Animal exploitation in the early prehistory of the Balearic Islands

Author(s): Damià Ramis

Year: 2016


The Balearic Islands were the last large islands in the Mediterranean to be settled, as late as the 3rd millennium cal BC. Currently, there is a good zooarchaeological record for the late 3rd and 2nd millennia cal BC, which allows the reconstruction of animal exploitation and management strategies in Mallorca, Menorca and Formentera. The results show that the obtainment of animal resources relied mainly on sheep, goat, cattle and pig husbandry. When this record is compared to the surrounding regions (east Iberia, south France and the central Mediterranean islands of Corsica and Sardinia), the main patterns that can be observed are (1) an unusual very high proportion of caprines among the livestock species, (2) a high relative frequency of goat compared to sheep and, (3) a nearly complete absence of exploitation of wild faunal resources. This was due probably to a combination of the relatively late colonization (not by early Neolithic, but by late Neolithic or early Bronze human groups) and comparative isolation of the Balearic archipelago until the late 2nd millennium cal BC.

Cite this Record

Animal exploitation in the early prehistory of the Balearic Islands. Damià Ramis. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403144)


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min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;