Navigation – Plan du site

AccueilNuméros47-2Animal Production and Secondary P...

Animal Production and Secondary Products in the Fifth Millennium BC in northern Mesopotamia

New Data from Tell Surezha (Iraqi Kurdistan)
Max Price, Michael Fisher et Gil Stein
p. 9-41


Résumé. Les recherches archéologiques actuelles suggèrent un rôle important du bétail dans le développement de la spécialisation économique et de l’inégalité sociale au Proche-Orient ancien. Nous examinons ici le système de production animale et les stratégies d’élevage de l’Obeid jusqu’au LC 2 (ca. 5200-3800 BC) dans le nord de la Mésopotamie à travers l’étude de l’assemblage faunique de Tell Surezha. Les données mettent en évidence une intensification progressive de la production animale et de l’exploitation des produits secondaires, en particulier pour la traction animale et la laine, suggérant ainsi une place importante de ces exploitations dans la mise en place d’une nouvelle politique économique dans la région. Les données morphométriques de Tell Surezha semblent démontrer l’émergence d’une économie de la laine : l’apparition de moutons de grande taille ainsi que d’un nombre croissant de mâles suggèrent l’expérimentation de nouvelles formes de gestion axées sur l’exploitation des toisons. Cependant, les données des profils de survie tendent à contredire ces hypothèses d’une production spécialisée et intensive de laine. D’autre part, une large proportion d’os des membres distaux de bovins montre des signes de pathologies liées à la traction. Ces données correspondent à l’utilisation du bétail pour les travaux de labour dans un contexte d’extensification de l’exploitation agricole. Enfin, le nombre élevé de porcs à Tell Surezha et les traces inhabituelles de consommation du chien dans les niveaux LC 1 indiquent l’importance d’aspects encore inexplorés concernant une économie d’élevage mixte durant les périodes d’Obeid et LC 1-LC 2 dans le nord de la Mésopotamie.

Haut de page

Texte intégral

We wish to thank the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and the General Directorate of Antiquities in Kurdistan for supporting the excavations at Tell Surezha. Funding for the excavations was provided by the Oriental Institute, while additional funding for the zooarchaeological analysis was awarded to MP by the National Geographic Society (Young Explorers Grant 9352-13) and the National Science Foundation (Dissertation Improvement Grant Award #1405344.) We thank Mr. Nader Babakr, director of Antiquities for the Erbil Governate for his administrative support and the facilitation of the Surezha excavations. We wish to thank the Tell Surezha excavation team and our Kurdish Regional Government representatives. Thanks to Bastien Varoutsikos for help with the French translation. Special thanks to Jill Weber for sharing unpublished faunal data from Tell Surezha.


1The economic underpinnings of the initial development of social inequality in northern Mesopotamia remain the subject of a lively academic discussion (e.g., Stein 1994; Algaze 2001; Rothman 2004; Frangipane 2007; Ur 2010; Stein 2012). What is clear, however, is that while many forms of economic activity evolved during the fifth and fourth millennia BC, it was plant and animal production that enabled elites to acquire surplus labor and finance the centralization of political power (Oates 1993; Stein 1994; Frangipane 2007: 169-171; Rothman and Fiandra 2016). Of particular importance is the role of so-called “secondary products,” such as wool and traction power, for facilitating surplus and commodity production (e.g., McCorriston 1997; Algaze 2008: 80-92; Arbuckle 2014a).

2The Ubaid and Late Chalcolithic 1-2 occupations of Tell Surezha on the Erbil Plain in Iraqi Kurdistan offer an opportunity to examine changing patterns of animal management and secondary products exploitation during the development of institutionalized social inequality. Here, we present an analysis of animal husbandry of four main livestock species—sheep, goats, cattle, and pigs. We also draw on published datasets to explore secondary product exploitation in northern Mesopotamia more broadly.

