Article

Close companions: Early evidence for dogs in northeast Jordan and the potential impact of new hunting methods

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Abstract

Current evidence suggests domestications of the dog were incipient developments in many areas of the world. In southwest Asia this process took place in the Late Epipalaeolithic Natufian (∼14,500–11,600 cal BP) with the earliest evidence originating from the Mediterranean zone of the southern Levant. This paper presents new data for the importance of early domestic dogs to human groups in the region beyond this ‘core’ area where the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene environment is usually thought of as less favourable for human occupation. By the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A it is demonstrated that dogs were living alongside humans in significant numbers. Most discussions of early domestic dogs assume that these animals would have facilitated the hunting of larger prey following the innate behavioural traits of their wolf ancestors. This paper suggests that the benefits of hunting with dogs could also extend to the capture of smaller prey. An increase in the hunting of such animals, as part of the broad-spectrum revolution, was not necessarily a response limited to resource reduction in the Late Pleistocene and factors such as new hunting methods need consideration.

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... Dogs primarily offer benefits to hunters by increasing encounter rates and decreasing search times through their keener senses of smell and hearing (Perri, 2020). In many cases this role is not simply an aid but essential to acquisition of specific taxa, especially those which reside out of sight in burrows, hollows, or amongst vegetationtypically small mammals (Lupo, 2017;Yeomans et al., 2019). They also help reduce handling costs by holding, disabling or killing game, particularly those difficult to grab or dangerous for people to risk close contact. ...
... Several analyses of archaeological materials from various pre-Neolithic settings thus invoke the novel availability of hunting dogs (Guagnin et al., 2018;Perri, 2016;Yeomans et al., 2019). ...
... In Holocene Japan, hunters' preferences shifted away from Pleistocene megafauna to smaller ungulates like sika deer and wild boar, a development corresponding closely with the advent of dogs and expansion of forest habitats (Perri, 2016). In the Epipalaeolithic/ Natufian of southwestern Asia, Yeomans et al. (2019) also connect the appearance of dogs to increased human consumption of gazelle, fox, and hare. Within an optimal foraging theory framework, smaller animals became higher-ranked choices if the assistance of dogs makes them comparatively easier to procure (especially if in large numbers) for a similar return. ...
Article
Dingoes are wild canids descended from primitive dogs brought to Australia by humans around approximately 5000BP. Observations of dingoes living with Aboriginal people inspired debate amongst anthropologists and prehistorians over whether they were used to hunt game in prehistoric times. This has resulted in widespread conceptions that dingoes were not of use in "serious" hunts or were limited to assisting the capture of small species only. Assessing the topic through a comprehensive synthesis of historical evidence, we find that dingoes were used often to help procure a wide range of prey species, performing roles from initial detection through to capture. We note in particular that dingoes were used effectively to hunt large taxa like kangaroo, wallaby and emu, primarily in the form of large-scale drives that involved large portions of the community. This has important implications for the understanding of archaeological records during the mid-to-late Holocene in mainland Australia.
... Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) are the world's oldest animal domesticate and have long been an important component of the human niche (e. g., Boschin et al., 2020;McKechnie et al., 2020;Perri, 2016;Wang et al., 2016;Yeomans et al., 2019). Global studies demonstrate a range of human-canid relationships, from semi-commensal engagements with wild or feral populations, to fully domesticated partnerships shaped by formal husbandry and on-going co-evolutionary relationships (e.g., Clutton-Brock, 1980Hixon et al., 2021;Koungoulos and Fillios, 2020;MacKinnon, 2010;McKechnie et al., 2020;Yeomans et al., 2019;Zeder, 2012). ...
... Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) are the world's oldest animal domesticate and have long been an important component of the human niche (e. g., Boschin et al., 2020;McKechnie et al., 2020;Perri, 2016;Wang et al., 2016;Yeomans et al., 2019). Global studies demonstrate a range of human-canid relationships, from semi-commensal engagements with wild or feral populations, to fully domesticated partnerships shaped by formal husbandry and on-going co-evolutionary relationships (e.g., Clutton-Brock, 1980Hixon et al., 2021;Koungoulos and Fillios, 2020;MacKinnon, 2010;McKechnie et al., 2020;Yeomans et al., 2019;Zeder, 2012). Recent archaeological studies have focused on mutualistic outcomes of the human-dog symbiosis, including the use of dogs as hunting aids, for haulage, in herding, as sources of wool and food, in rituals and otherwise (e.g., Hixon et al., 2021;Losey et al., 2018;Lupo, 2017;McKechnie et al., 2020). ...
Article
Globally, the place of dogs in the anthropogenic niche is varied, with dogs often tightly integrated into human communities, but sometimes pushed to the margins, and occasionally persisting as independent feral populations. Dog-human symbioses are correspondingly diverse, ranging from mutualistic to commensal to competitive. The Pacific Islands, and Polynesia in particular, offer a useful context in which to consider dog-human symbioses across varied socio-environmental settings. The translocation of domestic dogs across this oceanic region was underway more than two millennia ago, if not earlier, with dogs established on numerous Pacific Islands. However, occasionally dogs were subsequently extirpated, a situation often attributed to competition between dogs and their human managers. Here we focus on how the dog-human symbiosis shifted as colonists moved from the small, environmentally-circumscribed, islands of tropical central Polynesia, to the largest, most ecologically diverse landmasses in the region—the islands of Aotearoa New Zealand. We hypothesize that the mid-13th century settlement of Aotearoa New Zealand initially resulted in competitive release for Polynesian dogs (i.e., relaxation of competition with humans) but as large native prey were depleted, and human communities economically reorganised, dog-human competition arose anew. These two hypotheses are evaluated using: a) country-wide data on dog distributions and abundance over time; and b) a regionally focused analysis of dental markers relating to dog diet and health. Our results support the hypothesis of competitive release on entry to Aotearoa New Zealand; dogs were quickly distributed across the two main islands, onto many large offshore islands, and into varied ecological niches—where they were generally well represented and associated with human occupations. This situation appears to have been followed by interspecific competition midway through the Māori sequence (ca. AD 1450–1650), when both dog assemblages and dog abundances are poorly represented. From the mid-17th century, dog population rebound is suggested, possibly accompanied by new husbandry practices. These trends are not, however, well reflected in the regionally focused dental marker analysis, where good oral health and adequate nutrition are indicated. Published studies of dog coprolites and stable isotopes analyses help flesh out the dental analyses and point to avenues of future study. Our research gives new insights into variability in dog-human symbioses across the Pacific Islands and potentially elsewhere, with a particular focus on the conditions that give rise to competition and the value of multi-proxy analyses in unravelling these complex entanglements.
... Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are the second most abundant carnivore taxon. Although Canis specimens are routinely identified in Early and Late Natufian sites across the southern Levant (Munro et al., 2018;Yeomans et al., 2019), Ramat Harif and Wadi Jilat 22 are the only sites where they outnumber foxes (1.4 to 1), which typically dominate Levantine Epipaleolithic carnivore assemblages. The canids may be wolves or even early domestic dogs which may have lived with humans by the Natufian period (Davis and Valla, 1978;Tchernov and Valla, 1997;Yeomans et al., 2019). ...
... Although Canis specimens are routinely identified in Early and Late Natufian sites across the southern Levant (Munro et al., 2018;Yeomans et al., 2019), Ramat Harif and Wadi Jilat 22 are the only sites where they outnumber foxes (1.4 to 1), which typically dominate Levantine Epipaleolithic carnivore assemblages. The canids may be wolves or even early domestic dogs which may have lived with humans by the Natufian period (Davis and Valla, 1978;Tchernov and Valla, 1997;Yeomans et al., 2019). The Ramat Harif assemblage also includes three leopard (Panthera pardus), two Felis sp. and one Mustelid specimen. ...
Article
The Negev Desert, an arid region of the southern Levant, was only occasionally suited for human occupation in prehistory. Archaeological sites are especially abundant in the Epipaleolithic periods, likely due to changes in the availability and distribution of water resources. We consider how hunter-gatherers adapted to this sometimes marginal region by investigating human demography, site occupation intensity and population mobility by revisiting the zooarchaeological assemblage from the Late Epipaleolithic, Harifian site of Ramat Harif (12,650/ 12,500-11,650 cal. BP) in the Central Highlands of the Negev. A near exclusive focus on ungulate species at Ramat Harif indicates efficient hunting overall. Nevertheless, high proportions of juvenile ibex and gazelle suggest intensive hunting of these two species. The rarity of other taxa in the diet indicates that they stopped short of depressing ungulate prey. Small variation in the body-part representation and age structure of the ungulates from Ramat Harif and other Late Epipaleolithic Negev sites may be linked to seasonality and their relative proximity to ibex and gazelle territories. The Negev pattern diverges from the adjacent Mediterranean zone where local Natufian populations hunted more diverse taxa, particularly small game. This pattern undoubtedly reflects higher occupation intensity and larger human populations in the Mediterranean zone as well as lower net primary production and biodiversity in the Negev desert.
