Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.756201
Title: Modern development studies as a resource for understanding working animal use in later human prehistory : the example of 4th-3rd millennium BC Mesopotamia
Author: Goulder, Jill Rosamund
ISNI:       0000 0004 7429 1541
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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Abstract:
This thesis develops and employs a novel interdisciplinary tool for examining the practical implications of early systematic working-animal use in prehistoric contexts, on which only fragmentary evidence is otherwise available. I explore the potential of this tool – modern development studies – through an extended case study: the use of working animals in Mesopotamia, in the 4th and 3rd millennium BC. The aim throughout is to broaden substantially the range of archaeological and historical inference, rather than to propose new high-level models. For achieving this aim, I use close qualitative analysis of the large body of published official and NGO studies of working-animal use today, particularly in regions where working cattle and donkeys are recent adoptions and mechanisation is minimal. These data, little-used as yet in archaeology, shed light on the day-to-day practicalities of working-animal adoption and management – breeding, supply, and maintenance. They further provide significant new bottom-up insights into common community-level social and economic levelling mechanisms such as hiring and lending of working animals, suggesting a revision to established models of social inequality relating to their adoption. One major outcome of this analysis is the argument for greater recognition of the donkey – multi-function, low-maintenance – as a significant working force in late prehistoric Mesopotamia, challenging the established ox-focused models upon which many current reconstructions rely. The scarcity of donkey remains in food-middens has contributed to this neglect. Donkeys – and female cows – are widely employed in many modern developing regions for tilling light soils, and ploughing is often a minority element of working-animal use. Here the case is made for a similar range of roles in early Mesopotamia, for example in the myriad short-distance transportation tasks that form a central element of their use today, and in the rural ‘private sector’ now recognised as present outside the purview of elite, urban texts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.756201  DOI: Not available
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