Socioeconomic Developments in Northern Mesopotamia: ca. 5200-3800 BC

3Around 5200 cal. BC, the “strongly egalitarian” (Frangipane 2007: 163) Halaf communities of northern Mesopotamia adopted Ubaid ceramic styles and other cultural traits from southern Mesopotamia (Carter and Philip 2010: 5; Stein 2010; table 1; figure 1). The Ubaid horizon coincided with the emergence of social inequality and economic specialization. Across greater Mesopotamia, prestige goods, such as stone palettes and lapis lazuli beads became more common (Stein 2012), as did house size differentiation (e.g., Jasim 1983). Additionally, stamp seals concentrated in domestic features (Stein 2012: 130) indicate that household-based storage had replaced communal storage, which had previously been evident at many Late Neolithic settlements in northern Mesopotamia (e.g., Akkermans and Duistermaat 1996). This suggests a strengthening of the institution of private property, in the sense of exclusive possession of subtractable resources by specific family groups or lineages.

Table 1 – Culture chronology of Northern Mesopotamian in the Chalcolithic.

Table 1 – Culture chronology of Northern Mesopotamian in the Chalcolithic.

Fig. 1 – Map of northern Mesopotamia with Chalcolithic sites mentioned in text.

Fig. 1 – Map of northern Mesopotamia with Chalcolithic sites mentioned in text.

4Growing socioeconomic disparities in the Ubaid went hand-in-hand with other economic and political changes. The simplification of ceramic styles (Carter and Philip 2010: 12-13), the occasional presence of pottery workshops and concentrations of kilns not attached to specific households (Yener et al. 2000: 56), and copper smelting furnaces attached to households (Esin 1989) indicate some degree of craft specialization. Ubaid communities also constructed public “temple” architecture (e.g., Rothman 2009: 27) and displayed evidence of two- or three-tiered settlement hierarchies dominated by regional centers (Wilkinson et al. 1996), thus indicating some degree of regional coordination of labor and economic activity. Beyond settlement patterns and monumental architecture, however, there is little evidence of political centralization in the hands of elite leaders or “chiefs”—for example, there are no elaborate burials (Frangipane 2007: 167; Stein 2012: 130). Most likely, political power was decentralized in northern Mesopotamia in the Ubaid. If so, then the political landscape likely consisted of “group-oriented” chiefdoms in which power and prestige were accumulated through public works, feasts, and ritual (Stein 2010).

5If the seeds of inequality were planted in the Ubaid, they matured in the Late Chalcolithic 1-2 periods, probably through inter-household competition. Excavations reveal individual or extended households as the major organizing social structures. A more integrated trade network, probably organized through kinship connections, allowed some households to acquire larger amounts of copper ore and other prestige goods than others (Rothman 2002: 81; Fisher 2017: 64). Production, although also organized at the household level, exhibited some degree of specialization. For example, while the spatial clustering of extra-household pottery kilns noted at some Ubaid sites disappeared (Fisher 2017: 69), rapidly-made “Coba bowls”, simplified ceramic forms/decorations, and the use of tournettes and molds all suggest specialized pottery production in the LC 1 (Fisher 2017: 59-62).

6It remains unclear exactly how the dynamics of kin group interaction in the LC 1 evolved into full-scale stratification and centralization. Generally speaking, these interactions included both competitive and cooperative (or alliance-building) activities (e.g., Kennedy 2012)—all, ultimately, in the pursuit of power, whether or not their participants conceived of them as such. The quest for higher positions within a developing status hierarchy set the stage for the centralization of political and economic power as one or a handful of kin groups established pre-eminence. Prestige goods and household differentiation indicate increasing economic disparities, with some households—e.g., the “White Room” building at Tepe Gawra XII (Rothman 2002: 77-80)—possessing significantly more wealth than others.

7On this terrain defined by competing lineage groups, political power remained dispersed. Like their Ubaid precursors, LC 1 settlements displayed little evidence for the centralization of political power or large-scale redistribution of goods (Rothman 2002: 75-83; Stein 2012: 132). Nevertheless, there are hints of a changing political landscape. At Tepe Gawra XII, a large and centrally-located grain storage building may be evidence of initial steps toward the consolidation of economic and political power (Rothman 2009: 23), perhaps in the hands of one or a small number of important kin groups.

