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The Emergence of Animal Management in the Southern Levant

By Natalie D. Munro, Guy Bar-Oz, Jacqueline S. Meier, Lidar Sapir-Hen, Mary C. Stiner, Reuven Yeshurun

Category Journal Articles

Our compilation of zooarchaeological data from a series of important archaeological sites spanning the Epipaleolithic through Pre-Pottery Neolithic B periods in the Mediterranean Hills of the southern Levant contributes to major debates about the beginnings of ungulate management in Southwest Asia. The data support an onset of ungulate management practices by the Early PPNB (10,500–10,000 cal. BP), more than 500 years earlier than previously thought for this region. There is a clear developmental connection between reduced hunting intensity and the uptake of ungulate management, confirming that this process began in response to local, density-dependent demographic factors. The early process of goat domestication in the southern Levant appears to have been overwhelmingly local. This may have been true for cattle and pigs as well. Nevertheless, the loose synchrony of animal management trends across Southwest Asia was undoubtedly enabled by large-scale social networks that transmitted knowledge. The results add to growing evidence that animal management processes followed multiple regional evolutionary pathways within the Fertile Crescent.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2018
Publication Title Scientific Reports
Volume 8
Pages 11
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal domestication
  2. Animal management
  3. Animal roles
  4. Archaeology
  5. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  6. Goats
  7. Middle East
  8. open access
  9. ungulates
  10. Working animals
  11. Zoology
  1. open access