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Author: Lior Weissbrod


Analysis of microvertebrate remains from 2011 and 2013 excavations at Tel Kabri reveals the ecological conditions of the settlement and its urban nature during the Middle Bronze Age. This study provides a basic description of the counts and densities (specimens per liter of sediment) of the remains of small fish, reptiles, birds, amphibians, and mammals, as well as a few additional specimens of crab and sea urchin in sediment samples from three different excavation areas. It further focuses on identification of the species of mammals present in the assemblage, including rodents (Mus sp., Spalax ehrenbergi, Meriones tristrami, Microtus guentheri) and shrews (Crocidura sp.). Fish and mammals are the most abundant groups. The densities of the remains are generally quite low, with far less than a single specimen in each liter of sediment. Certain contexts such as structures with collapse debris and supposedly improved preservation seem to contain higher densities, especially of fish and common mice. The urban nature of the settlement is indicated by the frequent presence of the common mouse (likely to be the house mouse [Mus musculus domesticus]), especially in well-preserved deposits, and only the sporadic occurrence of other rodent species.

In: Excavations at Tel Kabri