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

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Animals have been used to human advantage for thousands of years. 'Animal Husbandry in Ancient Israel' presents an analysis of caprines and cattle husbandry in the Southern Levantine Bronze and Iron Age. The book employs key methodological approaches - comparative analysis, taphonomy, Geographic Information System spatial analysis, and ethnographic studies - to challenge prevalent views on the Southern Levantine ancient economy. 'Animal Husbandry in Ancient Israel' argues that the key concern of nomadic, rural and urban populations was survival - the common household maintained a self-sufficient economy - rather than profit, specialization or trade. The book will be of value to all those interested in the dynamic relationship between humans and animals in ancient Israel.

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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

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