2012. november 29., csütörtök

Kovács (2012) Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae

Kovács, Zs. E. (2012): Dispersal history of an invasive rodent in Hungary – subfossil finds of Rattus rattus. Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 58 (4): 379–394.

The origins of the black rat Rattus rattus can be placed in the Indian Peninsula and its occurrence in Europe is a result of a westward expansion. Based on archaeozoological finds, this rodent came into the Mediterranean and other parts of Europe before the Roman Period, as a commensal species associated with trade, although it was also introduced in many other parts of the continent during that time. After a depression in the population there is an increase in number of rat finds dating to the 11th century in Europe. The same tendency was observed in Hungary. The earliest rat remains in the country were recovered from sites dated to the Roman period (3–4th century AD) from inside and outside the territory of the Empire as well. Remains outside the limes (the border of the empire running along the right bank of the Danube) indicate that the Danube River did not pose a barrier in the expansion of rats. Records from the Roman period were followed by a gap of ca. 1000 years when the appearance of black rat was detected again at medieval Hungarian sites (from the 14th century onwards) reaching large numbers at sites dated to the Ottoman period (16–17th century).

Hungary, archaeozoology, black rat, expansion routes, flotation

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