Before Farming

‘Man made oases’

Neolithic patterns of wild ungulate exploitation & their consequences for the domestication of pigs & cattle

Before Farming (2009), 2009, (1), 1–12.

Abstract

This paper studies the changes observed in wild ungulate game procurement strategies between the Epipalaeolithic and Neolithic periods in the southern Levant. It is proposed that the advent of agricultural societies in the Neolithic caused an increase in the frequency of encounters between human hunters and wild ungulate taxa drawn to agriculturally-modified habitats. This higher frequency of encounters is responsible for the observed shift from gazelle- and fallow deer-dominated assemblages in the Epipalaeolithic to the wild boar- and aurochs-dominated assemblages in the Neolithic. The intensification of hunting wild boar and aurochs during the Neolithic is argued to have given rise to a trajectory towards the cultural control of these taxa.

Access Token
£25.00
READ THIS ARTICLE
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Bar-Oz, G 2004. Epipaleolithic Subsistance Strategies in the Levant: A Zooarchaeological Perspective. Boston: Brill Academic Publishers. Epipaleolithic Subsistance Strategies in the Levant: A Zooarchaeological Perspective Google Scholar

Bar-Oz, G, Dayan, T, Weinstein-Evron, M & Kaufman, D 2004. The Natufian economy of el-Wad terrace with special reference to gazelle exploitation patterns. Journal of Archaeological Science 31:217-231. The Natufian economy of el-Wad terrace with special reference to gazelle exploitation patterns Journal of Archaeological Science 31 217 231 Google Scholar

Bar-Oz, G & Munro, ND 2007. Gazelle bone marrow yields and Epipalaeolithic carcass exploitation strategies in the southern Levant. Journal of Archaeological Science 34:946-956. Gazelle bone marrow yields and Epipalaeolithic carcass exploitation strategies in the southern Levant Journal of Archaeological Science 34 946 956 Google Scholar

Bar-Yosef, O 1981. The Epipaleolithic complexes in the Levant. In Cauvin, J & Sanlaville, P (eds) Préhistoire du Levant. Paris: CNRS:389-408. Préhistoire du Levant 389 408 Google Scholar

Bar-Yosef, O 1998. The Natufian culture in the Levant, threshold to the origins of agriculture. Evolutionary Anthropology 6(5):159-177. The Natufian culture in the Levant, threshold to the origins of agriculture Evolutionary Anthropology 6 159 177 Google Scholar

Bar-Yosef, O 2001. From sedentary foragers to village hierarchies: the emergence of social institutions. Proceedings of the British Academy 110:1-38. From sedentary foragers to village hierarchies: the emergence of social institutions Proceedings of the British Academy 110 1 38 Google Scholar

Bar-Yosef O & Belfer-Cohen, A 1989. The origins of sedentism and farming communities in the Levant. Journal of World Prehistory 3(4):447-498. The origins of sedentism and farming communities in the Levant Journal of World Prehistory 3 447 498 Google Scholar

Bar-Yosef, O & Belfer-Cohen, A 1991. From sedentary hunter-gatherers to territorial farmers in the Levant. In Gregg, SA (ed) Between Bands and States. Centre for Archaeological Investigations, Occasional Paper no 9:181-202. Carbondale: University of Illinois. Between Bands and States Google Scholar

Bar-Yosef, O & Meadow, RH 1995. The origins of agriculture in the Near East. In Price, DT & Gebauer, AB (eds) Last Hunters, First Farmers: New Perspectives on the Prehistoric Transition to Agriculture. Santa Fe: School of American Research Press:39-94. Last Hunters, First Farmers: New Perspectives on the Prehistoric Transition to Agriculture 39 94 Google Scholar

Barzilai, O, Getzov, N, Givol-Barzilai, Y, Marom, N & Marder, O in press. Lithics in a ritual context at the PNNB site of Mishmar Ha‘emeq, Israel: Do they display special characteristics? In Healey, E, Campbell, S & Maeda, O (eds) The Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on PPN Chipped and Ground Stone Industries of the Fertile Crescent: Studies in Technology, Environment, Production, and Society (STEPS) (Manchester). Berlin: SENEPSE & Ex Oriente. Lithics in a ritual context at the PNNB site of Mishmar Ha‘emeq, Israel: Do they display special characteristics? Google Scholar

Belfer-Cohen, A & Bar-Yosef, O 2000. Early sedentism in the Near East: A bumpy road to village life. In Kuijt, I (ed) Life in Neolithic Farming Communities: Social Organization, Identity and Differentiation. New York: Plenum Publishers:19-37. Life in Neolithic Farming Communities: Social Organization, Identity and Differentiation 19 37 Google Scholar

