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date: 20 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In this paper, different definitions of animal domestication are examined. Methods for identifying the domestication processes are outlined, including zooarchaeological and biomolecular techniques, along with archaeological evidence of associated economic and social changes. The extent to which animal domestications can be seen as hunter-gatherer innovations rather than a later addition by plant agriculturalists is discussed. The undisputed hunter-gatherer innovation of dog domestication is taken as a case study, and horse domestication in central Asia is also considered in depth. Other possible examples of domestication of animals by hunter-gatherers either before, or synchronously with, plant domestication are highlighted, including cattle in North Africa, camelids in South America, and reindeer in northern Eurasia. The reasons why animal domestication usually post-dates plant domestication are explored.

Keywords: domestication, animals, zooarchaeological, hunter-gatherer, dog, horse

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