I never know what types of surprises are going to be found, above or below the ground.

 

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