Interpreting crop and animal management strategies at Neolithic Kouphovouno, Sparti, Greece: integrating information from plant and animal isotopes, micro wear analysis and archer-botanical and -zoological studies.

Abstract : In this case study, we analyze stable isotope signatures of ancient charred plant and faunal bone remains from Middle-Late Neolithic Kouphovouno in order to investigate the crop cultivation and animal husbandry practices employed by the early farmers. Previous work on the nature of Neolithic agriculture has shed light on the symbiotic relationship in which plant and animal husbandry strategies may function. For example, the by-product of crop cultivation can be used as fodder to feed the animals and the by-product of the animals, dung, can be used to fertilize the soils in which the crops are grown.1 But just how this inter-dependent strategy was maintained remains to be investigated on a case-by-case basis. Our aim is to use isotopic evidence to address questions of how intensively the cereal and pulse crops were managed, what the diets of the livestock were and how the farmers at Kouphovouno made use of the surrounding landscape for the grazing of animals. These results are interpreted in light of dental micro- and mesowear analysis carried out on the same faunal assemblage. Together, the two strands of information enable us to make inferences about which foods the animals may and which they may not have consumed
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Petra Vaiglova, Florent Rivals, A. Bogaard, Rebecca Fraser, William Cavanagh, et al.. Interpreting crop and animal management strategies at Neolithic Kouphovouno, Sparti, Greece: integrating information from plant and animal isotopes, micro wear analysis and archer-botanical and -zoological studies.. Actes de la 14e rencontre égéenne internationale, Dec 2012, Paris, France. pp.287-296. ⟨hal-01424251⟩

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