United Kingdom Project Notice - 24998

Project Notice

PNR 24998
Project Name The scale and significance of early animal husbandry in SW Europe: development of aninterdisciplinary high-resolution approach to the investigation of livestock diets and herding practices.
Project Detail In the history of early farming, the absolute scale and relative importance of livestock and crop husbandry, their degree of integration, and their landscape impact are largely obscure. To address this issue, GeoFodder will develop for the first time an interdisciplinary methodology that integrates geoarchaeological and archaeobotanical techniques for archaeological recognition of leafy browse and leafy fodder (currently not directly detectable) and for assessing the preservation of different plant resource types, with the ultimate aim of reconstructing early livestock diet and herding practices. To achieve these objectives, an innovative ethnoarchaeological and experimental programme will study present-day livestock penning deposits (for which herding practices, animal diets and depositional processes are known) to determine how dietary and other plant components are altered and partly preserved through ingestion, organic decay and (to sterilize pens) burning. This will generate a suite of geoarchaeological and archaeobotanical proxies, for different plant types (taxa, anatomical parts, seasons) with different preservation histories (ingested, decayed, burnt), that will then be applied to analysis of prehistoric penning deposits in Iberian caves and rock-shelters. The resulting semi-quantitative data on livestock diet in particular contexts will underpin modelling of the qualitative and temporal dimensions of early livestock grazing/ browsing and foddering at intra- and inter-site levels to enable assessment of the potential scale of herding and thus of the likely mobility of livestock and relative importance of crops and livestock in early farming. Geofodder will thus advance our understanding of early livestock husbandry in the SW Mediterranean, contribute to assessment of the long-term landscape impact and sustainability of herding, and establish methodological standards for investigating such questions in other regions and periods.
Funded By European Union
Sector Agriculture food And Beverages
Country United Kingdom , Western Europe
Project Value 183,455

Contact Information

Web Site https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/215739_en.html

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