... Zeder (2012) categorises dogs as a commensal pathway domesticate, which represents the co-evolutionary processes involved in dog domestication by humans. The dynamic relationship that exists between humans and dogs has been of considerable interest due to the various roles that dogs have held in both the present and the past (See MacKinnon 2010; Morey 2010; Littleton et al. 2015;Perri et al. 2019;Yeomans et al. 2019;Baumann et al. 2020). Relevant to the Pacific, the transportation of dogs across water is significantly different to the spread of dogs across land, as this movement required the aid of humans for these animals to successfully reach new lands (Greig et al. 2018). ...
... Human-animal entanglement is a theoretical framework used to describe various aspects of human activities reflected in the commensal role of animals across space and time (Vandergugten 2015). Aspects of animal life histories, pathologies, dietary record, and wider husbandry practices are receiving more attention in an attempt to untangle these interactions (e.g., MacKinnon 2010; Losey et al. 2011Losey et al. , 2014Littleton et al. 2015;Greig 2017;Miller et al. 2017;Yeomans et al. 2019). There is a growing interest in dog husbandry and associated pathologies (Appendix B), as dogs were historically common across various hunting and herding cultures, ranging from Neolithic societies to the Iron Age, as well as in contemporary societies (Perri et al. 2019 ...
Thesis
Polynesian dogs accompanied Pacific voyagers when they first arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand approximately 700 years ago and are referred to as kurī by Māori. Kurī were important to Māori for a variety of functional and cultural purposes and consequently kurī remains are common in many pre-European archaeological sites across Aotearoa New Zealand. While many studies consider the economic importance of kurī, few studies have examined changes in dog husbandry practices in pre-European Māori society. In this thesis I use dental markers as proxies of kurī diet and health and consider changes to the anthropogenic niches that these animals occupied in the past. This study investigates whether there are changes in kurī diet and health over time using eight North Island archaeological assemblages. The kurī assemblages from these selected sites were assigned to three broad periods: Early (ca. AD 1250-1450), Middle (ca. AD 1450-1650), and Late (ca. AD 1650-1800). Based on prior research it was initially hypothesised that there would be observable changes in kurī diet and health over time. A total of 135 kurī specimens were analysed from the North Island assemblages for dental pathologies, tooth wear, developmental defects, and dental variants. The findings of this research indicated that the North Island kurī were healthy overall as the frequency of dental pathologies was very low. There was some temporal change in kurī diet over time based on tooth wear, although much of this change was driven by the high tooth wear scores from the late-seventeenth century Kohika site where an abrasive diet was indicated. Developmental defects were low in frequency, and the timing of those defects observed coincided with the post-weaning life history stage in dogs. These findings were compared with other Pacific and global dog dental pathology studies to examine the effects of different anthropogenic niches on aspects of dog life histories, as well as aspects of the ongoing co-evolutionary processes of human-dog mutualisms.
... Archaeological evidence from prehistoric sites across the globe indicates that dogs were the first domesticated animals, and humans and dogs hunted cooperatively for at least 8,000 years (Clutton-Brock, 2017;Grimm, 2017;Savolainen et al., 2002). Although a history of cooperative hunting is well supported by different studies (Koler-Matznick, 2002;Lescureux, 2018;Lupo, 2017;Perri, 2016;Shipman, 2014;Yeomans et al., 2019), the actual process of domestication and history of global dispersal of dogs continues to be contentious (Larson et al., 2012;Leathlobhair et al., 2018). For instance, an early genetic study concluded that dogs were domesticated 135,000 years ago at multiple sites across Eurasia (Vila et al., 1997), while a later study reported that domestication was initiated in East Asia during a single event approximately 15,000 to 40,000 years B.P. (Savolainen et al., 2002). ...
... The fast-growing presence of dogs in worldwide households (e.g., near 35% across 22 surveyed countries; Global GfK Survey, 2016) has drawn considerable attention of researchers from different disciplines to understand the role of these animals in contemporary families (anthropology, sociology, psychology, and social work; e.g., Carlisle et al., 2018;Cimarelli et al., 2017;Maharaj & Haney, 2015;Yeomans et al., 2019), to the point that it became one focus of the interdisciplinary field of anthrozoology (i.e., the study of human and nonhuman animal interactions from an interdisciplinary perspective; Podberscek, 2018;Podberscek et al., 2000). This has been especially the case considering the important changes during the last century in how people behave towards dogs (e.g., from keeping them outdoors as tools for hunting, hauling, and herding, to living with them indoors, talk "to" and "for" them, and buying them health insurance and birthday gifts; Irvine & Cilia, 2017). ...
Article
Mounting interest in the evolutionary and contemporary aspects of human-dog association has resulted in growing research efforts from different disciplines with differing methodologies and areas of emphasis. Despite its potential to contribute to the understanding of human-dog interactions, behavior-analytic research efforts are scarce. We are illustrating how the behavior-analytic three-level selection by consequences framework could be applied to inform research on human-dog interactions. Therefore, the notions of interlocking behavioral contingencies and metacontingencies are applied to interpret specific interactions and suggest potential lines of research. We first analyze the development of cooperative hunting of prehistoric humans and dogs, and its implications for interspecific social-communicative skills. Second, we discuss contemporary family practices that involve the interactions between parents, children and family dogs via an analysis of a prototypic social episode. Lastly, we provide an overview of the main approaches that have contributed to the understanding of the human-dog interactions (e.g., anthrozoological), and show how their findings can be placed within the behavior-analytic framework. We conclude that the coherence of the selectionist framework is a major strength that not only can contribute to synthesize a large amount of scattered research on human-dog relationships conducted across various fields, but can also inform further research and applications.
... Dogs have been companions to humans for centuries (Sykes et al., 2020;Yeomans et al., 2019). Human-dog interactions can reduce people's stress and anxiety, and enhance their mood, socialisation and overall wellbeing (Beetz et al., 2011(Beetz et al., , 2012Morales-Moreno et al., 2020). ...
Article
Objective This systematic review examined the impacts of therapy dogs on the social and emotional wellbeing of K-12 students. Procedure Five electronic databases (PsycINFO, Informit A+ Education, PubMed, Web of Science and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global) were searched to find English language, grey literature and peer-reviewed articles up to November 2020. Results A narrative synthesis of 23 articles indicated that therapy dogs may enhance students’ mood and positive emotionality, social and communication skills, confidence and their relationship with teachers. Inconsistently, other studies reported that therapy dogs may not enhance the social and emotional wellbeing of students. Conclusion The current research is characterised by methodological limitations and an over-reliance on the perceptions of students and teachers. To enhance the quality and reliability of the evidence, future researchers are encouraged to adopt more rigorous methodologies with larger sample sizes and control procedures. It is also recommended that the perceptions of school leaders, other educational personnel and interdisciplinary health professionals are incorporated into future studies. This may contribute to a greater level of consensus in the educational sector about the impacts of therapy dogs on the social and emotional wellbeing of K-12 students.
... Animal species context. We analyzed 1888 barks of 19 individual dogs belonging to two breeds- (1) dachsund and (2) terrier-which were produced in response to four different animal species (Fig. 1): wild boar, red fox, rabbit and fowl (Table 1). Figure 1 shows the bark spectrograms of the four types of barks (audio files: Additional Files 1-4). ...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies have shown that vocalizations of dogs can provide information to human companions. While acoustic signals of dogs have been intensively studied during the last decade, barking during hunting activities remains unstudied. The experiences of hunters indicate that owners can recognize what animal species has been found based on the bark of their dog. Such a phenomenon has never been tested before. We tested such an ability by comparing barks that were produced when dogs encountered four different animal species: wild boar, red fox, rabbit and fowl. Classification results of a discrimination analysis showed, that based on barks of dachshunds and terriers, it is possible to categorize towards which animal species barks were produced. The most distinctive barks were produced during encounters with the most dangerous of these animals, the wild boar. On the contrary, barks evoked by red fox encounters were classified similarly as those towards other smaller and non-dangerous animals like rabbits and fowl. Although the red fox represents a potentially dangerous species, the barking provoked was not classified with a much higher result than barking at animals that pose no threat. This might indicate that the key parameter could be the body size of the animal the dog meets. We further tested whether the degree of threat from the species of animal the dog encounters is reflected in the structure of the acoustic parameters based on the valence-arousal model. We found that barks produced in contact with a wild boar showed significantly lower frequency parameters and longest duration compared to other barks. According to these results, it seems that the variability of barking depending on the species of animal a dog encounters is an expression of the dogʼs inner state rather than functionally reference information.
... Dogs possess additional characteristics which might suggest the propensity to reciprocate help received from humans. Apart from a long history of dog-human cooperation and communication [36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44] for which dogs appear to have evolved complex social cognitive traits [45,46] (but see Udell et al. [47]), and the development of strong bonds with humans [48][49][50][51][52] which could facilitate reciprocity [53][54][55], dogs seem to distinguish between cooperative and uncooperative humans. For example, in a study investigating deceptive-like behaviour [56], dogs were exposed to a cooperative human who gave them a piece of food and an uncooperative human who did not give them food. ...