8By the LC 2 period (4200-3800 BC), centralized political economies had developed. Wealthy child burials at late LC 1-2 Tepe Gawra XIA (Rothman 2002: 89) and the “LC A” (= LC 2) levels at Hacinebi (Stein et al. 1996: 96) indicate social stratification. The centralization of political power around the elite and their residences can be seen at the “Round House” at Tepe Gawra XIA (Rothman 2002: 95-99; 2009: 24) and the “Basalt Threshold Building” at Tell Surezha (McMahon et al. 2007: 588-590). The former was fortified and contained grain storage facilities, the latter supported adjacent craft production areas for attached specialists. Specialization, attached and perhaps also independent, is indicated by the mass production of coarsely-made pottery (“wide flower pots”), which were possibly intended for the provisioning of “rations” (Rothman 2009: 24), as well as prestige goods of obsidian and precious stones (McMahon in press: 24-25).

9In northern Mesopotamia, the centralization of political power, with clearly identifiable leadership, derived at least in part from elite families consolidating their control over production, distribution, and long-distance exchange of prestige goods (Stein 2012). Additionally, Rothman (2009: 27) has hypothesized that religion played an important role, citing the construction of increasingly large temples at Tepe Gawra XI/XA-VIII (LC 2-3). Significantly, the scale of political power on a regional level increased dramatically in the LC 2, with several settlements in the Khabur drainage expanding to urban size (Ur 2010: 394). These would serve as seats of local power as they evolved into states in an increasingly urbanized landscape in the LC 3 and 4 periods (McMahon 2009; McMahon et al. 2011; Stein 2012).

10The transition to full-fledged social stratification, economic specialization, and leadership in northern Mesopotamia thus appears to have evolved out of intense inter-household competition. This competition almost certainly involved the differential accumulation of surpluses from agricultural and pastoral production. The mobilization of these surpluses toward financing long-distance exchange, specialized craft production, and increasingly elaborate or exclusive rituals facilitated the assumption of political and religious authority by a few kin groups. Yet while there is evidence for emerging socioeconomic differences in the Ubaid and LC 1, it remains unclear how, exactly, households built the wealth they would use to appropriate surplus labor, acquire prestige goods, and cultivate political power.

11Based on assessments of wealth transmission and inequality in modern ethnographic cases (Borgerhoff Mulder et al. 2009; Borgerhoff Mulder et al. 2010; Shenk et al. 2010), we posit that livestock production played a critical role in the development of inequality. Archaeologists, however, have been reluctant to acknowledge this role in their discussions of the sociopolitical trajectory of greater Mesopotamia. While less visible archaeologically than, for example, prestige goods and burials, the ethnographic data make it clear that two of the most critical sources of wealth in small-scale agricultural societies are livestock and land (e.g., Borgerhoff Mulder et al. 2009; Shennan 2011). Land and livestock are separate forms of wealth. However, through the mechanism of cattle traction, land ownership and usage were intimately tied to animal production in northern Mesopotamia.

12Surveying ethnographic and historical data, Borgerhoff Mulder et al. (2009) have shown that societies in which wealth is primarily measured in livestock and land exhibit higher degrees of inter-generational wealth transmission and socioeconomic inequality. Applying mathematical models to the process of wealth transmission and inequality, the authors argue that the key factor is heritability. Non-material forms of wealth (skill-based or “wealth in people”) are subject, over the long term, to regression to the mean. The offspring of highly skilled individuals fail to live up to the reputations set by their parents, reproductive rates decline, and lineages fracture or die off in a stochastic manner. However, material forms of wealth allow stochastic differences in prosperity to accumulate and be perpetuated over time by establishing those born into prosperous families with a secure baseline of wealth. While bad luck, mismanagement, conflict, magnanimity, or theft can reduce once-wealthy families to penury, on a systemic level and over the long term, the more reliable rates of transmission of land and livestock foster greater concentrations of wealth in the hands of a smaller number of individuals.

