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Animal Husbandry in Ancient Israel: A Zooarchaeological Perspective on Livestock Exploitation, Herd Management and Economic Strats (Aharon Sasson) Hardcover Book, (Acumen Publishing, 2010) 9781845531799

Title: Animal Husbandry in Ancient Israel: A Zooarchaeological Perspective on Livestock Exploitation, Herd Management and Economic Strats

Author: Sasson, Aharon

Publisher: Acumen Publishing; Publication Date: 2010

Hardcover; ISBN: 9781845531799

Volumes: 1; Pages: 224

List Price in Hardcover: $120.00 Our price: $97.99

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Animal Husbandry in Ancient Israel demonstrates four diverse and innovative perspectives on the study of caprine and cattle husbandry in the Southern Levantine Bronze and Iron Age.

The first perspective is a comparative analysis of zooarchaeological and ethnographic data from 70 sites and strata as well as wide-ranging anthropological resources on economic strategies, pastoral-nomadism and sedentism. The comparative analysis proposes new insights on primary aspects of animal husbandry in the Southern Levant such as the sheep/goat ratio, caprine/cattle ratio and utilization of caprine products.

The second perspective is spatial. It is founded on GIS (Geographic information system) analysis of spatial distribution of faunal remains in stratum II at Tel Beer-Sheba, Israel. This study sheds light on the intra-site social stratification as reflected by food refuse left behind by the inhabitants of the site.

The third perspective is sagittal and founded on taphonomic analysis investigating pre-depositional and post-depositional agents that might have altered the zooarchaeological assemblage in stratum II of Tel Beer-Sheba. The taphonomic processes span four major phases from the time animals were consumed by man to the time they were uncovered by archaeologists.

The fourth perspective is ethnographic. It is founded on copious statistical data on livestock holding in Mandatory Palestine in the 1940s. This study contributes to our understating of the component of animal husbandry in human diet.

All four perspectives points to a common denominator--the paramount strategy held by most nomadic, rural and urban Southern Levantine population in the Bronze and Iron Age was a survival subsistence strategy rather than market-oriented strategy. Trade transactions were rare and the common household maintained a conservative and a self-sufficient economy. The zooarchaeological record demonstrates how the survival subsistence strategy focused on preserving stability, minimizing risks and sustaining a long-term survival rather than specializing in animal products or trading them.


1. Introduction

2. A Comparative Perspective: The Survival Subsistence Strategy--Animal Husbandry and Economic Strategies in the Bronze and Iron Age

3. The Faunal Remains from Tel Beer-Sheba, Stratum II

4. A Spatial Perspective: Controlling Space and the Zooarchaeological Record--a GIS Spatial Analysis of Faunal Remains in Stratum II, Tel Beer-Sheba

5. A Sagittal Perspective: Taphonomic Study of Tel Sites--A Case Study from Tel Beer-Sheba

6. An Ethnographic Perspective: Animal Husbandry and Human Diet--Ethnographic Study of Premodern Villages in Mandatory Palestine

7. Conclusions

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