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Title: The origins and evolution of pig domestication in Italy : a regional and diachronic study of husbandry practices
Author: Tecce, Sofia
ISNI:       0000 0004 8506 2744
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2019
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The emergence of the Neolithic in Europe represents a key moment in human history, and the domestication of the wild boar (Sus scrofa) and the emergence of the pig (Sus domesticus) a fundamental aspect of that process. In Italy, the phenomenon of pig domestication in prehistory is still not entirely understood. The main objective of this PhD is to contribute to the understanding of the origins and development of pig domestication in prehistoric Italy, from a wide regional scale and a diachronic perspective. Some key archaeological questions addressed in this research concern how and when the process of pig domestication commenced in Italy, how it evolved thereafter, and how it compares and integrates with the wider European and Middle Eastern scenarios. The main methodology used to tackle this objective is the collection of comparable data from several Italian prehistoric sites in order to detect patterns of regional and chronological change, from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Bronze Age. The analysis relies mainly on biometrical data, but it is complemented with evidence of kill-off patterns and sex ratios, in order to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the domestication event. The results support the view that a domesticated pig occurred in Italy from the Early Neolithic, although it only became morphologically distinct from the Late Neolithic onwards. This change in pig size and shape seems to signify a shift from an earlier loose management strategy of pig keeping to a close domestic control of pigs in later times, articulating with historical changes in Italian societies. The Italian pig domestication process shares similarities and differences with other European and Middle Eastern cases, highlighting the diverse trajectories this process took in different areas, in tune with the regional particularities of the spread of the Neolithic in Europe.
Supervisor: Albarella, Umberto ; Ayala, Gianna Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available