Ostriches in Hispania: issues raised by a find from Cartagena (5th-6th c. AD)

Juan E. Padilla-Sánchez, Sebastián F. Ramallo Asensio y Arturo Morales Muñiz
PYRENAE, vol. 53 núm. 1 (2022) ISSN: 0079-8215 EISSN: 2339-9171 (p. 203-217)
DOI: 10.1344/Pyrenae2022.vol53num1.9

This paper provides details of the find of an ostrich tarso-metatarsal recovered in rubbish dumped in the market/warehouse that from the mid- 5th century AD to the beginning of the 6th century AD was built over the Roman Theatre of Cartagena. The association of the find with late Antique structures overlying a building for entertainment in such a significant port offers important insights on the trade, society and culture of the time. In contrast with the abundant data reported by the classical and iconographic sources, only three ostrich remains have been thus far reported from the Mediterranean archaeological record.

KEY-WORDS: OSTRICH, LATE-ANTIQUITY, EXOTIC FAUNA, TRADE, COMMENSALITY, CARTAGENA