Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-2pzkn Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-21T18:23:31.271Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Gaining traction on cattle exploitation: zooarchaeological evidence from the Neolithic Western Balkans

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 December 2018

Jane S. Gaastra*
Affiliation:
University College London, Institute of Archaeology, 31–34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY, UK
Haskel J. Greenfield
Affiliation:
University of Manitoba, Department of Anthropology, 432 Fletcher Argue Building, 15 Chancellor Circle, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada
M. Vander Linden
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge, Department of Archaeology, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DZ, UK
*
*Author for correspondence (Email: jane@gaastra.co.uk)

Abstract

The study of the exploitation of animals for traction in prehistoric Europe has been linked to the ‘secondary products revolution’. Such an approach, however, leaves little scope for identification of the less specialised exploitation of animals for traction during the European Neolithic. This study presents zooarchaeological evidence—in the form of sub-pathological alterations to cattle foot bones—for the exploitation of cattle for the occasional pulling of heavy loads, or ‘light’ traction. The analysis and systematic comparison of material from 11 Neolithic sites in the Western Balkans (c. 6100–4500 cal BC) provides the earliest direct evidence for the use of cattle for such a purpose.

Type
Research
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd, 2018 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Arbuckle, B.S. 2014. Inequality and the origins of wool production in central Anatolia, in Arbuckle, B.S. & McCarty, S.A. (ed.) Animals and inequality in the ancient world: 209–30. Boulder: University Press of Colorado.Google Scholar
Bakker, J.A., Kruk, J., Lanting, A.E. & Milisauskas, S.. 1999. The earliest evidence of wheeled vehicles in Europe and the Near East. Antiquity 73: 778–90. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00065522Google Scholar
Bălăşescu, A., Moise, D. & Radu, V.. 2005. Use of bovine traction in the Eneolithic of Romania: a preliminary approach, in Dumitroaia, G., Chapman, J., Weller, O., Preoteasa, C., Munteanu, R., Nicola, D. & Monah Cucuteni, D. (ed.) 120 ans de recherches. Le temps du bilan: 277–84. Piatra-Neamţea: Editura Constantin Matasă.Google Scholar
Bartosiewicz, L. 2006. Mettre le chariot avant les boeufs: anomalies osteoligiques liees a l'utilisation des boeufs pour la traction, in Pétrequin, P., Arbogast, R.M., Pétrequin, A.M., van Willigen, S. & Bailly, M. (ed.) Premiers chariots, premiers araires: la siffusion de la traction animale en Europe pendant les IVe et IIIe millénaires avant notre ère: 259–67. Paris: CNRS.Google Scholar
Bartosiewicz, L. 2008. Bone structure and function in draft cattle, in Grupe, G., McGlynn, G. & Peters, J. (ed.) Limping together through the ages: joint afflictions and bone infections: 153–64. Rahden: Marie Leidorf GmbH.Google Scholar
Bartosiewiez, L., Van Neer, W. & Lentacker, A.. 1997. Draught cattle: their osteological identification and history. Tervuren: Annalen Koninklijk Museum voor Midden-Afrika, Zoölogische Wetenschappen.Google Scholar
Becker, C., Benecke, N., Grabundžija, A., Küchelmann, H.-C., Pollock, S., Schier, W., Schoch, C., Schrakamp, I., Schütt, B. & Schumacher, M.. 2016. The textile revolution. Research into the origin and spread of wool production between the Near East and Central Europe. Journal for Ancient Studies 6: 102–51.Google Scholar
Bogucki, P. 1984. Ceramic sieves of the Linear Pottery Culture and their economic implications. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 3: 1530. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0092.1984.tb00113.xGoogle Scholar
Bogucki, P. 1993. Animal traction and household economies in Neolithic Europe. Antiquity 67: 492503. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00045713Google Scholar
Bondár, M. & Székely, G.V.. 2011. A new Early Bronze Age wagon model from the Carpathian Basin. World Archaeology 43: 538–53. https://doi.org/10.1080/00438243.2011.624701Google Scholar
