chapter  17
19 Pages

Ovine pastoralism and mobility systems in Romania

An ethnoarchaeological approach
WithRobin Brigand, Olivier Weller, Felix Adrian Tencariu, Marius Alexianu, Andrei Asăndulesei

After a review of relevant archaeological problems, this chapter establishes how the socio-economic structures specific to Romania constitute a relevant laboratory for an ethnoarchaeological approach to pastoralism. It addresses the characteristics of sheep husbandry in Romania in two different stages. First, the chapter addresses the issue of specialized and highly mobile husbandry in plain or hilly areas; second, it discusses the nature and dynamics of the seasonal ebb and flow of movements in areas of high elevation. The chapter then discusses the role of salt in the seasonal movement of people and herds and considers the long-distance transhumance in Romania as a whole. The first seasonal movement from village to the first elevations very likely took place for the Chalcolithic of the Carpathian-Danubian area in a manner similar to what has been observed in southern France. It is an undeniable fact that common salt is one of the essential nutrients necessary for human consumption just as it is for livestock.