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

  • Alejandro SierraEmail author
  • Stéphanie Bréhard
  • Lourdes Montes
  • Pilar Utrilla
  • María Saña
Original Paper
  • 29 Downloads

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Archaeozoology Mortality profiles Biometry Early Neolithic Iberian Peninsula Pyrenees 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We wish to show our gratitude to the Museo de Huesca for providing access to the faunal remains of Cueva de Chaves and Espluga de Puyascada. We also thank the group of Primeros Pobladores del Valle del Ebro and the Laboratori d’Arquezoología de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Funding information

This work has been carried out thanks to the FPI predoctoral grant Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad de España within the framework of the project HAR2014-59042-P Transiciones climáticas y adaptaciones sociales en la Prehistoria de la Cuenca del Ebro.

Supplementary material

12520_2019_907_MOESM1_ESM.docx (171 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 170 kb)

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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Área de Prehistoria - Instituto de Investigación en Ciencias Ambientales (IUCA)Universidad de ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  2. 2.Archéozoologie, Archéobotanique: Sociétés, Pratiques et Environnement (UMR 7209)Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle - CNRSParisFrance
  3. 3.Departament de PrehistòriaUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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