13Importantly, land and livestock are not only heritable forms of wealth, but are also means of production for creating additional wealth. In this way they constitute a type of wealth quite unique from others—at least until the appearance of interest-bearing loans, investments, and other forms of capital. Control over labor, livestock, and land facilitate the repeatable production of surplus staples and valuable agropastoral commodities (e.g., wool, wine, cereals, oil), which can be mobilized to achieve renown (e.g., through gifts and feasts), to appropriate (additional) surplus labor, and to acquire prestige goods, such as gold or lapis. Furthermore, animal reproduction, when managed carefully, expands exponentially, at least up to a threshold defined by labor, resource, and ecological parameters. This allows initial “investments” in livestock to grow at increasing rates over time.

14Without social or environmental factors to limit the dynamics of herd growth or large-scale accumulation of land and livestock, inequality can rapidly accelerate within agropastoral societies. Societies of the Late Neolithic in northern Mesopotamia may have staved off the process of rapid wealth accumulation through community-level resource pooling, inter-household alliances, rituals, or other mechanisms that limited inheritance of wealth (Bernbeck 1995; Frangipane 2007). But once these mechanisms weakened and disappeared, according to Borgerhoff Mulder et al.’s (2009) models, the stage was set for lasting inequality to develop.

15Following these arguments, we suggest that the dynamics of livestock production were key to the development of social complexity in the Ubaid through LC 2 period. Of particular importance are the development of specialized animal economies, which were dominated by livestock and strengthened by the intensification of secondary products exploitation, especially wool and traction power. While the roots of these changes can perhaps be found in the Late Neolithic, we posit that the Late Chalcolithic 1-2 witnessed an expansion of livestock production, wool exploitation, and use of cattle for traction as land and livestock became more firmly tied to transgenerational success in the context of inter-household competition.

Animal Economies in the 5th and 4th Millennia BC

Decline of Hunting

16Table 2 shows that the 5th millennium BC witnessed a decline in hunting across northern Mesopotamia and southeast Anatolia (Arbuckle and Öztan 2018; Grossman and Hinman 2013). Only in the under-populated regions of the Syrian steppe did hunting persist on a large scale into the late 4th millennium BC (Bar-Oz et al. 2011), probably to meet demand for valuable skins across Mesopotamia. The decline in hunting can be attributed to the intensification of livestock production to feed growing populations (Grossman and Hinman 2013: 214) or reductions of wild populations (Bar-Oz et al. 2011). Additionally, the shift might reflect growing efforts by competing lineages to enlarge their herds—perhaps with the ultimate intention of sponsoring feasts, exchanging livestock for prestige goods, using animals for bride prices, or increasing the production of secondary products.

Table 2 – NISPs of major taxa from Ubaid-LC 2 sites in northern Mesopotamia.

Table 2 – NISPs of major taxa from Ubaid-LC 2 sites in northern Mesopotamia.

Secondary Products

17The “secondary products revolution”, a concept developed by Andrew Sherratt (1983), posits that during the Chalcolithic, people across the Fertile Crescent began to exploit sheep, goats, and cattle for products other than meat and hides. These included tangible goods (milk, wool, and hair) as well as harnessing animals’ productive forces (traction power for plowing fields or pulling carts). It is now clear that secondary product exploitation predated the Chalcolithic (e.g., Vigne and Helmer 2007; Evershed et al. 2008; Spiteri et al. 2016). Yet the Chalcolithic remains a critical period for understanding how secondary products exploitation intensified to enable the development of two pillars of the Mesopotamian political economy: wool and grain.

Livestock and the Evolution of Inequality


18McCorriston’s (1997) “fiber revolution” hypothesis places wool center-stage in the development of Mesopotamian political economies. She argues that linen was the most common form of textile material prior to the evolution of sheep with more developed undercoats (see Arbuckle 2014a: 211-214; McCorriston 1997: 521; Ryder 1983). Once developed, wool became the preferred textile material because it was less labor-intensive than flax. And while wool required more land usage, sheep husbandry could take advantage of unused grasslands (McCorriston 1997: 524). This would have precipitated a process of land extensification (Styring et al. 2017), a consequence of which was the simultaneous freeing up of household female labor and the alienation of women from the primary means of production. According to McCorriston, it was the appropriation of this surplus female labor for textile spinning and weaving that became a vital part of inter-household competition, the development of social inequality, and institutional power (McCorriston 1997: 525).