Article
Full-text available
Domestic dogs have been shown to reciprocate help received from conspecifics in food-giving tasks. However, it is not yet known whether dogs also reciprocate help received from humans. Here, we investigated whether dogs reciprocate the receipt of food from humans. In an experience phase, subjects encountered a helpful human who provided them with food by activating a food dispenser, and an unhelpful human who did not provide them with food. Subjects later had the opportunity to return food to each human type, in a test phase, via the same mechanism. In addition, a free interaction session was conducted in which the subject was free to interact with its owner and with whichever human partner it had encountered on that day. Two studies were carried out, which differed in the complexity of the experience phase and the time lag between the experience phase and test phase. Subjects did not reciprocate the receipt of food in either study. Furthermore, no difference was observed in the duration subjects spent in proximity to, or the latency to approach, the two human partners. Although our results suggest that dogs do not reciprocate help received from humans, they also suggest that the dogs did not recognize the cooperative or uncooperative act of the humans during the experience phase. It is plausible that aspects of the experimental design hindered the emergence of any potential reciprocity. However, it is also possible that dogs are simply not prosocial towards humans in food-giving contexts.
... In return, dogs helped humans save energy by helping to track and chase smaller animals. We add that in most ethnographic cases, dogs are employed to aid in hunting smaller animals [156,157]; thus, it is conceivable that dogs were domesticated as a behavioral adaptation to the increased energetic demands of hunting a larger number of smaller preys as prey size declined. ...
Article
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We hypothesize that megafauna extinctions throughout the Pleistocene, that led to a progressive decline in large prey availability, were a primary selecting agent in key evolutionary and cultural changes in human prehistory. The Pleistocene human past is characterized by a series of transformations that include the evolution of new physiological traits and the adoption, assimilation, and replacement of cultural and behavioral patterns. Some changes, such as brain expansion, use of fire, developments in stone-tool technologies, or the scale of resource intensification, were uncharacteristically progressive. We previously hypothesized that humans specialized in acquiring large prey because of their higher foraging efficiency, high biomass density, higher fat content, and the use of less complex tools for their acquisition. Here, we argue that the need to mitigate the additional energetic cost of acquiring progressively smaller prey may have been an ecological selecting agent in fundamental adaptive modes demonstrated in the Paleolithic archaeological record. We describe several potential associations between prey size decline and specific evolutionary and cultural changes that might have been driven by the need to adapt to increased energetic demands while hunting and processing smaller and smaller game.
... Bones are among the most widely discovered organic resource in archaeological sites and they provide a plethora of information of archaeological and palaeontological interest. Faunal analysis in archaeology (zooarchaeology) allows us to understand the relationship between humans and animals, such as the economic exploitation of both wild and domesticated species (Halstead and Isaakidou, 2017;Tornero et al., 2017), mapping the timeline of animal domestication (Napierala and Uerpmann, 2012;Perkins, 1973;Zeder and Hesse, 2000), understanding animal husbandry and livestock rearing practices (Bläuer and Kantanen, 2013;Samei et al., 2019;Stiner et al., 2014), and identifying hunting strategies by ancient humans (Marín et al., 2017;Yeomans et al., 2019). Over the past few decades, stable isotope analysis has become an important part of zooarchaeological analysis, providing information about dietary pattern (Kusaka, 2019;Lewis and Sealy, 2018;Schoeninger, 2014;van der Merwe and Vogel, 1978), palaeoclimate and palaeoecological reconstruction (Rofes et al., 2015;Stephan, 2000), and herd management in antiquity (Bocherens et al., 2001). ...
Article
Faunal remains from archaeological sites allow for the identification of animal species that enables the better understanding of the relationships between humans and animals, not only from their morphological information, but also from the ancient biomolecules (lipids, proteins, and DNA) preserved in these remains for thousands and even millions of years. However, due to the costs and efforts required for ancient biomolecular analysis, there has been considerable research into development of accurate and efficient screening approaches for archaeological remains. FTIR spectroscopy is one such approach that has been considered for screening of proteins, but its widespread use has been hindered by the fact that its predictive accuracy can vary widely depending on the extent of sample preservation and the instrument used. Further, screening methods for ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis are scarce. Here we present a new approach to vastly improve upon FTIR-based screening methods prior to ZooMS (Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry) and aDNA analysis through the use of random forest-based machine learning. To do so, we use ATR-FTIR to examine three sets of archaeological bone assemblages and analyse them by ZooMS (for taxonomic identification). Two of these are from Palaeolithic contexts, dominated by terrestrial fauna and include specimens with a variety of preservational conditions. The third set consists of Holocene faunal remains, with variable levels of preservation and is dominated by cetaceans. Using the Holocene faunal remains, we were able to more consistently evaluate ATR-FTIR-based screening for mtDNA as well as ZooMS success. We report on the potential of machine learning in ATR-FTIR-based screening for ancient mtDNA analysis, and our machine learning models conclusively improve the accuracy prior to usage of ATR-FTIR-based screening for ZooMS by 20–40%. The results also suggest this approach potentially allows for a universal screening system, applicable across multiple sites and largely independent of the spectrometers used.
... Despite these low frequencies, they are a consistent and predictable component of faunal assemblages (dog remains are identified in 84% of 286 Near Eastern Bronze and Iron Age assemblages with a total NISP > 500; dataset in possession of author B. A.). Additionally, the near ubiquitous occurrence of gnaw marks on faunal remains also indicates the presence of canines as active agents of bone modification and residents in ancient settlements (e.g., Atici 2006;Yeomans, Martin, and Richter 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
Archaeological assemblages, texts, and iconography indicate a multifaceted, yet often ignored, canine economy in the ancient eastern Mediterranean and Near East. This economy included not only dogs’ celebrated roles as hunting aids, guards, village scavengers, and companions, but also the regular processing, use, and consumption of dogs for foods, hides, and medicinal/ritual purposes. Drawing on ethnohistorical information and zooarchaeological data from three Chalcolithic/Bronze Age sites—Tell Surezha (Iraq), Mycenae (Greece), and Acemhöyük (Turkey)—we emphasize evidence for the processing of dog carcasses, which reflect a range of post-mortem treatments of dog bodies. We suggest the widespread use of primary products from dogs, features of an ancient canine economy that are rarely reported on in depth and often explained away as aberrations by modern scholars of the region. We speculate that this neglect stems in part from analysts’ taboos on cynophagy (unconsciously) influencing archaeological reconstructions of dog use in the past.
... Even after domestication, documentation of conflict and competition for resources continue to persist (Treves et al. 2004;Campion-Vincent 2005;Pimenta et al. 2017Pimenta et al. , 2018. Moreover, the domestication of canid populations is a compelling line of research that reveals numerous details about the behavioural complexity and interactions between both human and carnivore species (Binford 1981;Germonpré et al. 2009;Guagnin et al. 2018;Grandald'Anglade et al. 2019;Yeomans et al. 2019). ...
Article
Carnivore feeding behaviour is a valuable line of research of increasing value in taphonomic analyses. An interesting component of these studies lies in the differentiation of carnivore activity based on tooth marks left on bone. Among the methodological approaches available, a major protagonist in recent years has been the incorporation of hybrid geometric morphometric studies with artificially intelligent algorithms, reaching over 95% accuracy in some cases. In spite of this recent success, a number of ethodological questions are still to be answered for wide-scale application of these techniques into other applied fields of science. One of these questions lies in the possible variability induced by prey size on tooth-mark morphologies. Here we compile data regarding these effects, using the Iberian wolf as a relevant case study in both contemporary and prehistoric European and North American ecology. The methodology employed opens new questions regarding carnivore tooth marks that should consider the effects of mastication biomechanics. While in most cases prey size is not a significant conditioning factor, caution is advised for future experimentation when considering small prey where some statistical noise may be present. Nevertheless, future experimentation into other carnivore case studies can be considered a valuable research goal.
... One of the dog's most important roles in the past was surely hunting (c.f., Guagnin et al., 2018;Lupo, 2017;Yeomans et al., 2019). Body mass estimates for the Siberian and Russian Far East dogs indicate that most of these individuals lacked the necessary body sizes and strength to be hunters of prey larger than themselves, at least without the assistance of humans. ...
... Similarly, the possible use of dogs in hunting is often assumed but difficult to directly infer from the archaeological record. Recent interpretations rely on changes in the zooarchaeological record (Yeomans et al., 2019), rare portrayals in rock art (Guagnin et al., 2017) and isotopic profiles (Bocherens et al., 2015). ...
... One of the dog's most important roles in the past was surely hunting (c.f., Guagnin et al., 2018;Lupo, 2017;Yeomans et al., 2019). Body mass estimates for the Siberian and Russian Far East dogs indicate that most of these individuals lacked the necessary body sizes and strength to be hunters of prey larger than themselves, at least without the assistance of humans. ...
