Animal Husbandry in Ancient Israel: A Zooarchaeological Perspective on Livestock Exploitation, Herd Management and Economic Strategies

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $115.82
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 3%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (3) from $115.82   
  • New (1) from $115.82   
  • Used (2) from $0.00   


Animal Husbandry in Ancient Israel demonstrates four diverse and innovative perspectives on the study of caprine and cattle husbandry in the Southern Levantine Bronze and Iron Age. The first perspective is a comparative analysis of zooarchaeological and ethnographic data from 70 sites and strata as well as wide-ranging anthropological resources on economic strategies, pastoral-nomadism and sedentism. The comparative analysis proposes new insights on primary aspects of animal husbandry in the Southern Levant such as the sheep/goat ratio, caprine/cattle ratio and utilization of caprine products. The second perspective is spatial. It is founded on GIS (Geographic information system) analysis of spatial distribution of faunal remains in stratum II at Tel Beer-Sheba, Israel. This study sheds light on the intra-site social stratification as reflected by food refuse left behind by the inhabitants of the site. The third perspective is sagittal and founded on taphonomic analysis investigating pre-depositional and post-depositional agents that might have altered the zooarchaeological assemblage in stratum II of Tel Beer-Sheba. The taphonomic processes span four major phases from the time animals were consumed by man to the time they were uncovered by archaeologists. The fourth perspective is ethnographic. It is founded on copious statistical data on livestock holding in Mandatory Palestine in the 1940s. This study contributes to our understating of the component of animal husbandry in human diet. All four perspectives point to a common denominator - the paramount strategy held by most nomadic, rural and urban Southern Levantine populations in the Bronze and Iron Age was a survival subsistence strategy rather than a market-oriented strategy. Trade transactions were rare and the common household maintained a conservative and a self-sufficient economy. The zooarchaeological record demonstrates how the survival subsistence strategy focused on preserving stability, minimizing risks and sustaining a long-term survival rather than specializing in animal products or trading them.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables


1 Introduction 1

On the zooarchaeological perspective 1

The zooarchaeological research of the Bronze and Iron Age in Israel: a brief overview 2

What is this book about? 4

2 A Comparative Perspective: The Survival Subsistence Strategy---Animal Husbandry and Economic Strategies in the Bronze and Iron Age 6

Introduction 6

The survival subsistence strategy 10

Subsistence strategies of pastoral-nomads 14

áHomo sapiens sedentus' and áHomo sapiens nomadus' 23

Economic strategies of sedentists 29

The survival subsistence strategy: summary and conclusions 60

3 The Faunal Remains from Tel Beer-Sheba, Stratum II 62

Methods 62

Results and discussion 63

4 A Spatial Perspective: Controlling Space and the Zooarchaeological Record---A GIS Spatial Analysis of Faunal Remains in Stratum II, Tel Beer-Sheba 74

Methods and materials 75

The nature of faunal remains in archaeological sites 75

Results and discussion 76

5 A Sagittal Perspective: Taphonomic Study of Tel Sites---A Case Study from Tel Beer-Sheba 93

Introduction 93

Phase one The death assemblage 94

Phase two Pre-depositional processes 98

Phase three Post-depositional processes 100

Phase four The archaeological excavation 103

Conclusions 105

6 An Ethnographic Perspective: Animal Husbandry and Human Diet--- Ethnographic Study of Premodern Villages in Mandatory Palestine 108

Introduction 108

The research area 108

Methodology 111

Discussion 114

Conclusions 117

7 Conclusions 119

The six pillars of the survival subsistence strategy 119

The survival subsistence strategy and the zooarchaeological perspective 121

References 124

Index 146

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)