19Several studies have attempted to document and date the “fiber revolution”. For example, cryptic lines on a sheep figurine from late 6th millennium BC Tepe Sarab have been interpreted as depictions of wool staples (for discussion, see Breniquet 2014: 61-62). Rooijakkers (2012) takes the introduction of spindle whorls and “pierced disks” at Late Neolithic Tell Sabi Abyad I as evidence of wool spinning. Sudo (2010) has argued that the low weights (< 50g) exhibited by spindle whorls at Ubaid-LC 1 Kosak Shamali indicate a dependence on wool, while interpreting a reduction in size over time as evidence of spinning finer-quality fibers. Small spindle whorls indicative of animal fibers were also common across northern Mesopotamia by the LC 2 period (e.g., Keith 1998; McMahon in press: 14). However, while these studies can be taken as evidence for the use of animal fibers, they do not shed light on the scale and intensity of wool production, per se.

20Zooarchaeological data on caprine culling strategies, or kill-off patterns, pertain more directly to the intensity and scale of wool production. Much of this research has relied on Payne’s (1973) study of modern goat herds in Turkey, from which he developed models for the most efficient means of maximizing different caprine products. Herders focused on efficient meat production slaughter excess males around the time when their growth levels off (c. 1-3 years old). This strategy optimizes herd growth while at the same time furnishing herders with a reliable supply of meat and subsistence-level amounts of secondary products (Halstead 1998). Herders attempting to maximize fiber production, however, allow a large percentage (c. 50%) of males and females to live > 4 years, since more adult animals translates into a greater abundance of wool/hair. It is important to note, however, that Payne (1973) never claimed nor insinuated that his models captured every viable herding strategy. Indeed, many other successful strategies exist. Makarewicz (2011), for example, has documented a slaughter pattern among Mongolian pastoralists that mimics intensive wool production. Herders delayed kill-off by several years as part of a long-term “extreme risk reduction” strategy (Makarewicz 2011: 33) designed to ensure against stochastic but regular catastrophic events, namely zud winters.

21In northern Mesopotamia, some Neolithic sites, such as El Kowm and Tell Halula (Helmer et al. 2007; Sa—a and Tornero 2012), produce the earliest examples of late kill-off. These may represent early attempts to maximize wool/hair production. Alternatively, they might indicate other strategies, such as “extreme risk reduction” (Makarewicz 2011: 33). Whatever the case, several zooarchaeological studies indicate consistently higher proportions of older caprines beginning in the 5th millennium BC (table 3). Kill-off data in other regions, such as central Anatolia (Arbuckle 2014a: 220) and the southern Levant (Bourke et al. 2007; Grigson 2006), also support a 5th millennium date for the region-wide shift to more intensive wool production. While researchers have yet to articulate clearly the evolution of herding strategies in the Late Chalcolithic, by the late 4th millennium BC, the wool economy was well established across Mesopotamia. This is attested to not only by zooarchaeological kill-off data (see Vila 1998), but also Archaic texts from Uruk documenting “wool sheep” and an even number of male and female sheep in institutional herds (Green 1980).

Table 3 – Percentage of caprine mandibles in Ubaid and Late Chalcolithic sites falling into Payne’s (1973) age classes G, H, or I (4 years or older).

Table 3 – Percentage of caprine mandibles in Ubaid and Late Chalcolithic sites falling into Payne’s (1973) age classes G, H, or I (4 years or older).

22Other zooarchaeological techniques to examine wool exploitation include sheep-to-goat ratios and biometrical evidence. In the Kermanshah Valley in Iran, a shift from goat-dominated to sheep dominated assemblages in the 5th or 4th millennium BC has been interpreted as an intensification of wool production (e.g., Davis 1984). This method, however, is more difficult to apply to northern Mesopotamia, where the predominance of sheep over goats began in the Neolithic (Ilgezdi 2008: 85; Russell 2010: 74; Sa—a and Tornero 2012). Complicating matters further, ancient textual evidence clearly shows that Mesopotamian herders exploited goats for fibers (e.g., Foster 2014; Frangipane et al. 2009: 20). While noting these limitations of sheep-to-goat ratios, there does appear to be a shift towards even greater proportions of sheep at some, but not all, 5th-4th millennia BC sites in northern Mesopotamia (table 3).

