Abstract and Keywords
A small but very diverse structured landscape, a high degree of preservation of archaeological findings and structures because of waterlogged conditions, and very precise dendrochronological dating are the advantages of the archaeological and archaeozoological situation in Switzerland. These opportunities allow differentiating the topographic, environmental, and cultural conditions that influenced and shaped the role of domestic and wild animals in the Neolithic and Bronze Age. Because of the proximity to the Alps, unfavourable weather conditions had a strong impact on agricultural production, resulting frequently in a more intense use of wild resources. Therefore, during the Neolithic, but even in the Bronze Age, hunting played periodically an important role. On the other hand, the topographic situation, the extent of open landscapes resulting from human clearances, as well as cultural influences, are responsible for the variable importance of different domestic animals such as cattle, sheep, goat, and pig.
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