Breniquet, C. & Michel, C. (ed). 2014. Wool economy in the ancient Near East and the Aegean: from the beginnings of sheep husbandry to international textile industry. Oxford: Oxbow.Google Scholar
Chapman, J. 1982. ‘The secondary products revolution’ and the limitations of the Neolithic. Bulletin of the Institute of Archaeology 19: 107–22.Google Scholar
De Cupere, B., Lentacker, A., Neer, W. Van, Waelkens, M. & Verslype, L.. 2000. Osteological evidence for the draught exploitation of cattle: first applications of a new methodology. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 10: 254–67.Google Scholar
Ethier, J., Banffy, E., Vuković, J., Leshtakov, K., Bacvarov, K., Roffet-Salque, M., Evershed, R.P. & Ivanova, M.. 2017. Earliest expansion of animal husbandry beyond the Mediterranean zone in the sixth millennium BC. Nature Scientific Reports 7: 7146. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-07427-xGoogle Scholar
Evershed, R.P. et al. 2008. Earliest date for milk use in the Near East and Southeastern Europe linked to cattle herding. Nature 455: 528–31. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature07180Google Scholar
Galindo-Pellicena, A., Martín-Francés, L., Gracia, A., de Gaspar, I., Arsuaga, J.L. & Carretero, J.M.. 2015. Evidences of the use of cattle as draught animals in Chalcolithic El Portalón (Sierra de Atapuerca, Borgos). Quaternary International 438(Part B): 110.Google Scholar
Greenfield, H.J. 1986. Palaeoeconomy of the Central Balkans (Serbia). Zooarchaeological perspective on the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age (4500–1000 BC) (British Archaeological Reports International series 304). Oxford: Archaeopress.Google Scholar
Greenfield, H.J. 1988. The origins of milk and wool production in the Old World: a zooarchaeological perspective from the Central Balkans. Current Anthropology 29: 573–93. https://doi.org/10.1086/203676Google Scholar
Greenfield, H.J. 1991. Fauna from the Late Neolithic of the Central Balkans: issues in subsistence and land use. Journal of Field Archaeology 18: 161–86.Google Scholar
Greenfield, H.J. 2005. A reconsideration of the secondary products revolution: 20 years of research in the Central Balkans, in Mulville, J. & Outram, A. (ed.) The zooarchaeology of milk and fats (Proceedings of the 9th ICAZ Conference, Durham 2002): 1431. Oxford: Oxbow.Google Scholar
Greenfield, H.J. 2008. Subsistence systems during the Early Neolithic of the Central Balkans: a faunal taphonomic perspective, in Bonsall, C., Boroneanţ, V. & Radovanović, I. (ed.) The Iron Gates in prehistory (British Archaeological Reports International series 1893): 103–14. Oxford: Archaeopress.Google Scholar
Greenfield, H.J. 2010. The secondary products revolution: the past, the present and the future. World Archaeology 42: 2954. https://doi.org/10.1080/00438240903429722Google Scholar
Greenfield, H.J. 2014a. Some reflections on the origins and intensification of dairying in the archaeological record, in Greenfield, H.J. (ed.) Animal secondary products: domestic animal exploitation in prehistoric Europe, the Near East and the Far East: 2039. Oxford: Oxbow.Google Scholar
Greenfield, H.J. 2014b. Animal secondary products: domestic animal exploitation in prehistoric Europe, the Near East and the Far East. Oxford: Oxbow.Google Scholar
Greenfield, H.J. & Arnold, E.. 2015. ‘Go(a)t milk?’ New perspectives on the zooarchaeological evidence for the earliest intensification of dairying in South-eastern Europe. World Archaeology 47: 792818. https://doi.org/10.1080/00438243.2015.1029076Google Scholar
Halstead, P. 2014. Two oxen ahead: pre-mechanized farming in the Mediterranean. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118819333Google Scholar
Isaakidou, V. 2006. Ploughing with cows: Knossos and the secondary products revolution, in Serjeantson, D. & Field, D. (ed.) Animals in the Neolithic of Britain and Europe (Neolithic Studies Group Seminar Papers 7): 95112. Oxford: Oxbow.Google Scholar
Johannsen, N.N. 2006. Draught cattle and the South Scandinavian economies of the 4th millennium BC. Environmental Archaeology 11(1): 3548. https://doi.org/10.1179/174963106×97043Google Scholar
Lin, M., Miracle, P. & Barker, G.. 2016. Towards the identification of the exploitation of cattle labour from distal metapodials. Journal of Archaeological Science 66: 4456. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2015.12.006Google Scholar