Article
Eastern Siberia's Lake Baikal and its tributaries are productive fisheries, and the region's Holocene archaeological sites confirm that this is a long-standing phenomenon. Recent zooarchaeological investigations of sites here allow Holocene fishing practices to be examined in more detail than was previously possible. Along much of the lake's coast, bathymetry is very steep and the water very cold; here fishing appears to have been supplemental to other subsistence practices such as sealing and ungulate hunting. In shallower areas, waters were warmer and supported very productive fisheries for littoral species, perhaps through the use of nets or traps. The region's rivers offered their own resident species but also were used as spawning grounds by some lake fishes. The lake's littoral fisheries, while productive, likely produced fish throughout the year and did not require complex labor organization to be effectively used. Some sections of the region's rivers, particularly those that were spawning grounds for some lake fishes, may have required more complex sociopolitical organization to be exploited efficiently. Such fish runs were short-lived and the best fishing places likely were spatially restricted. This potentially created the need for pools of labor, required organization of harvesting and processing, and generated surpluses that could be stored and manipulated.
Article
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Las enfermedades infecciosas tuvieron una gran presencia durante la Prehistoria, como revela en ocasiones el registro arqueológico. La mayoría de procesos infecciosos no dejan huella en el aparato óseo, pero las excepciones que sí lo hacen permiten conocer más acerca de una de las principales causas de muerte en la antigüedad. Tradicionalmente se ha considerado que muchas de las enfermedades actuales tuvieron su origen a raíz del Neolítico, sin embargo, diversas evidencias demuestran que algunas de estas son tan antiguas como la propia evolución humana. Parece evidente que, por un lado, con la adopción de la agricultura y de la ganadería, las poblaciones humanas crecieron exponencialmente en número, posibilitando una mayor transmisión de virus, bacterias y parásitos; y, por otro, adquirieron microorganismos nuevos procedentes del ganado tras la llamada revolución de los productos secundarios. Este sería el origen de algunas enfermedades potencialmente peligrosas para el ser humano.
Chapter
Animals must eat other organisms to obtain nutrients. The varied ways in which they do this, combined with the fact that the other organisms usually resist this process, means that the study of foraging is fascinatingly complex. The study of foraging includes dietary choice and specific feeding adaptations as some nutrients are essential for life and others may be difficult to digest. The plants and animals in which these nutrients reside are usually well-defended or difficult to find or catch. Because of this, foraging ranges from grazing and browsing to cooperative hunting of large prey to imbibing the blood of other animals. Parasitism is a specialized form of foraging in which the predator lives on or within its host. Parasites often manipulate the behavior of their hosts in order to facilitate transmission to the next host. Optimal foraging theory helps us to understand how foraging animals make decisions about what to eat and where to eat it.
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The use of animal bones to form figurative representations is well documented ethnographically and archaeologically. In this paper, we describe an intriguing group of bones from Shubayqa 6, a transitional Late Natufian and Pre-Pottery Neolithic A site in north-east Jordan, and consider the possibility that these bones are figurative representations. The assemblage is comprised of sets of articulating phalanges, from 21 limbs of wild sheep and gazelle, found as part of a group of artefacts. If this tentative interpretation for the Shubayqa 6 bones is correct, future discussions on the frequency of figurative representations by communities at the transition from hunting and foraging to agriculture in Southwest Asia may benefit from broader consideration of bones clusters.
Article
There is extensive evidence for extraction of grease and fat from bones of ungulates at Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene sites in the Southern Levant. Excavations at Shubayqa 6 identified an area where extensive processing of carcasses took place at the transition between the Late Natufian to Early Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA). Large quantities of fire-cracked basalt, highly fragmented faunal remains and burnt bones indicate that grease and fat were extracted on a large scale. Spatial analysis demonstrates that bird remains were discarded in the same location where this fat rendering took place. Waterfowl dominate the assemblage and would have been present mainly in the winter. Body-part representation of the bird remains suggests that this abundance of avifauna resulted in people selectively processing the carcasses of the waterfowl they hunted. Gazelles would have been in peak condition at this time of year with higher concentrations of fat stored in their bodies. This seasonal glut of resources contrasts with the summer, especially late summer, when most of the commonly hunted bird species were absent and the gazelle in relatively poor condition. People, aware of seasonal cycles in resource abundance, may have preserved foods when available. Storing fat conserves resources for leaner times. Compared to the Natufian site of Shubayqa 1, fewer young gazelle in the faunal remains at Shubayqa 6 is an indication that hunting either targeted mature animals or was more intense in the winter when fewer young animals are present. Carcasses from juvenile animals are comprised of less fat and the association of the adult gazelle carcasses with the bird remains suggests that the two resources were processed alongside one another. Preservation of foodstuffs for leaner months of the year may have been one potential outcome of this activity.
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This editorial introduces Archaeo-Ornithology as a distinct field of inquiry and discusses its multidisciplinary background and potential contribution to a more nuanced characterization of changing human-animal interfaces through time and space. We propose a new conceptual model – grounded in the analysis of ‘triangles of interaction’ – to elucidate the interactional dynamics which underpin varying human-animal relationships. The utility of this approach is demonstrated by exploring the example of anthropogenic space as a key context of human-bird figurations. Each contributing paper of the special issue, which will be introduced in more detail below, foregrounds different aspects and emphasizes varying dimensions of the triangle, thus contributing in different ways to archaeo-ornithological research. As highlighted throughout the introduction, however, archaeo-ornithological approaches are not only capable of shedding new light on old questions about the past, they also have the potential of addressing some pressing contemporary quandaries, including continuing debates on the Anthropocene.
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Near Eastern Neolithic farmers introduced several species of domestic plants and animals as they dispersed into Europe. Dogs were the only domestic species present in both Europe and the Near East prior to the Neolithic. Here, we assessed whether early Near Eastern dogs possessed a unique mitochondrial lineage that differentiated them from Mesolithic European populations. We then analysed mitochondrial DNA sequences from 99 ancient European and Near Eastern dogs spanning the Upper Palaeolithic to the Bronze Age to assess if incoming farmers brought Near Eastern dogs with them, or instead primarily adopted indigenous European dogs after they arrived. Our results show that European pre-Neolithic dogs all possessed the mitochondrial haplogroup C, and that the Neolithic and Post-Neolithic dogs associated with farmers from Southeastern Europe mainly possessed haplogroup D. Thus, the appearance of haplogroup D most probably resulted from the dissemination of dogs from the Near East into Europe. In Western and Northern Europe, the turnover is incomplete and C haplogroup persists well into the Chalcolithic at least. These results suggest that dogs were an integral component of the Neolithic farming pack- age and a mitochondrial lineage associated with the Near East was introduced into Europe alongside pigs, cows, sheep and goats. It got diluted into the native dog population when reaching the Western and Northern margins of Europe.
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Analysis of the faunal assemblage from Shubayqa 1 allows detailed discussion of food procurement through the sequence of occupation spanning the Early and Late Natufian. The influence of climate, season of occupation and hunting techniques on the subsistence economy is discussed. It is argued that targeted prey varied throughout the year, with mass hunting methods providing a large proportion of the meat. In the Late Natufian a decrease in passage migrant birds is interpreted as evidence for gradual drying of the environment, or less reliable rainfall from year-to-year. Availability of resources varied between the two phases of occupation, which, despite preceding the Younger Dryas, suggests that environmental conditions were changing. However, subsistence strategies were easily amended to maintain a plentiful supply of food.
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Wild sheep (Ovis orientalis) bones recovered from the Natufian site of Shubayqa 1 demonstrate a wider distribution of mouflon in the Late Pleistocene of the Southern Levant than previously known. Early Epipalaeolithic sites are common in the limestone steppe region of eastern Jordan but have yielded only a handful of caprine bones that cannot be identified to species level and few faunal remains from excavated Late Epipalaeolithic sites have been reported. Analysis of animal bone from Shubayqa 1 suggests a significant population of wild sheep could be found concentrated in the basalt desert environment of eastern Jordan during the Late Pleistocene, especially where higher rainfall over the Jebel Druze provided more water. A population of wild sheep was still present in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A when the nearby site of Shubayqa 6 was occupied. Hunting of diverse, locally available resources including wild sheep at the end of the Pleistocene illustrates the flexible and adaptive exploitation strategies that hunter-forager groups engaged in. This provides further evidence to the increasing body of data showing the creative and opportunistic approach of terminal Pleistocene groups allowing continued occupation even in more marginal environments in a period of environmental change.
