What did they eat?

Bones can help answer this question, because the Trojan meat eaters left many behind!

When specialists analyze bones, they can tell which animals were eaten, and which were kept for other reasons, such as dogs and cats. Cats appear for the first time in Troy VIII, that is, in relatively recent times. They were useful for keeping rodents away from the house and food supply. They made good companions, and some people might have thought them sacred (as the Egyptians did). But they were never eaten. Nor were dogs. The dog is not only man's best friend, but also man's oldest friend. The first animal humans domesticated, anywhere in the world, was the dog. People trained dogs to help them hunt, herd animals, even to pull carts. But nobody ate dogs at Troy.

In Troy I to III times, people ate pork and lamb in equal amounts. On occasion they ate kids (young goats). They also enjoyed beef, although by Troy VI - VII times, the Late Bronze Age, people were eating beef more often.

During the Troy VI period the horse appears at Troy. We think of the proud war horse pulling the chariot, but on occasion, Trojans ate horsemeat. The Late Bronze Age was a time when there was a lot of variety on the menu: not only the barnyard favorites (beef, lamb, pork, kid, horse) but wild animals and fish too. Fresh Mediterranean tuna and venison (deer meat) were often on the menu.

The Greek and Roman periods at Troy (VIII and IX) enjoyed a similarly varied diet, with somewhat more beef and less venison. They also ate an exotic import from eastern Asia: chicken!

Shellfish were popular in all periods of Troy: oysters, mussels, cockles and clams. In fact, for the early periods, this food source may have been essential. In Troy IX times they liked fish so much that they built a fishery! Archaeologists found the bones of eels, which the Romans would preserve with salt and export - whenever they did not eat them all on the spot.

During all periods, the animal specialists noticed that when times were hard, more baby animals such as suckling pig were eaten. There is a very good reason for this:

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