A Commensal-Prey Relationship in Early Mainland Southeast Asia? The Case of the Burmese Hare (Lepus peguensis)
Rabbits and hares are often a central part of human subsistence strategies in both the past and the present. However, the Burmese hare (Lepus peguensis) – the sole member of the family Leporidae indigenous to mainland Southeast Asia (MSEA) – is rarely eaten today, and its status in the past is unclear. Although this taxon is currently abundant across a wide geographic range, it has a poor zooarchaeological record during the Pleistocene and Holocene. Identified specimens occur sporadically in hunter-gatherer contexts, and increase in presence and abundance during the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Age. Ecological data suggests that L. peguensis prefers anthropogenically modified agricultural environments and can be an agricultural pest. This species may thus represent a potential commensal-prey species for prehistoric agricultural populations in MSEA. In this paper, we use zooarchaeological evidence for Burmese hare and stable isotope analysis of prehistoric and modern specimens to assess whether this taxon represents a commensal species in prehistoric mainland Southeast Asia.
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A Commensal-Prey Relationship in Early Mainland Southeast Asia? The Case of the Burmese Hare (Lepus peguensis). Cyler Conrad, Caitlin Ainsworth, Emily Lena Jones. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443785)
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min long: 92.549; min lat: -11.351 ; max long: 141.328; max lat: 27.372 ;
Abstract Id(s): 20870