Giving life to Roman cattle through multidisciplinary research. First step: skull reconstruction

Dr. Lídia Colominas and Anna Montemayor (Àbac S.L.) reconstructing the skull.

Do you remember the paper “What Happened in That Pit? An Archaeozoological and GIS Approach to Study an Accumulation of Animal Carcasses at the Roman Villa of Vilauba (Catalonia)” published by Dr. Lídia Colominas (GIAP-ICAC) and the team of Museu de Banyoles on July 2021? In this paper, they unravelled the mystery of 14 cattle carcasses disarticulated in a pit in the villa of Vilauba. Now, these researchers want to know how these cattle looked like when they were alive, when they were grazing in the villa.

To achieve this, restorers Maria Molinas and Anna Montemayor, from Àbac S.L., came to ICAC to conclude the reconstruction of the two best-preserved heads. This reconstruction will allow the generation of a 3D model and to start giving life to these cattle. This is the first step of a complex and multidisciplinary research that will also involve ancient DNA analyses for the coat colour and sex of these 14 cattle, among other phenotypic characteristics. This innovative research will allow for the first time to look at the eyes of Roman cattle. 

We will keep you posted on the results!

Anna Montemayor (Àbac S.L.) cleaning the sediment of a skull
Close-up of the skull

Dr. Lídia Colominas is a Ramón y Cajal fellow RYC-2019-026732-I (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion) in GIAP-ICAC. This research is being carried out in the framework of the project ‘Dinàmica del poblament rural, arquitectura, economia i paisatge de les villae a l’àrea del Pla de l’Estany – Garrotxa entre els segles II-I aC. i els segles VI-VII dC’. Quadriennals de recerca en matèria d’arqueologia i paleontología. PIs: J. Tremoleda, J. Frigola.

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