For a long time the Central Sahara has been considered as a possible centre of autonomous animal domestication, given the early radiocarbon determinations of cattle remains, dated to the end of the 8th millennium bp. Actually, the process of cattle domestication has not been definitely explained in other regions of North Africa, such as the Egyptian Nile valley and Western Desert, where there have been claimed to be autonomous forms of cattle domestication at 9500-8800 years bp. Recent analyses of early Holocene settlements of hunter-gatherers in southwestern Libya, in the Tadrart Acacus massif, yielded evidence for wild animal management at 9000-8000 years bp. Plant accumulations and Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia) dung layers implicate forced presence of these animals in mountain caves, probably for some form of planned exploitation during lean periods. Archaeological, geoarchaeological, archaeozoological and palaeobotanical data are consistent with the hypothesis of Barbary sheep penning during the early Holocene in the Acacus. This should be considered as the most ancient form of cultural control over animal resources in this region of Africa, with profound implications in subsistence strategies and social control among early Holocene hunter-gatherers.
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|Titolo:||Cultural control over wild animals during the early Holocene: the case of Barbary sheep in central Sahara.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||1998|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||04b Atto di convegno in volume|