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First archaeozoological evidence for haimation, the ‘invisible’ garum
Van Neer, W.; Parker, S.T. (2008). First archaeozoological evidence for haimation, the ‘invisible’ garum. J. Archaeol. Sci. 35(7): 1821-1827.
In: Journal of Archaeological Science. Elsevier: London. ISSN 0305-4403; e-ISSN 1095-9238
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 279804 [ OMA ]

Author keywords
    Archaeozoology; Fish sauce; Aqaba; Fish processing

Authors  Top 
  • Van Neer, W.
  • Parker, S.T.

    The fish remains are described that were found at the bottom of an Early Roman ceramic jar from Aila Aqaba, Jordan. The bones, representing the gill apparatuses of at least 33 medium-sized tunas (Auxis; Scombridae) and a single individual of a lizardfish (Trachinocephalus myops; Synodontidae), are believed to correspond to haimation. This highly prized fish sauce, documented previously only from ancient textual evidence, was typically made from the gills and the entrails of tunnids to which salt was added. The sauce was not imported from the Mediterranean or the Black Sea, but made from local Red Sea fish as shown by the zoogeographical distribution of the lizardfish that is considered as stomach content of the tunas. Because the fish bones were found in a locally produced jar and because the calculated volume of the haimation that the bones represent corresponds more or less to the volume of the jar, it is concluded that this high-quality garum was produced in this container at Aila itself.

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