This paper poses a question on the interpretation of caprine “kill‐off patterns” in some prehistoric sites of the Caput Adriae (northern Adriatic region, Mediterranean area). In particular, caprine kill‐off data from layers 2 (Late Neolithic‐Copper Age) and 2a (Middle Neolithic) of Grotta dell'Edera (Trieste Karst, north‐eastern Italy) are presented here and compared with those from two neighbouring sites. Distribution of age classes of domestic animals (in particular Caprinae) is generally discussed in terms of exploitation strategies adopted by past communities to obtain different products (e.g., milk, meat, and wool). Nevertheless, emphasis is rarely given to the possible meaning of the presence of foetal individuals and to their relation with neonatal ones. In this sense, it needs to be considered that causes of abortion (e.g., infections or ewe malnutrition) often can also lead to lamb mortality. The presence of a high proportion of neonatal (0–2 months old) and foetal sheep/goat individuals in the sites analysed raises an issue about the possible meaning of the mortality profiles: exploitation of dairy products or just premature death of ill individuals? This issue is important not only to better interpret subsistence strategies of past human communities but also to explore animal disease through time.

Boschin, F. (2020). Caprine mortality profiles from prehistoric cave‐sites of the northern Adriatic: Livestock strategies or natural death?. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OSTEOARCHAEOLOGY, 30(1), 3-12 [10.1002/oa.2824].

Caprine mortality profiles from prehistoric cave‐sites of the northern Adriatic: Livestock strategies or natural death?

Boschin, Francesco
2020-01-01

Abstract

This paper poses a question on the interpretation of caprine “kill‐off patterns” in some prehistoric sites of the Caput Adriae (northern Adriatic region, Mediterranean area). In particular, caprine kill‐off data from layers 2 (Late Neolithic‐Copper Age) and 2a (Middle Neolithic) of Grotta dell'Edera (Trieste Karst, north‐eastern Italy) are presented here and compared with those from two neighbouring sites. Distribution of age classes of domestic animals (in particular Caprinae) is generally discussed in terms of exploitation strategies adopted by past communities to obtain different products (e.g., milk, meat, and wool). Nevertheless, emphasis is rarely given to the possible meaning of the presence of foetal individuals and to their relation with neonatal ones. In this sense, it needs to be considered that causes of abortion (e.g., infections or ewe malnutrition) often can also lead to lamb mortality. The presence of a high proportion of neonatal (0–2 months old) and foetal sheep/goat individuals in the sites analysed raises an issue about the possible meaning of the mortality profiles: exploitation of dairy products or just premature death of ill individuals? This issue is important not only to better interpret subsistence strategies of past human communities but also to explore animal disease through time.
Boschin, F. (2020). Caprine mortality profiles from prehistoric cave‐sites of the northern Adriatic: Livestock strategies or natural death?. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OSTEOARCHAEOLOGY, 30(1), 3-12 [10.1002/oa.2824].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11365/1096220