Early Human Control over Ungulate Taxa in the southern Levant


An expanding catalog of faunal assemblages spanning the Late Epipaleolithic through Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN) periods in the southern Levant points to growing human control over taxa that eventually become domesticated (wild goat, wild pig and wild cattle). This change in human-animal relationships occurs several centuries if not millennia before evidence for full-fledged management and domestication are visible in the archaeo-zoological record. We explore this shift by referencing data from 10 faunal assemblages spanning the agricultural transition and by the Early PPNB (10,5000-10,2000 cal. BP) that document the beginning of a trade-off between intensive human hunting evidenced by a broad array of animal taxa and resource depression, and ungulate taxa that are ultimately domesticated. We focus on local conditions that led to a reconfiguration of human-wild animal relationships and the nature of this interaction. Finally, we situate the southern Levant into its larger setting in Southwest Asia by emphasizing an increasingly protracted and multiregional picture of animal domestication and the importance of local ecology and regional social networks in facilitating the exchange of knowledge and possibly animals. Early evidence for new human-animal relationships prior to full-fledged animal management encourages re-evaluation of what should be considered wild within the wild-domestic continuum.

Cite this Record

Early Human Control over Ungulate Taxa in the southern Levant. Natalie Munro, Jacqueline Meier, Lidar Sapir-Hen. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430472)


Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15082