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

  • Jane S. Gaastra (a1), Haskel J. Greenfield (a2) and M. Vander Linden (a3)

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.

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*Author for correspondence (Email: jane@gaastra.co.uk)

References

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

  • Jane S. Gaastra (a1), Haskel J. Greenfield (a2) and M. Vander Linden (a3)

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