Following the traces of the transhumance: a theoretical approach based on the archaeozoological findings of the Fortress of Vilars (Arbeca, Garrigues)

Ariadna Nieto

The existence of transhumance in Prehistory has been the subject of intense international debate. This discussion is not unrelated to the research carried out in the territories of inland Catalonia where several projects in recent years have focused on animal mobility. Although this subject of research is still in an early stage, this work attempts to offer an overview and update of the current state of research in this region. From the results of recent archaeological and archaeozoological analyses carried out at the Iberian Fortress of Els Vilars (Arbeca, Lleida), we describe the elements that must be considered when studying animal mobility in archaeological context. The study of this site also implied successively analysing different aspects such as herd management, the capacity to maintain livestock and food needs. The study also required an analysis of the available documentary sources and finally the limits inherent to this type of research.

Keywords: archaeozoology, First Iron Age, Iberian period, Inland Catalonia, transhumance, ethnography.