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Tooth crowding is one of several criteria used to infer the process of domestication in the zooarchaeo-logical record. It has been primarily used to support claims of early animal domestication, perhaps most contentiously in claims for the existence of so-called " proto-domestic " dogs as early as the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic. Tooth crowding studies vary in their methodological approaches, and interpretation of the resulting data is constrained by the limited geographic and temporal scope of reference specimens used to construct an appropriate comparative framework. To address these key problems, we present a standardised landmark-based protocol for the measurement and quantification of mandibular tooth crowding that can be systematically applied in the context of dog domestication research. We then test the assumption that tooth crowding is less frequent in ancient and modern wild wolf populations by examining 750 modern dogs and 205 modern wolves from across the modern geographic range of Canis lupus as well as 66 Late Pleistocene wolves from Alaska. Our results demonstrate that landmark-based metrics provide a reliable approach for recording and analysing tooth crowding. Although it is likely that the relatively low frequency of tooth crowding found in our modern dog dataset (~6%) in part reflects the 'modern' morphology of domestic breeds, the higher frequency of crowding in both modern (~18%) and ancient (~36%) wolves strongly suggests that current assumptions linking tooth crowding with the process of early domestication (at least in dogs) should be critically re-evaluated, and that further investigations into the drivers behind these developmental patterns should be pursued.
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Recent archeological finds of protodogs dating to 35,000 years ago have ignited controversy over the function of canids in early Upper Paleolithic societies. Reconstructions nominate the use of proto and early dogs in hunting and hauling as underwriting changes in subsistence technology, catalyzing human population growth and supporting the spread of modern humans at the expense of Neanderthals. These reconstructions assume that the use of canids in hunting will always have profound impacts on human subsistence. In this paper, I summarize existing quantitative data derived from the ethnographic record to evaluate productivity gains derived from the use of dogs in hunting. To augment this sparse information, I present some of the only data on the deployment of unspecialized Central African dogs (basenji’s) by hunter-gatherers. These data show that while dogs can enhance hunting returns in certain circumstance, their overall impact on hunting productivity is highly variable and often restricted to specific prey types. Furthermore, the complex circumstances surrounding the emergence and spread of dogs globally precludes simple applications of these data to the archaeological record. These data invite a reexamination of when and how we expect dogs to have a significant impact on human subsistence and the circumstances that supported the emergence and spread of canids as effective hunting aids.
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The Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA; c. 9600–8500 cal BC) period in the Levant provides the earliest confirmed evidence for plant cultivation anywhere in the world, marking a significant escalation in the human management of plants towards fully fledged agricultural food production. Until now, the majority of PPNA sites have been documented in the Jordan Valley, the Wadi Araba and farther north along the Upper Euphrates (e.g. Mureybet, Jerf el-Ahmar, Djade). By contrast, few PPNA sites have so far been reported from the semi-arid to arid eastern part of the Levantine interior. Among these is El Aoui Safa (Coqueugniot & Anderson 1996) and sporadic flint scatters elsewhere in the Harra . Recent fieldwork in the Qa’ Shubayqa area in the Harra has produced the first evidence for a more substantial settlement site in this region.
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Recent zooarchaeological analyses of game exploitation in the Epipalaeolithic of the Southern Levant identify a decline in large game in the Natufian, with corresponding increase in small prey, interpreted as hunting pressure driven by population expansion. To date, studies focus on the Mediterranean zone. This paper adopts similar approaches to examine Epipalaeolithic to Neolithic faunal data from 16 sites in the steppic Jordanian Azraq Basin. Results here reveal very different trends. Large game, mainly equids, fluctuate throughout the Epipalaeolithic, due to climatic conditions and available water/vegetation. Cattle thrive in the Azraq oasis, showing no decline in the Late Epipalaeolithic. Gazelle exploitation is predominant and sustainable throughout the Epipalaeolithic, even at Kharaneh IV and Wadi Jilat 6 ‘megasites’. However, PPNB assemblages from the limestone steppe show intensive game exploitation resulting from longer-stay settlement. The focused gazelle-hunting camp at Dhuweila in the basalt desert also shows pressure from indiscriminate culling impacting herd demography, interpreted as providing meat for onwards exchange. Human impacts on steppe fauna appear both local and in many cases short-term, unlike the large-game suppression reported from west of the Rift Valley. Resource pressures and game over-kill, whether population-driven or otherwise, are not currently apparent east of the Jordan River.
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Close-range photographic techniques-including photogrammetry-are becoming common tools for constructing three-dimensional (3D) models of artifacts, particularly in archaeological research. Whether models obtained through photogrammetry can be used for zooarchaeological studies requires a systematic examination. In the context of research into dog domestication, we explore whether 3D models of wolf crania, obtained through a photogrammetric approach, accurately describe the original cranium in term of colouration, texture and most importantly, geometry. To answer this question, we compared the topology of 3D models obtained with a high-resolution surface scanner (used as reference geometry) with models reconstructed from the same five wolf crania using photogram-metry. The pairs of models were then compared using both a visual, qualitative and two quantitative approaches. The latter, a geometric comparison computed the deviation map between the pairs of 3D models, which was then followed by a 3D landmark based geometric morphometric approach using corresponding analyses. Our results demonstrate that photogrammetry can produce 3D models with visually satisfying levels of morphological detail in terms of texture, colouration and geometry. In addition, the quantitative comparison of the models revealed an average distance between the two surfaces of 0.088 mm with an average standard deviation of 0.53 mm. The geometric morphometric analyses revealed the same degree of measurement error for the two series of scans (2.04% and 1.95%), with only 6.31% of the morphometric variation being due to the acquisition technique. Photogrammetry, therefore, offers a low cost, easily portable and simple to perform alternative to traditional surface scanning, affording advantages that make it a highly useful tool for zooarchaeological research.
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Although kite structures are known from several areas of the southern Levant and the Near East (e.g. Sinai, Negev, Syria, Saudi Arabia), their distribution in Jordan was thought to be restricted to the north-eastern basalt harra landscape. From the point of view of arid peripheries settlement dynamics, the gap left in southern and south-eastern Jordan was puzzling in view of the clear continuity in human occupation evidenced by recently intensifying research in this region. This paper presents the first occurrences of kites identified in this hamada landscape in the framework of the joint French-Jordanian South Eastern Badia Archaeological Project (SEBAP). Despite obvious similarities with the examples known from the harra, the two distinct sets of kites uncovered show clear local specificities in their layout and use of topography, which will be emphasised through the description of survey and excavation results. The evidence clearly supports a function of hunting structures and some clues regarding dating, although still preliminary, are expressed as well. Some lines of investigation to grasp the diversity and regionalism of the kite phenomenon are also explored, as different kite-building traditions seem to emerge from the growing body of evidence available.
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The desert kites of Jordan, usually stone-built enclosures with long trailing walls, are part of a broader phenomenon found throughout specific parts of the Middle East, with similar types of structures known widely across the world. Most commonly, the enclosures are used for trapping large herds of ungulates. Those found in Jordan are more densely packed and of much greater variety than those elsewhere in the Middle East. This paper offers a review of the current state of knowledge concerning desert kites in Jordan, including new data on patterns of orientation and recent studies that help to strengthen the case for a Neolithic date for some of the kite systems.
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The major social and economic changes associated with the rise of a sedentary lifestyle and the gradual transition to food production in the southern Levant are often considered to have been triggered by climate changes at the end of the Pleistocene (∼20,000–11,000 years BP). This explanation, however, is biased by the scarcity of high-resolution climate records directly associated with human activity and the lack of refined palaeoecological studies from multi-stratified sites in the area. Here, we present the results of an anthracological analysis, carried out on charcoals collected along a continuous column of archaeological sediments in the Natufian site of el-Wad Terrace (Mount Carmel, Israel). We also present the carbon isotopes analysis of 14C-dated archaeological remains of Amygdalus sp. The analyses of charcoal shows the predominance of an oak forest including Quercus calliprinos and ithaburensis around the site during the Early Natufian building phase (∼14,600–13,700 cal BP), and the values of Δ13C point to a high rainfall rate. This period is followed by a marked decrease in the local rainfall between ∼13,700 and 12,000 cal BP). The reduction, culturally associated with the latest Early Natufian and the Late Natufian, is independently recorded by the speleothems of the region: Soreq Cave and Jerusalem Cave. This period incorporates an increase in drought tolerant species such as Amygdalus sp. Thermo-Mediterranean species, such as Olea europaea and Ceratonia siliqua, as well as Pistacia palaestina, which dominate the modern landscape, become established in the Holocene. We conclude that the Natufian settlement at el-Wad Terrace flourished in the context of oak forests, and subsequently occupation intensity decreased in concurrence to the drying trend. This shift does not correspond to the cultural typology (i.e. Early Natufian vs. Late Natufian). Human response to climate change at the terminal Pleistocene Levant was multifaceted and localized. Its understanding requires the analysis of records that are well-tied to human ecology and behavior.
