Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Dog or its master? The scientific study of human or canine coprolites from the prehistoric pile-dwelling site at Stare gmajne in Slovenia.

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.02.00  Humanities  Archaeology   
1.03.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Biology   

Code Science Field
6.01  Humanities  History and Archaeology 
1.06  Natural Sciences  Biological sciences 
coprolites, dog, human, nutrition, pile-dwelling, Ljubljansko barje
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on July 14, 2024; A3 for period 2018-2022
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender, archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  250  3,914  3,380  13.52 
Scopus  266  4,407  3,768  14.17 
Researchers (12)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  18462  PhD Maja Andrič  Archaeology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  227 
2.  24375  PhD Elena Bužan  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  369 
3.  52014  PhD Nina Caf  Archaeology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  49 
4.  53817  PhD Laura Iacolina  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  88 
5.  13134  PhD Franc Janžekovič  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  531 
6.  30210  PhD Tina Klenovšek  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  104 
7.  50833  Tilen Podobnik    Technical associate  2020 - 2024 
8.  27513  PhD Tjaša Tolar  Humanities  Head  2020 - 2024  265 
9.  20222  PhD Borut Toškan  Humanities  Researcher  2020 - 2024  406 
10.  19993  Dragutin Valoh    Technical associate  2020 - 2024  84 
11.  15155  PhD Anton Velušček  Humanities  Researcher  2020 - 2024  358 
12.  52010  Lars Zver  Archaeology  Junior researcher  2020 - 2022  22 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  63,112 
2.  2547  University of Maribor, Faculty of natural sciences and mathematics  Maribor  5089638051  18,158 
3.  2790  University of Primorska, Faculty of mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies  Koper  1810014009  17,883 
Waterlogged conditions preserve various organic remains and provide important archaeological information. More than 40 pile-dwelling sites are documented at Ljubljansko barje in Slovenia, the southeastern region of the Circum-Alpine lake-shore sites in Europe. Stare gmajne is one of the most important sites in the Late Neolithic. Excavations are important to rescue the cultural heritage of this important site, which is threatened by destruction due to agricultural activities and drying-up. The discovery of Stare gmajne site was followed by small archaeological excavations in 2006 and 2007 that revealed impressive finds, such as the oldest wooden wheel with an axle and exceptionally refined fibers of yarn, which beside high concentrations of plant, fish, bird, dog (and other mammals), reptile and amphibian remains, evidence the importance of this threatened (till now still!?) waterlogged site. Sixteen very well preserved uncarbonised faeces from Stare gmajne site are in focus of this project. Faeces are valuable archives offering data about diet and nutrition, health, seasonality and environmental exploitation. This study aims to bridge a gap in coprolite examinations as uncarbonised and exceptionally well preserved dog or human coprolites are rarely preserved. The digested content will be studied in a multidisciplinary approach investigating genetical, biomarkers, palynological, palaeoparasitological, archaeobotanical and archaeozoological features. Beside environmental-, seasonal information and direct information about the paleodiet and the health, the biological human or canine origin will be indicated. The Slovenian Institute of Archaeology ZRC SAZU will cover the archaeozoological, archaeobotanical and palynological fields. The gastrointestinal palaeoparasitological investigations will be carried out at the Chrono-Environment Laboratory in Besançon. mtDNA extraction and radiocarbon dating will be performed on the six best-preserved coprolites by partners at the University of Primorska, Slovenia and Poznan or Beta Analytic radiocarbon laboratories. The Austrian Archaeological Institute is responsible for the identification and recording of amphibian, reptile and fish bones, with a special focus on macro-remains out of the coprolites. The hypothesis is that dog faeces consist mainly of a bony structure including frequent fish head bones, while human excrements shall content mainly crop remains. Analyses of the faecal biomarker will be conducted at the Institute of Chemical Technologies and Analytics, Vienna University of Technology. In addition to presenting valuable insight into the nutritional and dietary habits of the population (or dogs) of the Bronze Age, this multidisciplinary research will lead to scientific usable standards for the research potential as well as discrimination of human and canine coprolites.
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