Sheep exploitation and husbandry in first farming societies: from production to consumption in Central Pyrenees in the Early Neolithic

Alejandro Sierra, Stéphanie Bréhard, Lourdes Montes, Pilar Utrilla, María Saña

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

Abstract

© 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. Sheep were the most important species in the first domestic flocks in the Early Neolithic in the Iberian Peninsula. However, their study has tended to stress their role as a fossil guide of the neolithization process rather than their economic importance. The process of their introduction and the initial sheep management and exploitation practices in the Pyrenean sector of the Ebro river basin are studied here based on two sites in this region (Cueva de Chaves and Espluga de la Puyascada). The age and sex composition of the flocks and comparative biometric analysis are the main variables used, and the data obtained are contextualized within the general panorama in the Iberian Peninsula and the western Mediterranean. The results show that sheep were rapidly introduced and included in subsistence strategies and that they maintained homogenous metrical characteristics during the Early Neolithic. The implications of the data for the debate on the neolithization process in the Iberian Peninsula are then discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArchaeological and Anthropological Sciences
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Archaeozoology
  • Biometry
  • Early Neolithic
  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Mortality profiles
  • Pyrenees

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