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The Aralo-Caspian region includes a ninth of the total number of 'desert kites'. These are located at a considerable distance from the large concentrations of the Near East and the Levant. A combined fieldwork and satellite image analysis, undertaken in September 2013 on the southwestern fringe of the Ustyurt plateau, allowed us to record and describe 143 kites of different morphological types and to obtain new chronological data. Within the framework of the Globalkites research project, set up at the scale of the whole distribution area of kites, a GIS database was constructed using a methodology successfully tested in other regions (Armenia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia). This paper is a detailed description of the kites of this region, focusing on location in the landscape, morphology, architecture and chronology. Despite the lack of accurate information about their use, relationships with animal migration routes can sometimes be suggested. Our chronological data show that the southwestern Ustyurt kites have a long history of use and were abandoned only very recently. Some architectural details and morphological features, commonly observed on Near Eastern kites, lead to the conclusion that Ustyurt kites belong to a single phenomenon.
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Size variation among several species of large mammals is examined both throughout a wide geographical range today and within the Late Pleistocene-Holocene archaeo-faunal sequence of Israel. A regression of log dental size on environmental temperature produces similar negative slopes for recent Palaearctic foxes, wolves and boars as well as for Nearctic foxes. These species, and others which also exhibit an inverse correlation between size and temperature today, became dwarfed at the end of the Pleistocene in Israel. Abundant fossil gazelle and fox mensural data indicate that this diminution coincided with the temperature elevation 12,000 yr ago. Both the similarity of regression slopes for the recent material and the temporal coincidence of dwarfing among fossil species, representing different ecologies, strongly implicate temperature as the main body-size determining factor. Changes evidenced in the fossil record for boar, wolf and fox approximate a 15°C temperature change (Δ t ) based on their respective present-day size-temperature regressions. This Δ t , if taken as an estimate for the eastern Mediterranean, is considerably higher than generally accepted values. An additional size reduction of aurochs, wolf and boar at the end of the Pleistocene or several millenia later is associated with their domestication. It may reflect man's preference for a large “head count” over individual large body size.
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The Natufian culture of Palestine has been seen as an important state in the progression from hunting and gathering to food production. Henry (1875) first suggested that the Natufians used traps or surrounds to hunt gazelles collectively. This paper uses Faunal data from the site of Salibiya I in the lower Jordan valley to suggest that the Natufians practiced communal hunting of the mountain gazelle (Gazella, gazella). Ethnographic studies suggest that communal hunting entails planning, timing and the organization of large numbers of people. These are the same features of social organization needed for the initiation of agriculture. We suggest that it was the social organization needed for the communal hunt, rather than sedentarization, or demographic or ecological factors, that provided the preconditions for the beginning of agriculture.
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Pioneering research by Betts and by Garrard in the eastern steppe and desert of Jordan demonstrated the presence of Late Neolithic (c. 7000–5000 cal BC) pastoral exploitation of this currently arid/hyper-arid region, but the scale of Late Neolithic presence in the area was difficult to assess from the reports of their surveys and excavations. Recent investigations by the Eastern Badia Archaeological Project at Wisad Pools and the Wadi al-Qattafi in the Black Desert have shown that conditions during the latter half of the 7th millennium and into the 6th permitted substantial numbers of pastoralists to occupy substantial dwellings recurrently, in virtual village settings, for considerable amounts of time on a seasonal basis, relying heavily on the hunting of wild animals and perhaps practising opportunistic agriculture in addition to herding caprines.
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The identification, distribution and origin of partially digested bones in archaeological sites from Israel is discussed. Such finds have been cited by researchers as indicating the presence of domesticated dogs at a site. However, evidence is presented here to show that other, non-domestic carnivores may be responsible. This is based both on studies of partially digested bones from modern carnivore bone assemblages and on the presence of such bones in prehistoric deposits pre-dating the domestication of the dog.
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Although dogs are used by subsistence hunters in many locations throughout the world, hunters with dogs have not been studied from an optimal foraging perspective. A study of indigenous Mayangna and Miskito hunters in Nicaragua indicates that the use of dogs affects both the encounter rates and the pursuit times of several prey types. Before hunters can identify the prey type and initiate a pursuit, they must first catch up to the dogs, and their dogs sometimes chase unprofitable prey types. These costs are incorporated as an additional constraint in the optimal prey choice model. The results of the optimal foraging analysis indicate that hunters generally focus on prey types that are in the optimal diet set. However, hunters do not consume two rarely encountered species that are in the optimal diet set, giant anteaters and northern tamanduas. Although hunting with both rifles and dogs increases the likelihood of harvesting tapirs, the return rates of hunting with dogs, hunting with rifles, and hunting with both guns and dogs are otherwise comparable. This study therefore demonstrates that dogs can be valuable hunting accessories.
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The analysis of rich bone assemblages from an Epipalaeolithic site in Jordan show that wing feathers were being extracted, probably for ornamental or ceremonial purposes, from eagles and buzzards. These raptors were perhaps caught by luring them with tortoises, evident from smashed shells in the same assemblage. The authors speculate on the symbolic value of eagles' wings among these pre-Neolithic people.
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A study into the Corncrake Crex crex was carried out in Amlash paddyfields in Gilan province, from August to December in each of the years 2003–2005. This survey showed that Corncrakes migrate through the area between September and November. It was not recorded in late November or December. This species usually chooses habitats with humid soil and covered by rice stalks more than 20 cm high and the same colour as its body for camouflage. Abundance can not be clearly determined. 16, 11 and 9 individuals of Corncrake were observed and captured in 2003–2005 respectively by one group. However, based on c. 50 questionnaires and interviews, 112 individuals were captured and hunted during the 2003–2005 period in the area. These data can be an indicator of a decrease in the migratory population of Corncrakes to this area and points to the necessity of more conservation measures in paddyfields
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This study was carried out to determine the distributions of body coat colour and the body measurements of the Turkish Tazi (Sighthound) comparing with some other sight hound breeds from different countries. To this end, a data of 122 (60 male and 62 female) Tazi were analyzed with the Minitab 15 statistical software program using ANOVA and Student’s t- Test. Descriptive statistics for live weight (LW) 18.4 ± 0.19, withers height (WH) 62 ± 0.35, height at rump (HR) 62.2 ± 0.35, body length (BL) 60.3 ± 0.39, heart girth circumference (HGC) 63.3 ± 0.42, chest depth (CD) 22.8 ± 0.27, abdomen depth (AD) 14.3 ± 0.14, chest width (CW) 17.3 ± .0.16, haunch width (HW) 16.2 ± 0.12, thigh width (TW) 21.9 ± 0.17, tail length (TL) 44.8 ± 0.37, limb length (LL) 39.2 ± 0.20, cannon circumference (CC) 10.2 ± 0.07, head length (HL) 23.7 ± 0.21 and ear length (EL) 12.3 ± 0.13 cm respectively. In this study the distributions of body coat color of the sampled Tazi, as percentages, for black was 35.2%, dun 25.4%, brown 12.3%, tan 10.7%, white 8.2% and pied 8.2% respectively
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While dogs occur in Levantine Natufian sites as early as the 13th millennium BC, images of canines date only to the early 8th millennium. The oldest depictions of dogs and the first representations of a breed similar to that of the modern Persian Gazelle Hound or saluki are found in sites in Deh Luran and Khuzistan, Iran. This brief paper shows the oldest illustrations of canines and evidence for a saluki-like breed. We conclude with some possible social implications of dog depictions on the Susa A pottery. Alors que dès le 13 e millénaire BC des chiens sont présents sur les sites natoufiens du Levant, ce n' est qu 'au début du 8 e millénaire qu'apparaissent des images de canidés. Les plus anciennes représentations de chiens et de celles d'une race semblable aux sloughis actuels proviennent des sites du Deh Luran et du Khuzistan en Iran. Ce court article reprend les premières images de canidés et montre clairement la présence d'une race sloughi. En conclusion sont présentées quelques implications sociales que purent avoir ces représentations sur de la poterie Suse A.
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Recently I had the good fortune to read Eugene C. Hargrove's ingenious and original book Foundations of Environmental Ethics [1]. One concern of the current paper is to convey some of the intellectual richness of this thought-provoking work.[2] This I mean to do by introducing some of Hargrove's key themes about the history of ideas in the Western tradition with relation to attitudes to wildlife. My other purpose is to challenge and criticise some of his conclusions; in particular his conclusions concerning the crucial support which aesthetic traditions in the history of ideas supposedly supply for modern environmentalist attitudes, and concerning the lack of support which historical traditions supposedly have to offer to animal rights and animal welfare positions.
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To identify genetic changes underlying dog domestication and reconstruct their early evolutionary history, we generated high-quality genome sequences from three gray wolves, one from each of the three putative centers of dog domestication, two basal dog lineages (Basenji and Dingo) and a golden jackal as an outgroup. Analysis of these sequences supports a demographic model in which dogs and wolves diverged through a dynamic process involving population bottlenecks in both lineages and post-divergence gene flow. In dogs, the domestication bottleneck involved at least a 16-fold reduction in population size, a much more severe bottleneck than estimated previously. A sharp bottleneck in wolves occurred soon after their divergence from dogs, implying that the pool of diversity from which dogs arose was substantially larger than represented by modern wolf populations. We narrow the plausible range for the date of initial dog domestication to an interval spanning 11-16 thousand years ago, predating the rise of agriculture. In light of this finding, we expand upon previous work regarding the increase in copy number of the amylase gene (AMY2B) in dogs, which is believed to have aided digestion of starch in agricultural refuse. We find standing variation for amylase copy number variation in wolves and little or no copy number increase in the Dingo and Husky lineages. In conjunction with the estimated timing of dog origins, these results provide additional support to archaeological finds, suggesting the earliest dogs arose alongside hunter-gathers rather than agriculturists. Regarding the geographic origin of dogs, we find that, surprisingly, none of the extant wolf lineages from putative domestication centers is more closely related to dogs, and, instead, the sampled wolves form a sister monophyletic clade. This result, in combination with dog-wolf admixture during the process of domestication, suggests that a re-evaluation of past hypotheses regarding dog origins is necessary.
