O'Connor, T.P. (2000) Human refuse as a major ecological factor in medieval urban vertebrate communities. In: Bailey, G., Charles, R. and Winder, N., (eds.) Human Ecodynamics. Symposia of the Association for Environmental Archaeology . Oxbow Books , Oxford , pp. 15-20.
Organic refuse, such as food and butchery waste, was commonly deposited in dumps andpits in medieval towns throughout northern Europe. These deposits of refuse attracted and supponed a diverse communily of scavengers and their predators. The organic refuse can be seen as a source of energy that maintained food-webs of donor-controlled populations, giving them potentially high population densities, foundercontrolled response to perturbation, and perhaps a strongly stochastic element in determining which species became dominant at any particular location. The red kite is an example of a scavenger which was strongly dependent on refuse deposition, and it is argued that cats in medieval towns may have lived largely as predators within the refuse-supported food-webs.
|Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information:||Reproduced with permission from Oxbow Books.|
|Keywords:||towns,organic refuse,scavengers,food webs|
|Institution:||The University of York|
|Academic Units:||The University of York > Archaeology (York)|
|Depositing User:||Repository Officer|
|Date Deposited:||16 Jan 2006|
|Last Modified:||21 Jan 2017 00:00|