Fishing and Hunting

In the settlements of the peninsula the animal bones are found not only in the form of kitchen waste. So in several pits in the Myskhako settlement were found complete skeletons of dolphins. And in one of the pits, no doubt the heads of the dolphins, and parts of carcasses with giblets with half-digested fish vertebrae, had been thrown. Despite the fact that dolphin meat is goodas food, their bones had no traces of kitchen cutting. Apparently, a large number of skeletons of dolphins in the antic settlements reflect the fact that the population used their fat as fuel for lamps and perhaps even for house heating.
However, the most difficult is to interpret the fairly frequent findings of scattered bones and complete skeletons of dogs in antic settlements and towns of the Black Sea Coast. Perhaps this could be simply a dead or killed stray dogs. And perhaps they are the remains of sacrificial animals or household pets. The latter assumption about special pet burials don’t seem impossible after the discovery of two young cats in a huge pite in the Myskhako settlement. The bones of cats were found together with the human skeletons of the people, among who were the children. If we compare the young cats and skeletons of the children, we can easily imagine a picture – the people had hidden from the fire and ruin of the settlement, and the kids were trying to save their pets.
The bones of wild animals at a rule indicate to the hunting practice of the population. Their number can be interpreted as a reflection of the volume of the hunting prey. In the settlements of the Abrau peninsula they found a few scattered bones of eight ordinary Caucasus species of game mammals: noble deer, roe deer, wild boar, bear, fox, otter, marten and hare. They make not more than 3% of all the bones in the excavation, which defined the species of the animal. It is clear that hunting was not a daily practice of the tribes that inhabited the peninsula in ancient times.
(Catherine E. Antipina)