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Spread throughout the deserts of the southern Levant are numerous triangular-shaped stone structures known as kites. Ancient kites are built of two long converging low stone walls with a circular enclosure at the apex. The enclosure can range from a few meters to 100 meters in diameter, and the walls may extend for hundreds of meters or even several kilometers. These well-preserved structures provide testimony to the magnitude of the systematic mass hunting of hoofed animals in the ancient Near East.
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A deposit of gazelle bones at Tell Kuran in the Khabur Basin of northeastern Syria provides evidence for the use of desert kites in the mass-slaughter of steppic game. The deposit's late 4th millennium BCE date, long after livestock had replaced game as primary meat sources, suggests that this practice was directed toward social rather than economic ends. Evidence for the use of kites in the mass killing of steppe animals in the Khabur Basin is examined and the possibility that not only gazelle, but also onagers and possibly other steppe animals' were hunted in this way is explored. The role of such socially driven practices in the local extirpation of steppe species is discussed.
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Cet article presente les resultats de l'etude de restes de mammiferes provenant de dix sites de l'Est de la Jordanie. Ces sites couvrent les periodes allant du milieu du 10e millenaire jusqu'au 11e millenaire BP et se rattachent au Neolithique pre-ceramique В (Pre-Pottery Neolithic В, PPNB) et au Neolithique recent (Late Neolithic, LN). Ils se situent dans des regions aujourd'hui desertiques et sub -desertiques. Les proportions relatives des restes mammiferes identifies sont donnees pour chaque assemblage osseux, les variabilites chronologiques et geographiques sont soulignees, et le changement majeur observe au debut du Neolithique recent - celui de l'apparition des caprins (moutons et chevres) est discute. A notre avis l'evidence est faible que les sites neolithique de l'est de la Jordanie soient des etablissements ou s'exercent des activites pastorales specialisees, comme cela a ete suggere. En revanche, les habitants de ces sites pratiquaient pour leur subsistance la chasse, le piegeage, la cueillette, la culture des cereales, auxquels s'ajoute au debut du Neolithique recent l'elevage du mouton et de la chevre.
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Climatic change, population pressure, and environmental stress are frequently cited as major catalysts for the adoption of agriculture. The role of these factors immediately prior to the agricultural transition in the southern Levant is here explored by reconstructing human economic and demographic conditions in the Natufian period. Thorough processing of gazelle carcasses for edible products including meat, marrow, and bone grease and the capture of abundant juvenile animals reflect intensive yet stable ungulate-procurement strategies across the Natufian. Despite this stability, a dramatic shift in the ratio of high-to low-ranked game at the Early/Late Natufian boundary signals a reduction in site-occupation intensity and increased population mobility immediately prior to the agricultural transition. Contrary to current models, the faunal evidence suggests not that agriculture was adopted in immediate response to the cooling and drying of the Younger Dryas but that the Late Natufians embraced more cost-effective demographic solutions for coping with environmental stress.
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Analysis of avifaunal remains from Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene settlements on the edge of a seasonally refreshed, yet diminishing, wetland in eastern Jordan illustrates the impact that habitat loss can have on bird migration. The wetland was a key wintering ground for a variety of waterfowl, with passage migrants also pausing on long-distance routes that ended at more southerly destinations. These birds were hunted by people who made substantial use of their seasonal abundance. Over time climatic fluctuations and altering dynamics of local fluvial systems reduced the wetlands ability to attract waterfowl. Understanding causes of underlying changes to bird migration furthers our knowledge about the wetland ecotones favoured by people in the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene in the southern Levant.
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The Bonn-Oberkassel dog remains (Upper Pleistocene and 14223 þ- 58 years old) have been reported more than 100 years ago. Recent re-examination revealed the tooth of another older and smaller dog, making this domestic dog burial not only the oldest known, but also the only one with remains of two dogs. This observation brings the total known Magdalenian dogs to nine. Domestication of dogs during the final Palaeolithic has important implications for understanding pre- Holocene hunter-gatherers. Most proposed hunter-gatherer motivations for domesticating dogs have been utilitarian. However, remains of the Bonn-Oberkassel dogs may offer another view. The Bonn-Oberkassel dog was a late juvenile when it was buried at approximately age 27e28 weeks, with two adult humans and grave goods. Oral cavity lesions indicate a gravely ill dog that likely suffered a morbillivirus (canine distemper) infection. A dental line of suggestive enamel hypoplasia appears at the 19-week developmental stage. Two additional enamel hypoplasia lines, on the canine only, document further disease episodes at weeks 21 and 23. Pathological changes also include severe periodontal disease that may have been facilitated by immunodeficiency. Since canine distemper has a three-week disease course with very high mortality, the dog must have been perniciously ill during the three disease bouts and between ages 19 and 23 weeks. Survival without intensive human assistance would have been unlikely. Before and during this period, the dog cannot have held any utilitarian use to humans. We suggest that at least some Late Pleistocene humans regarded dogs not just materialistically, but may have developed emotional and caring bonds for their dogs, as reflected by the survival of this dog, quite possibly through human care.
Article
Dog bones represent a rich source of information not only about their use, but also about the iconic relationship between humans and dogs. Dogs have witnessed how the economic sustenance of humanity changed between Mesolithic and Neolithic Periods. Their duties became more diverse and had to be adapted towards the Neolithic economy. This change must have left imprints on dog bones: On the one hand, in the form of cut marks on the surface of bones, and on the other hand, traces left by the dogs' diet. This paper aims to present a view on dog life from this period based on cut marks and stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope analyses. Basically we hypothesised out that isotopic ratios perhaps can be used to distinguish bone fragments of the Eurasian wolf from its domestic form by their diet. Furthermore the isotopic results generally confirm an influence of the environment and perhaps as well as of ritual elements.
Article
The function of prehistoric dogs in hunting is not readily visible in the archaeological record; interpretations are thus heavily reliant on ethnographic data and remain controversial. Here we document the earliest evidence for dogs on the Arabian Peninsula from rock art at the sites of Shuwaymis and Jubbah, in northwestern Saudi Arabia. Hunting scenes depicted in the rock art illustrate dog-assisted hunting strategies from the 7th and possibly the 8th millennium BC, predating the spread of pastoralism. Though the depicted dogs are reminiscent of the modern Canaan dog, it remains unclear if they were brought to the Arabian Peninsula from the Levant or represent an independent domestication of dogs from Arabian wolves. A substantial dataset of 147 hunting scenes shows dogs partaking in a range of hunting strategies based on the environment and topography of each site, perhaps minimizing subsistence risk via hunting intensification in areas with extreme seasonal fluctuations. Particularly notable is the inclusion of leashes on some dogs, the earliest known evidence in prehistory. The leashing of dogs not only shows a high level of control over hunting dogs before the onset of the Neolithic, but also that some dogs performed different hunting tasks than others.
Article
Zooarchaeological data can provide invaluable information about prehistoric social, labor, and economic organization. Ungulate age profiles have long been used to answer anthropological questions about the timing and methods of hunting, but in the western U.S., ungulates may be rare, and archaeological assemblages are frequently dominated by rabbits. Rabbit age profiles have been largely overlooked as a source of information about prehistoric societies, because they are relatively insensitive to seasonality or to hunting pressure. This study presents archaeological, actualistic, and modeling data on rabbit populations that suggest jackrabbit age profiles can still be useful as a reflection of changing hunting methods. Using an example from the Early Agricultural Period of southern Arizona, we show how rabbit age profiles can reflect changes in prehistoric hunting organization, including the introduction of community drive methods of rabbit hunting.
Article
A number of experiments were carried out to examine the destruction of bones by dogs, and the possible bias that this may cause in bone samples from archeological sites. The combined effects of crushing and comminution by the teeth, and of corrosion by the digestive juices, were generally very destructive, affecting weaker parts of the skeleton more than stronger parts, and smaller animals (squirrels and cottontails) more than larger animals (goats). Bones and bone fragments that survived passage through the digestive system were usually visibly corroded.-Authors
Article
Was the use of hunting dogs an adaptation to the post-glacial deciduous forest environment in the northern temperate zone? Dog burials in Jomon Japan appear closely associated with a specific environment and with a related subsistence economy involving the hunting of forest ungulates such as sika deer and wild boar. Dogs were valued as important hunting technology, able to track and retrieve wounded animals in difficult, forested environments, or holding them until the hunter made the final kill. Greater numbers of dog burials during the later Jomon phases may reflect a growing dependence on hunting dogs to extract ungulate prey from forests in an increasingly resource-strained seasonal environment.
