DOmestication of Animals in the Iberian Peninsula

Maria Saña*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in BookChapterResearchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The Iberian Peninsula has for several decades provided a wealth of evidence for studying the origins of the Neolithic. Its location at the western end of the Mediterranean basin has made it an especially important area for the assessment of the dynamics of neolithisation. Several models have been put forward to explain the economic and social changes that took place during the initial stages of the Holocene (Arias 1997; Bernabeu et al. 1993; Bernabeu 1996; Hernando 1999; Vicent 1990). From the available evidence, three different scenarios are proposed to explain the relationship between the last hunter-gatherer societies and the first farming communities. The first, based on the intense research focussed on the study of Epipalaeolithic and Meso - lithic sites, has shown the active role played by hunter-gatherer societies during neolithisation. The second, adopting a strictly diffusionist point of view, stresses the impact of external influences on these societies and, in particular, the important part that the contingents of the newly arrived population may have played in shaping the new way of life. Finally, the complex mosaic of indigenous and exogenous influences has also been highlighted, influences that manifest themselves in terms of resistance and sharing and which, via different mechanisms, led to the establishment of the farming way of life. Determining when and how animal domestication, or the adoption of domesticates, took place in the Iberian Peninsula is without doubt of major significance in understanding the origins of the Neolithic.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Origins and Spread of Domestic Animals in Southwest Asia and Europe
PublisherTaylor and Francis AS
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781315417646
ISBN (Print)9781611323238
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


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