Bökönyi, S 1974. History of Domestic Mammals in Central and Eastern Europe. Budapest: Akademiai Kiado. History of Domestic Mammals in Central and Eastern Europe Google Scholar

Cauvin, J 2000. The Birth of the Gods and the Origins of Agriculture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. The Birth of the Gods and the Origins of Agriculture Google Scholar

Childe, VG 1961. Man Makes Himself. New York: Mentor Books. Man Makes Himself Google Scholar

Clutton-Brock, J 1979. The mammalian remains from the Jericho Tell. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 45:135-157. The mammalian remains from the Jericho Tell Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 45 135 157 Google Scholar

Clutton-Brock, J 1989. The Walking Larder: Patterns of Domestication, Pastoralism, and Predation. London: Allen and Unwin. The Walking Larder: Patterns of Domestication, Pastoralism, and Predation Google Scholar

Clutton-Brock, J 1999. A Natural History of Domesticated Mammals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. A Natural History of Domesticated Mammals Google Scholar

Crabtree, PJ, Campana, DV, Belfer-Cohen, A & Bar-Yosef Mayer DE 1991. First results of the excavation at Salibiya I, lower Jordan valley. In Bar-Yosef, O and Valla, FR (eds) The Natufian Culture in the Levant. Ann Arbor: International Monographs in Prehistory:161-172. The Natufian Culture in the Levant 161 172 Google Scholar

Davis, SJM 1983 The age profiles of gazelles predated by ancient man in Israel: possible evidence for a shift from seasonality to sedentism in the Natufian. Paléorient 9(1):55-62. The age profiles of gazelles predated by ancient man in Israel: possible evidence for a shift from seasonality to sedentism in the Natufian Paléorient 9 55 62 Google Scholar

Davis, SJM 1985. A preliminary report of the fauna from Hatoula: a Natufian Khimian (PPNA) site near Latroun, Israel. In Lechevallier, M & Ronen, A (eds) Le site Natufien-Khiamien de Hatoula, près de Latroun, Israel. Jerusalem: Centre de recherche français de Jerusalem:71-98. Le site Natufien-Khiamien de Hatoula, près de Latroun, Israel 71 98 Google Scholar

Davis, SJM 1987. The Archaeology of Animals. Yale University Press, New Haven and London. The Archaeology of Animals Google Scholar

Davis, SJM in press. The animal bones from Nahal Zehora I and II, In Gopher, A (ed) Archaeological Investigations at Nahal Zehora: Villages of the Pottery Neolithic in the Menashe Hills, Israel. Tel Aviv: Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University. Archaeological Investigations at Nahal Zehora: Villages of the Pottery Neolithic in the Menashe Hills, Israel Google Scholar

Diamond, J 2002. Evolution, consequences and future of plant and animal domestication. Nature 418:700-708. Evolution, consequences and future of plant and animal domestication Nature 418 700 708 Google Scholar

Driesch, A & Wodtke, U 1997. The fauna of Ein Ghazal, a major PPN and Early PN settlement in central Jordan. In Gebel, HGK, Kafafi, Z & Rollefson, GO (eds) The Prehistory of Jordan II. Berlin: Ex Oriente:511-556. The Prehistory of Jordan II 511 556 Google Scholar

Ducos, P 1968. L'origine des animaux domestiques au Palestine. Bordeaux: Publications de l'Institut de Préhistoire de l'Université de Bordeaux. L'origine des animaux domestiques au Palestine Google Scholar

Ducos, P & Horwitz, LK 2003. Pre-Pottery Neolithic B fauna from the Lechevallier excavations at Abu-Ghosh. In Khalaily, H & Marder, O (eds) The Neolithic Site of Abu-Ghosh: The 1995 Excavations. Jerusalem: Israel Antiquities Authority:103-120. The Neolithic Site of Abu-Ghosh: The 1995 Excavations 103 120 Google Scholar

Flannery, KV 1969. Origins and ecological effects of early domestication in Iran and the Near East. In Ucko, PJ & Dimbleby, GW (eds) The Domestication and Exploitation of Plants and Animals. London: Duckworth:73-100. The Domestication and Exploitation of Plants and Animals 73 100 Google Scholar

Gopher, A 1994. Arrowheads of the Neolithic Levant: A Seriation Analysis. Winona Lake: American Schools of Oriental Research. Arrowheads of the Neolithic Levant: A Seriation Analysis Google Scholar