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This paper discusses the Late Natufian avifaunal remains from Shubayqa 1, a Late Epipalaeolithic site situated in north-east Jordan. The site has produced an exceptionally large and well-preserved assemblage of bird bones recovered from a substantial midden deposit, and from the analysis of this material, we argue that there is evidence for en masse hunting of seasonally migrating waterfowl during the occupation of the site. The abundance of waterfowl and the hunting strategies employed to capture this prey must have resulted in a plentiful supply of meat, enabling the choicest parts of the birds to be quickly removed from the rest of the carcass. The tibiotarsus bones were also frequently taken back to the habitation site for use as a raw material, possibly for bead manufacture. Extensive hunting of the birds was not a result of resource pressure as often argued; instead, people chose to take advantage of a particularly abundant prey population during the winter months. This evidence casts a critical light on the suggestion that population growth and environmental change forced late Pleistocene hunter-gatherers in the Levant to expand their subsistence base to include lower-ranked prey species. Our data also have implications for the palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of the landscape. The presence of a few bones of birds other than waterfowl suggests these species had minimal importance to the diet of the inhabitants and bones from diurnal raptors may have been collected to be used in decorative items or as tools rather than reflecting the hunting of these species for food.
Article
This paper explores social customs of cooking and dining as farming emerged in the earliest villages of Palestine and Jordan (12,650-6850 cal BC). The approach is a spatial analysis of in situ hearths, pits, bins, benches, platforms, activity areas, caches, and ground stone artefacts. Mortars, pestles, and bowls first appear in significant numbers in base camps of semi-sedentary Natufian hunter-gatherers. Elaborate and decorated, these artefacts imply a newly formal social etiquette of food-sharing. They were used within houses, near hearths, and in outdoor areas. The earliest farmers of the Khiamian and Pre-Pottery Neolithic A used simple, mostly undecorated, ground stone tools. One-room houses were often fitted with a hearth and a small mortar in the centre, features that also occur in outdoor areas. In the Early and Middle Pre-Pottery Neolithic B, firepits, milling stations, and storage features were placed on porches and outdoor areas near house doors. These areas formed a transition zone between house and community, where food preparation provided opportunities for social contacts. The most private rooms in houses were supplied with benches, platforms, and decorated hearths, and probably sheltered household meals. In the Late PPNB, when some villages grew to unprecedented sizes, storage, and cooking facilities were placed in constricted, private spaces comparatively hidden from community view. Numerous milling tools and multiple milling stations in individual houses suggest intensification of production of prepared foods. It is argued that adult women bore the brunt of the increased labour and that these activities placed them under new restrictions of daily activity and visibility in relation to village communities.
Article
Isotopic tracking of carnivore palaeoecology is a relatively new approach that yielded important results for the study of the non-analogue mammoth steppe biome. After describing the prerequisite to apply this approach and the possible complications, the main achievements will be described for extinct carnivore species such as scimitar-tooth cat Homotherium serum, cave lion Panthera spelaea, giant short-faced bear Arctodus simus, cave bear Ursus spelaeus s.l., as well as for ancient representatives of extant species such as brown bear Ursus arctos and wolf Canis lupus. Isotopic tracking showed that scimitar-tooth cats in Alaska were not specialist proboscidean predators but rather generalist consumers of other large herbivores. The majority of cave lions analysed so far were focused on reindeer, some individuals were specialized on cave bears, especially in contexts of competition with cave hyenas. Giant short-faced bears in Alaska were not pure herbivores and consumed meat from reindeer, muskoxen and possibly other predators, but may have still incorporated plant resources in their menu. In contrast, all cave bear populations studied so far for which a clear dietary reconstruction could be done were virtually pure herbivores, only a few cases are still unclear. Interestingly, brown bears used the opposite extreme of the dietary spectrum when competing with other large bears such as cave bears and giant short-faced bears, i.e. were more carnivorous in Europe and more herbivorous in Alaska. Finally wolves seem to have been outcompeted by hyenas but became dominant predators during the Lateglacial in Europe to the expense of the last cave lions. The results obtained through this approach are also relevant for improving conservation strategies of endangered extant large carnivores.
Article
A net made of juniper (Juniperus sp.) bark cordage and designed for capturing animals the size of deer or mountain sheep has been radiocarbon dated to late Paleoindian times. It was recovered in the Absaroka Mountains of north-central Wyoming and provides insight into prehistoric animal procurement strategies that did not require the use of stone artifacts.
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Cet article presente des donnees sur la courbe des âges a partir de dents de gazelle provenant de gisements prehistoriques d'Israel du Mousterien (50-40.000 BP) au Natoufien (12-10.000 BP). A l'interieur de cette sequence, on observe une legere augmentation des sujets jeunes au Natoufien. Plusieurs facteurs peuvent avoir affecte la courbe des âges d'une espece chassee par les hommes prehistoriques. L'auteur avance l'hypothese que cet accroissement au Natoufien est la consequence non voulue par l'homme d'un changement de son mode de vie : c'est-a-dire le passage du nomadisme saisonnier a la vie sedentaire.
Article
Domestic dogs in the Near East have been identified on the basis of cultural criteria, but identifications based on morphological criteria are controversial. Measurements of carnassial teeth and of the facial region of the cranium and mandible reveal that wolf/dog remains from the Natufian (c. 12,000 BP) and later cultures of Israel exhibit a morphological pattern that is the opposite of that expected under natural selection, but that conforms well to that expected in early domestication. The Geometric Kebaran wolves preceding the Natufian domesticates are very large individuals, probably in response to the climatic conditions of the period, and this may indicate one of the following: (a) the wolves domesticated in Israel were of a large race, contrary to previous theories on the roots of dog domestication; (b) the dog was domesticated at a period earlier than the Natufian.
Article
Two new fairly complete remains of dogs were uncovered from a burial in Hayonim Terrace (northern Israel), dated to the first half of the 11th millenium (bp) (Late Natufian). This burial contained the remains of three humans associated with an elaborate construction. A detailed analysis of these dogs, and a comparison with all known Natufian remains, suggested that genuine dogs were already living around and within human habitations during this period. While most studies on early dogs were carried out on post-Natufian material, a period during which intentional selection could have already been widely experienced, we show that the evolvement of Natufian dogs were the product of unconscious selection of commensal wolves quasi-isolated under the special anthopogenic habitats created within and around Natufian sites, and at least ritually assimilated to human society. There is no evidence that Neolithic dogs are direct descendants of Natufian ancestors. Their multiregional origination is a widely accepted phenomenon. We suggest that Neolithic dogs were either domesticated anew, or were introduced from elsewhere to the southern Levant. Although the number of specimens of Natufian dogs is still small, evidently the emergence of some patterns clearly indicate that all them were already markedly different from the recent southern Levantine wolves and, in spite of their widely ranged morphology, constituted a unique group. It is shown that the shortening of the muzzle mainly affected the anterior part of the snout, while the posterior region remained practically unchanged. In this respect they seem to display a typical case of paedomorphosis. The simultaneous diminution of the carnassials, and other teeth, alongside with the snout, was marked enough that no crowding of the teeth took place by any of the Natufian dogs. The disproportional reduction of the snout versus teeth that caused the “crowding” phenomenon is only known from later periods.
Article
Variability in faunal assemblages from different sites and/or from different time periods is often attributed to economic or taphonomic factors. The role of sharing on faunal remain distributions is compared to other factors that have been suggested to influence these distributions, such as hunting skill. Faunal species and skeletal elements are compared among three hunter—gatherer camps that form a sharing network. These are contrasted with those of two other hunter—gatherer camps located at the same Kalahari community occupied by an unusual family that is a relative isolate in terms of sharing. The effect of sharing on equalizing variation in hunting success as reflected in the faunal remain inventory is explored from the five camps inventoried in 1990. Complicating factors which tend to affect faunal remain frequencies are also examined, such as cooking technique and dogs. All faunal remains visible on the surface of each camp were recorded according to species, element or fragment portion, age (mature or immature), and, when possible, side. At all but one camp, surface faunal remains were recorded both before and after ethnographic observations during the dry season of 1990. In addition to hunting success, all occurrences of sharing and consumption of meat were recorded during these observation periods and those conducted on and off between 1987 and 1992. Although participation in a sharing network obscures differences in hunting skill in the archaeological record, sharing impacts on faunal assemblages in interesting ways that are potentially archaeologically visible. Sharing in strongly egalitarian societies levels unequal hunting skill that could otherwise affect faunal remain frequencies, taxa richness, meat weight, and other indices measured here. In these societies, sharing reinforces social bonding between kin and friends in ways that help unit families from different camps.