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date: 15 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Analysis of spatio-temporal variation in patterns of animal exploitation helps our understanding of the transition from hunting to husbandry of Ovis, Capra, Sus, and Bos in Pre-Pottery Neolithic Anatolia (c.9500–7000 bce). Despite interaction with humans since the final Pleistocene, domestication of Sus in southeastern Anatolia is only evidenced after 8500 bce. This timing coincides with efforts to exert cultural control over Ovis, Capra, and Bos. Applying a broad methodological spectrum, it is shown that in southeastern Anatolia, the Neolithic ‘package’ was in place at the end of the ninth millennium bce, whereas in contemporaneous central Anatolia, livestock husbandry only included sheep and goat. Initially, animal management practices may have focused on a single species, but after 8000 bce, herding strategies comprised at least two species, likely a risk-reducing strategy. Conceivably, large-scale social gatherings, e.g. at Göbekli Tepe, promoted the spread of practices associated with ungulate management and domestication.

Keywords: Pre-Pottery Neolithic, Anatolia, subsistence, animal domestication, Neolithic package, animal symbolism

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