Lingereux, Y., Vaquer, J. & Collonge, J.. 2006. Traction animale et lesions osseuses. Quelques cas dans le néolithique final languedocien (France), in Pétrequin, P., Arbogast, R.M., Pétrequin, A.M., van Willigen, S. & Bailly, M. (ed.) Premiers chariots, premiers araires: la diffusion de la traction animale en Europe pendant les IVe et IIIe millénaires avant notre ère: 3138. Paris: CNRS.Google Scholar
Marciniak, A. 2011. The secondary products revolution: empirical evidence and its current zooarchaeological critique. Journal of World Prehistory 24: 117–30. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10963-011-9045-7Google Scholar
Milisauskas, S. & Kruk, J.. 1991. Utilization of cattle for traction during the Later Neolithic in southeastern Poland. Antiquity 65: 562–66. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00080170Google Scholar
Mischka, D. 2011. The Neolithic burial sequence at Flintbek LA 3, north Germany, and its cart tracks: a precise chronology. Antiquity 85: 742–58. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00068289Google Scholar
Orton, D., Gaastra, J. & Vander Linden, M.. 2016. Between the Danube and the deep blue sea: zooarchaeological meta-analysis reveals variability in the spread and development of Neolithic farming across the Western Balkans. Open Quaternary 2(6): 126. https://doi.org/10.5334/oq.28Google Scholar
Outram, A.K., Kasparov, A., Stear, N.A., Varfolomeev, V., Usmanova, E. & Evershed, R.P.. 2012. Patterns of pastoralism in later Bronze Age Kazakhstan: new evidence from faunal and lipid residue analyses. Journal of Archaeological Science 39: 2424–35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2012.02.009Google Scholar
Pétrequin, P., Arbogast, R.M., Pétrequin, A.M., van Willigen, S. & Bailly, M.. 2006. Premiers chariots, premiers araires: la diffusion de la traction animale en Europe pendant les IVe et IIIe millénaires avant notre ère. Paris: CNRS.Google Scholar
Piggott, S. 1983. The earliest wheeled transport: from the Atlantic coast to the Caspian Sea. London: Thames & Hudson.Google Scholar
Pipes, M.-L., Kruk, J. & Milisauskas, S.. 2014. Assessing the archaeological data for wool-bearing sheep during the Middle to Late Neolithic at Bronocice, Poland, in Greenfield, H.J. (ed.) Animal secondary products: domestic animal exploitation in prehistoric Europe, the Near East and the Far East: 80102. Oxford: Oxbow.Google Scholar
Rowley-Conwy, P. 1987. The interpretation of ard marks. Antiquity 61: 264–66. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00052091Google Scholar
Salque, M., Radi, G., Tagliacozzo, A., Pino Uria, B., Wolfram, S., Hohle, I., Stäuble, H., Whittle, A., Hofmann, D., Pechtl, J., Schade-Lindig, S., Eisenhauer, U. & Evershed, R.P.. 2012. New insights into the Early Neolithic economy and management of animals in Southern and Central Europe revealed using lipid residue analysis of pottery vessels. Anthropozoologica 47(2): 4561. https://doi.org/10.5252/az2012n2a4Google Scholar
Sherratt, A. 1981. Plough and pastoralism: aspects of the secondary products revolution, in Hodder, I., Isaac, G. & Hammond, N. (ed.) Pattern of the past: 261306. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Sherratt, A. 1983. The secondary exploitation of animals in the Old World. World Archaeology 15: 90104. https://doi.org/10.1080/00438243.1983.9979887Google Scholar
Spiteri, C.D., Gillis, R.E., Roffet-Salque, M., Navarro, L.C., Guilaine, J., Manen, C., Muntoni, I.M., Segui, M.S., Urem-Kotsou, D., Whelton, H.L. & Craig, O.E.. 2016. Regional asynchronicity in dairy production and processing in early farming communities of the Northern Mediterranean. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 113: 13594–99. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1607810113Google Scholar
Tarrús, J., Saña, M., Chinchilla, J. & Bosch, A.. 2006. La Drada (Banyoles, Catalogne): traction animal à la fin du VIe millénaire?, in Pétrequin, P., Arbogast, R.M., Pétrequin, A.M., van Willigen, S. & Bailly, M. (ed.) Premiers chariots, premiers araires: la diffusion de la traction animale en Europe pendant les IVe et IIIe millénaires avant notre ère: 2530. Paris: CNRS.Google Scholar
Wolff, J. 1892. Das Gesetz der Transformation der Knochen. Berlin: A. Hirschwald.Google Scholar
Supplementary material: PDF

Gaastra et al. supplementary material

Table S1

Download Gaastra et al. supplementary material(PDF)
PDF 25 KB