An Inter-Regional Comparison of Animal Domestication in the Northern and Southern Levant

Lionel Gourichon, Liora Kolska Horwitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Based on the archaeozoological record for the northern and southern Levant compiled from more than 70 Neolithic sites, this study tracks the evolution of ungulate domestication in the region, from its beginnings in the tenth millennium BC to the establishment of fully-fledged animal husbandry by the sixth millennium BC. We bring together available data for both regions for the four main domesticates – sheep, goat, cattle and pig – highlighting interspecific and inter-regional patterns in the domestication process. This is of special interest given the traditional divide in timing and the cultural-historical sequences between the north and south. Issues concerning methodologies used to assess domestic status, single versus multiple origins of domestic taxa, diffusion events, the chronology and the rate of the process are briefly discussed with reference to changes in the relative frequencies of ungulates in the archaeofaunal assemblages. Reference is also made to concurrent changes in biometry, morphology, sex and age profiles that have been documented in the archaeozoological record.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-78
Number of pages26
JournalFood and History
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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  • Archaeozoology
  • Cattle
  • Early livestock
  • Goat
  • Herding
  • Near East
  • Neolithic
  • PPNB interaction sphere
  • Pig
  • Sheep


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