23Metrical data provide a final line of evidence for examining wool production. Vila and Helmer (2014) have published sheep biometrical data from northern Mesopotamia sites spanning the 6th-3rd millennium BC, showing an uptick in average sheep size beginning in the 5th millennium BC. These data could indicate the presence of a new, heavier breed of sheep (Vila and Helmer 2014: 30). Given the similarities in size to 3rd millennium sheep, they speculate the presence in the 5th millennium BC of a wool-bearing breed of sheep. Alternatively, the metrical data could indicate the presence of a large number of males in sheep herds (Arbuckle 2014a: 213), a demographic profile consistent with wool production (Payne 1973).

Traction and Grain Production

24Anthropologists and archaeologists have long speculated that cattle traction likely played a central role in the development of social inequality (Goody 1976; Bogucki 1993; Halstead 1995; Bogaard et al. 2019). Cross-culturally, societies that have relied on plow agriculture tend to be stratified, while those that rely on hoe agriculture alone are often non-stratified (Goody 1976; Borgerhoff Mulder et al. 2009). Early on, Goody (1976) proposed two explanations for this correspondence between traction and stratification: first, traction allows the production of substantial grain surpluses that can support non-producers; second, in its ability to facilitate cultivation of greater amounts of land per unit of labor, traction makes land a scarce (or more subtractable) resource, exacerbating existing inequalities and creating the conditions for elites to appropriate land. It is important to note that these factors will only lead toward greater inequality if private (or kinship-based) rights to land and surpluses supplant, at least at times, communal rights to them. Ubaid and Late Chalcolithic communities appear to match that condition.

25Goody’s second explanation—that traction leads to land scarcity—relates to cattle’s ability to facilitate agricultural extensification. Extensification is the process by which increased grain yields are achieved by bringing more land under cultivation (e.g., Styring et al. 2017). It can be contrasted with “intensification”, in which higher yields are achieved by applying more labor to existing plots (Boserup 1965). Over time, extensification causes agricultural systems to become land-limited (rather than labor-limited) as farmers compete for new areas to grow grain (Bogaard et al. 2019). Thus, land increasingly becomes a crucial asset for competitive lineage groups. Extensification may have been particularly important for increasing grain yields in northern Mesopotamia, where rain-fed agriculture requires twice as much land to produce the same amount of grain as irrigation agriculture (Weiss 1983). Indeed, Styring et al. (2017) use plant and animal isotopic data (C and N) to demonstrate extensification in northern Mesopotamia beginning in the Late Chalcolithic.

26Use of cattle traction can be considered a “threshold technology” for agricultural extensification. When tied to a plow, a team of oxen greatly expands the areal coverage of field preparation activities by a factor of around 10 (Bogaard et al. 2019: 6; Halstead 1995). Halstead’s (1995: 13) survey of Mediterranean ethnohistorical data reveals that a person controlling a team of oxen can prepare .1-.4 ha/day, compared to .02-.05 ha/day for handheld tools (hoes, digging sticks, etc.). Cattle were also used, at least by the Old Babylonian period, for a variety of other agricultural tasks that benefitted from an abundance of brute strength (Stol 1995: 200). These activities might have included threshing, hauling sheaves, or dredging irrigation canals. In effect, cattle act as a multiplier of human labor, unleashing an order of magnitude more power and facilitating grain production well beyond subsistence levels (Bogaard et al. 2019; see also Bogucki 1996). If “grain made kings” (Paulette 2016: 85) in the Bronze Age, by the same token cattle made grain and thus enabled Chalcolithic and later elites to accumulate vast surpluses of cereals.

