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    More than meat? Examining cattle slaughter, feasting and deposition in later 4th millennium BC Atlantic Europe: A case study from Kilshane, Ireland
    Cattle are widely recognised as having important economic, social, symbolic and religious roles in Neolithic communities. This high status appears strongly linked with feasting and commensality, events during which a great number of cattle are slaughtered and their carcasses purposefully deposited. This paper presents details of an unusually large assemblage of cattle remains recovered from the ditches of a later 4th millennium BC enclosure at Kilshane, Co. Dublin, in eastern Ireland. Currently, Middle Neolithic ceramics and charcoal provide termini ante quos dates for the assemblage, and different strategies for directly radiocarbon dating the bones confirm the low preservation of biomolecules. Extensive osteological analysis identified some traditional markers of feasting activity alongside less commonly observed characteristics, such as the careful deposition of non-meat bearing elements. We consider the Kilshane assemblage in its wider northwest Europe and Neolithic context and highlight some additional considerations when identifying feasting in prehistory.
    Scopus© Citations 3  8