Beavers (Castor fiber) in the Past: Holocene Archaeological Evidence for Beavers in Romania



Archaeological beaver (Castor fiber) remains from Romanian sites dating from the Mesolithic to the Middle Ages are described in terms of their frequencies (based on the number of identified specimens), morphology and size. A summary of previous archaeozoological studies in the geographical and historical regionalization of the Romanian territory (i.e. Banat, Dobrudja, Moldavia, Muntenia, Oltenia and Transylvania) shows that temporal and regional variation characterizes the assemblages. The data also reveal that beaver hunting contributed little to local economies, although some spatial and temporal variations are apparent and are here compared with the evidence from the historical record. In addition, univariate, bivariate and geometric morphometric analyses are employed to examine different anatomical elements. Studies of the lower third molar (M3) reveal that there is a statistically significant intraspecific variability between the Neolithic and Iron Age populations, situated also in different regions, Muntenia and Moldavia, respectively. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.