Goring-Morris, AN 1998. Complex hunter/gatherers at the end of the Paleolithic (20,000-10,000 BP). In Levi, TE (ed) The Archaeology of Society in the Holy Land. London: Leicester University Press:141-167. The Archaeology of Society in the Holy Land 141 167 Google Scholar

Goring-Morris, AN & Kolska Horwitz, L 2007. Funerals and feasts during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B of the Near East. Antiquity 81:1-17. Funerals and feasts during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B of the Near East Antiquity 81 1 17 Google Scholar

Grayson, DK 1984. Quantitative Zooarchaeology: Topics in the Analysis of Archaeological Faunas. London: Academic Press. Quantitative Zooarchaeology: Topics in the Analysis of Archaeological Faunas Google Scholar

Grayson, DK & Frey, CJ 2004. Measuring skeletal part representation in archaeological faunas. Journal of Taphonomy 2(1):27-42. Measuring skeletal part representation in archaeological faunas Journal of Taphonomy 2 27 42 Google Scholar

Grigson, C 1989. Size and sex: evidence for the domestication of cattle in the Near East. In Milles, A, Williams, D & Gardner, N (eds) The Beginnings of Agriculture. Oxford: BAR International 492:77-109. The Beginnings of Agriculture 492 77 109 Google Scholar

Haber, A & Dayan, T 2004. Analysing the process of domestication: Hagoshrim as a case study. Journal of Archaeological Science 31:1587-1601. Analysing the process of domestication: Hagoshrim as a case study Journal of Archaeological Science 31 1587 1601 Google Scholar

Haber, A, Dayan, T & Getzov, N 2005. Pig exploitation at Hagoshrim: a prehistoric site at the Southern Levant. In Vigne, J-D, Peters, J & Helmer, D (eds) First Steps in Animal Domestication: New Zooarchaeological Approaches. Oxford: Oxbow:80-85. First Steps in Animal Domestication: New Zooarchaeological Approaches 80 85 Google Scholar

Hall, SJG 2008. A comparative analysis of the habitat of the extinct aurochs and other prehistoric mammals in Britain. Ecography 31:187-190. A comparative analysis of the habitat of the extinct aurochs and other prehistoric mammals in Britain Ecography 31 187 190 Google Scholar

Hammer Ø, Harper, DAT & Ryan, PD 2001. PAST: Paleontological Statistics Software Package for Education and Data Analysis. Palaeontologia Electronica 4(1). PAST: Paleontological Statistics Software Package for Education and Data Analysis Palaeontologia Electronica 4 Google Scholar

Hodder, I 2006. The Leopard's Tale: Revealing the Mysteries of Çatalhöyük. London: Thames & Hudson. The Leopard's Tale: Revealing the Mysteries of Çatalhöyük Google Scholar

Horwitz, LK 1993. The development of ovicaprine domestication during the PPNB of the Southern Levant. In Buitenhuis, H & Clason, AT (eds) Archaeozoology of the Near East I. Leiden: Universal Book Services:27-36. Archaeozoology of the Near East I 27 36 Google Scholar

Horwitz, LK 2001 The mammalian fauna of Tel Teo. In Eisenberg, E, Gopher, A & Greenberg R (eds) Tel-Te'o: A Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Site in the Hula Valley. Jerusalem: Israel Antiquities Authority. Tel-Te'o: A Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Site in the Hula Valley Google Scholar

Horwitz, LK 2003. Temporal and spatial variation in Neolithic caprine exploitation strategies: a case study of fauna from the site of Yiftah'el (Israel). Paléorient 29(1):19-58. Temporal and spatial variation in Neolithic caprine exploitation strategies: a case study of fauna from the site of Yiftah'el (Israel) Paléorient 29 19 58 Google Scholar

Horwitz, LK & Ducos, P 2005. Counting cattle: Trends in Neolithic bos frequencies in the southern Levant. Revue de Paléobiologie, Genève 10:209-224. Counting cattle: Trends in Neolithic bos frequencies in the southern Levant Revue de Paléobiologie, Genève 10 209 224 Google Scholar

Horwitz, LK, Tchernov, E, Ducos, P, Becke, C, Driesch, Avd, Martin, L & Garrard, A 1999. Animal domestication in the southern Levant. Paléorient 25:63-80. Animal domestication in the southern Levant Paléorient 25 63 80 Google Scholar

Kislev, ME 1997. Early agriculture and palaeoecology of Netiv Hagdud. In Bar-Yosef, O & Gopher, A (eds) An Early Neolithic Village in the Jordan Valley: The Archaeology of Netiv Hagdud. Cambridge, MA: Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University:209-236. An Early Neolithic Village in the Jordan Valley: The Archaeology of Netiv Hagdud 209 236 Google Scholar

