Neolithic animal management practices and stable isotope studies in the Adriatic

Emily Zavodny, Sarah B. McClure, Brendan J. Culleton, Emil Podrug, Douglas J. Kennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We examine bone samples of known domesticates (sheep, goat, cattle and pig) from five open-air village sites spanning most of the Neolithic period in Dalmatia, Croatia (cal 6000-4700 BC) to characterise diets of domestic animals and address questions of the origin and development of animal husbandry strategies in early farming communities. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope values are analysed as proxies of diet and local environment that may indicate differences in herding and management practices between domesticated species. Results are compared to those reported for faunal remains found at other Neolithic sites from coastal Croatia and the wider Adriatic region. We find that isotopic values remain stable for cattle and ovicaprids during most of the Neolithic, suggesting that husbandry of these species remained fundamentally the same throughout the period in much of the Adriatic. However, temporal differences identified among pigs indicate changes in associated management practices through time, and may be a result of different foddering practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-195
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Archaeology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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