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Aurochs bone deposits at Kfar HaHoresh and the southern Levant across the agricultural transition

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 December 2017

Jacqueline S. Meier*
Department of Anthropology, University of Connecticut, 354 Mansfield Road, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
A. Nigel Goring-Morris
Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel
Natalie D. Munro
Department of Anthropology, University of Connecticut, 354 Mansfield Road, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
*Author for correspondence (Email:


Aurochs played a prominent role in mortuary and feasting practices during the Neolithic transition in south-west Asia, although evidence of these practices is diverse and regionally varied. This article considers a new concentration of aurochs bones from the southern Levantine Pre-Pottery Neolithic site of Kfar HaHoresh, situating it in a regional context through a survey of aurochs remains from other sites. Analysis shows a change in the regional pattern once animal domestication began from an emphasis on feasting to small-scale practices. These results reveal a widely shared practice of symbolic cattle use that persisted over a long period, but shifted with the beginning of animal management across the region.

Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd, 2017 

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