Kislev, ME, Hartmann, A & Bar-Yosef, O 2006. Early domesticated fig in the Jordan Valley. Science 312:1372-1374. Early domesticated fig in the Jordan Valley Science 312 1372 1374 Google Scholar

Kuijt, I & Goring-Morris, AN 2002. Foraging, farming, and social complexity in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic of the Southern Levant: A review and synthesis. Journal of World Prehistory 16(4):361-440. Foraging, farming, and social complexity in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic of the Southern Levant: A review and synthesis Journal of World Prehistory 16 361 440 Google Scholar

Lyman, RL 2008. Quantitative Paleozoology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Quantitative Paleozoology Google Scholar

Marom, N & Bar-Oz, G 2008. Measure for measure: a taphonomic re-evaluation of the faunal remains from the Epipalaeolithic site of Ein-Gev I, Israel. Journal of Archaeological Science 35(2):214-237. Measure for measure: a taphonomic re-evaluation of the faunal remains from the Epipalaeolithic site of Ein-Gev I, Israel Journal of Archaeological Science 35 214 237 Google Scholar

Martin, L & Russell, N 2000. Trashing rubbish. In Hodder, I (ed) Towards Reflexive Method in Archaeology: The example of Çatalhöyük. Oxford: Oxbow Books:57-69. Towards Reflexive Method in Archaeology: The example of Çatalhöyük 57 69 Google Scholar

Mendelssohn, H & Yom-Tov, Y 1999. Fauna Palaestina: Mammalia of Israel. Jerusalem: The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Fauna Palaestina: Mammalia of Israel Google Scholar

Munro, ND 2001. A prelude to agriculture: game use and occupation intensity during the Natufian period in the Levant. Tucson: University of Arizona. A prelude to agriculture: game use and occupation intensity during the Natufian period in the Levant Google Scholar

Munro, ND 2004. Zooarchaeological measures of hunting pressure and occupation intensity in the Natufian. Current Anthropology 45:5-34. Zooarchaeological measures of hunting pressure and occupation intensity in the Natufian Current Anthropology 45 5 34 Google Scholar

Munro, ND & Bar-Oz, G 2005. Gazelle bone fat processing in the Levantine Epipalaeolithic. Journal of Archaeological Science 32:223-239. Gazelle bone fat processing in the Levantine Epipalaeolithic Journal of Archaeological Science 32 223 239 Google Scholar

Nadel, D, Lengyel, G, Bocquentin, F, Tsatskin, A, Rosenberg, D, Yeshurun, R, Bar-Oz, G, Bar-Yosef-Mayer, DE, Beeri, R, Conyers, L, Filin, S, Hershkovitz, I, Kurzawska, A & Weissbrod, L 2008. Raqefet Cave: the 2006 Excavation Season. Journal of the Israel Prehistoric Society 38:59-131. Raqefet Cave: the 2006 Excavation Season Journal of the Israel Prehistoric Society 38 59 131 Google Scholar

Peters, J, Driesch, A & Helmer, D 2005. The upper Euphrates-Tigris basin: Cradle of agro-pastoralim. In Vigne J-D, Peters, J, & Helmer, D (eds) First Steps in Animals Domestication: New Zooarchaeological Approaches. Oxford, UK: Oxbow:96-124. First Steps in Animals Domestication: New Zooarchaeological Approaches 96 124 Google Scholar

Rabinovich, R 1998. Patterns of animal exploitation and subsistence in Israel, during the Upper Palaeolithic and Epipalaeolithic (40,000-12,500 BP), based upon selected case studies. PhD dissertation. Jerusalem: Hebrew University. Google Scholar

Redding, RW 2005. Breaking the mold: A consideration of variation in the evolution of animal domestication. In Vigne, J-D, Peters, J & Helmer, D (eds) The First Steps of Animal Domestication: New Archaeological Approaches. Oxford: Oxbow Books. The First Steps of Animal Domestication: New Archaeological Approaches Google Scholar

Redding, RW & Rosenberg, M 1998. Ancestral pigs: A new (Guinea) model for pig domestication in the Middle East. In Nelson, SM (ed) Ancestors for the Pigs: Pigs in Prehistory. Philadelphia: MASCA Research Papers in Science and Archaeology:65-76. Ancestors for the Pigs: Pigs in Prehistory 65 76 Google Scholar

Rosenberg, M & Redding, RW 1998. Early pig husbandry in southwestern Asia and its implications for modeling the origins of food production. In Nelson, SM (ed) Ancestors for the Pigs: Pigs in Prehistory. Philadelphia: MASCA Research Papers in Science and Archaeology:55-64. Ancestors for the Pigs: Pigs in Prehistory 55 64 Google Scholar

