Identifying Neolithic animal management practices in the Adriatic using stable isotopes
Keywords:Neolithic, Adriatic, transhumance, domestication, stable isotopes
We synthesise reported stable isotope values for domesticates and wild herbivores from sites spanning the Neolithic in coastal Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy (6000–3500 calBC). Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope values are analyzed as proxies of diet and environment, with differences between species possibly indicating anthropogenic influence. Results are used to characterise diets and address questions of the origin and development of husbandry strategies, especially transhumance, in early farming communities. Changes in pig carbon and nitrogen isotope values through time suggest alterations in practices, whereas values remain relatively constant for cattle and ovicaprids during most of the Neolithic, despite assumptions of seasonal mobility.
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