Authors:Erika Gál, László Daróczi-Szabó, and Márta Daróczi-Szabó
This paper presents results on three medieval avian bone assemblages found at Debrecen-Monostor-erdő and Debrecen-Tócó-part, respectively. Domestic chicken yielded most of the bird remains to evidence the exploitation of adult birds for egg production and flock maintenance in particular. In addition, feather harvesting and fat production could have been the target of goose (and possibly duck) husbandry. Although the goose bone sizes resemble the greylag goose, the keeping of an unimproved form of domestic goose rather than the hunting of the wild ancestor is suggested by the structure of the assemblage and the presence of healed bones. Wild birds seem to have been rarely consumed by the settlers of the two villages, but the feathers or wings or carcasses of diurnal birds of prey and crows may have been used for special purposes. Either killed for their symbolic meaning or only persecuted for protecting the backyard animals, the red kite (Milvus milvus) and the hen harrier (Circus cyaneus) represent new species for the medieval avifauna of Hungary, similarly to the Northern shoveler (Anas clypeata) and the Northern lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) that could have been hunted in the marshy environment provided by the Tócó creek. Moreover, the use of trained saker falcon (Falco cherrug) for hawking cannot be excluded either. In addition to the exploitation of birds for the abovementioned goods and values, two needle cases made from goose bones evidence the utilization of their skeletal parts as raw material for producing artefacts as well.