Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2023

Project Advisor(s)

Natalie Munro; Richard Sosis; Sara Johnson

University Scholar Major





This project compiles and examines 17 published faunal assemblages spanning the Epipaleolithic to the Pottery Neolithic in the Northern Levant to uncover early trends in animal management practices. Through a close examination of indices tracking the proportions of low and high-ranked prey, wild versus domestic game, and taxonomic diversity, it is possible to examine the trends in and deduce the approximate timing of the shift toward early animal management practices. To examine the conditions from which this phenomenon emerged, analyses of hunting intensity and taxonomic tradeoffs were implemented. Hunting intensity provides an analysis of low and high-ranked prey to examine the background conditions from which animal management emerges, i.e. a time of abundance or resource pressure, while taxonomic tradeoffs provide evidence for specific changes in the predominant species that comprise the assemblages. From this data, it appears as though hunting intensity decreases, while specifically domesticated ungulate taxa increase in abundance through the time period examined, effectively replacing wild taxa by the end of the sequence. It is also possible to approximate this shift as emerging around the PPNA/EPPNB. This approximation is consistent with nearby regional metadata analyses, which argue a shift occurs around the EPPNB in the southern Levant and central Anatolia. While this shift occurs earlier in the northern Levant, it is not nearly as early as once theorized.

Included in

Anthropology Commons