Russell, N, Martin, L & Buitenhuis, H 2005. Cattle domestication at Çatalhöyük revisited. Current Anthropology 46:101-108. Cattle domestication at Çatalhöyük revisited Current Anthropology 46 101 108 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Sapir-Hen, L, Bar-Oz, G, Khalaily, H & Dayan, T 2009 Gazelle exploitation in the early Neolithic site of Motza, Israel: the last of the gazelle hunters in the southern Levant. Journal of Archaeological Science 36: 1538-1546. Gazelle exploitation in the early Neolithic site of Motza, Israel: the last of the gazelle hunters in the southern Levant Journal of Archaeological Science 36 1538 1546 Google Scholar

Stiner, MC & Munro, ND 2002. Approaches to prehistoric diet breadth, demography, and prey ranking systems in time and space. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 9:175-208. Approaches to prehistoric diet breadth, demography, and prey ranking systems in time and space Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 9 175 208 Google Scholar

Stiner, MC, Munro, ND & Surovell, TA 2000. The tortoise and the hare. Current Anthropology 41:39-79. The tortoise and the hare Current Anthropology 41 39 79 Google Scholar

Stutz, AJ, Munro, ND & Bar-Oz, G 2009. Increasing the resolution of the broad spectrum revolution in the southern Levantine Epipalaeolithic (19-12 ka). Journal of Human Evolution 56: 294-306. Increasing the resolution of the broad spectrum revolution in the southern Levantine Epipalaeolithic (19-12 ka) Journal of Human Evolution 56 294 306 Google Scholar

Tchernov, E 1991. Biological evidence for human sedentism in south-west Asia during the Natufian. In Bar-Yosef, O & Valla, FR (eds) The Natufian Culture in the Levant. Ann Arbor: International Monographs in Prehistory. The Natufian Culture in the Levant Google Scholar

Tchernov, E 1993a. The impact of sedentism on animal exploitation in the southern Levant. In Buitenhuis, H & Clason, AT (eds) Archaeozoology of the Near East. Leiden: Universal Book Services & Dr W. Backhuys: 10-26. Archaeozoology of the Near East 10 26 Google Scholar

Tchernov, E 1993b. From sedentism to domestication - a preliminary review for the southern Levant. In Clason, AT, Payne, S & Uerpmann, H-P (eds) Skeletons in Her Cupboard. Oxford: Oxbow Monographs:189-233. Skeletons in Her Cupboard 189 233 Google Scholar

Tchernov, E & Kolska-Horwitz, L 1990. Herd management in the past and its impact on the landscape of the southern Levant. In Bottema, S, Nieborg, E & Zeist, WV (eds) Man's Role in the Shaping of the Eastern Mediterranean Landscape. Rotterdam: Balkema:207-216. Man's Role in the Shaping of the Eastern Mediterranean Landscape 207 216 Google Scholar

Verhoeven, M 2002. Transformations of society: The changing role of rituals and symbolism in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B and Pottery Neolithic Periods in the Levant and South-East Anatolia. Paléorient 28(1):5-14. Transformations of society: The changing role of rituals and symbolism in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B and Pottery Neolithic Periods in the Levant and South-East Anatolia Paléorient 28 5 14 Google Scholar

Verhoeven, M 2004. Beyond boundaries: Nature, culture and a holistic approach to domestication in the Levant. Journal of World Prehistory 18(3):179-282. Beyond boundaries: Nature, culture and a holistic approach to domestication in the Levant Journal of World Prehistory 18 179 282 Google Scholar

Weiss E, Kislev, ME & Hartmann, A 2006. Autonomous cultivation before domestication. Science 312:1608-1610. Autonomous cultivation before domestication Science 312 1608 1610 Google Scholar

Yeshurun, R [and other authors] 2009. The role of foxes in the Natufian economy: a view from Mount Carmel, Israel. Before Farming [online version] 2009/1 article 3. The role of foxes in the Natufian economy: a view from Mount Carmel, Israel Before Farming Google Scholar

Zeder, MA & Hesse, B 2000. The initial domestication of goats (Capra hircus) in the Zagros mountains 10,000 years ago. Science 287: 2254-2257. The initial domestication of goats (Capra hircus) in the Zagros mountains 10,000 years ago Science 287 2254 2257 Google Scholar

Zeuner, FE 1963. A History of Domesticated Animals. Hutchinson: London. A History of Domesticated Animals Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Marom, Nimrod

Bar-Oz, Guy