27Ownership of cattle may have been essential for households to remain competitive. Draft cattle are costly to train, manage, and feed (Halstead 1995: 11; Stol 1995: 195-196), and thus owning them is a viable option only for those with means. Yet, because of cattle’s ability to boost production, cattle-less families could easily slip onto the lower rungs of the social ladder (Bogucki 1993). Owning cattle meant access to greater wealth and prestige, and not just through increased agricultural output. First, like land, cattle could be rented; indeed, texts show that by the Bronze Age, cattle rentals were a regular feature of the Mesopotamian economy (e.g., Roth 1980; Stol 1995). Those who could afford to own these living means of production could thereby act as rentiers, enhancing their wealth simply by letting others use them for a fixed price, share of the harvest, or labor obligations. Second, at least by the Bronze Age, cattle were valuable in and of themselves. Elites regularly collected cattle as war booty, gave them as gifts, and mobilized them in dowries/bride price negotiations (Arbuckle 2014b). This quality of cattle—as a prestige good— likely derived from the ritual significance of cattle, which has clear roots in the Neolithic, as well as the animals’ use-value as agents of traction.

28Thus, the issue of when widespread use of cattle traction began is critical to understanding the development of complex societies in northern Mesopotamia. Zooarchaeological indications of traction use are pathological lesions as a result of stresses on bovine limbs. These include exostotic growth and/or osteoarthritic burnishing on the hind and distal limbs, metapodia asymmetry, and fusion of vertebral segments (Bartosiewicz et al. 1993; De Cupere et al. 2000; Upex and Dobney 2012: 199). One complicating factor is that the etiology of these pathologies is non-specific; they can result from various bone ailments or cattle walking on rough terrain (e.g., De Cupere et al. 2000: 264). These pathological lesions have been identified at 6th and 5th millennium contexts in southern Europe (Gaastra et al. 2018) and Crete (Isaakidou 2006). In the greater Near East, the evidence appears to be less widely reported (but see Helmer et al. 2018 for the PPNB). Pathologies consistent with traction have been found in 6th millennium BC contexts at Hacı Elamxanlı Tepe in Azerbaijan (Nishiaki et al. 2015) and the 7th-6th millennium BC sites of Menteşe (Gourichon and Helmer 2008) and Ulucak Höyük (Çakırlar 2012) in western Turkey, although Çakırlar (2012) contends that the low proportion of remains with distal limb pathologies at Ulucak argues against traction. In 5th through early 4th millennium contexts, traction pathologies have been found at a number of Ghassulian Chalcolithic sites in the Levant (Grigson 1995; Price et al. 2013) and at Ubaid-LC 2 Tell Nader on the Erbil Plain (Hadjikoumis 2016).

29Glyptic evidence also supports traction, at least by the late 4th millennium BC. Cylinder seals from Arslantepe and Uruk show presumably prominent persons being carried on a sledge pulled by a team of oxen (Frangipane 1997: 67). This sledge could be used for transport or, perhaps, reflects the use of threshing sledges, and thus a connection to grain processing. While not depicting field preparation, per se, the seals do depict the tackle and animal training necessary for harnessing traction power and, perhaps, the strong connections between plowing and politics.

Tell Surezha

30Tell Surezha is a 22-hectares site located about 20 km southwest of Erbil at 36.00°N 43.89°E (fig. 2). The site comprises a high conical mound reaching 16 m above the surface and extending across 2.8 hectares, with an extensive lower “apron” surrounding it (Stein 2018; Stein and Fisher 2019). Intensive surface survey and a sondage dug into the southwestern portion of the “apron” allow us to estimate the size of the site in the Ubaid and LC 1 periods at around 5.3 hectares. The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago has carried out five seasons of excavations from 2013-2019. Surezha’s main occupation dates to the Ubaid through LC 4 period, but excavations have primarily revealed deposits dating to the LC 1 and LC 1-2 transitional period. Some of these deposits were disturbed by later activity, including Late Bronze Age pits and burials and modern military activity. Radiocarbon determinations from multiple contexts have established a clear chronology for these occupations (table 4).

Fig. 2 – Map of Tell Surezha.

Fig. 2 – Map of Tell Surezha.

Table 4 – Major periods represented at Tell Surezha, after Stein (2018).

Table 4 – Major periods represented at Tell Surezha, after Stein (2018).

31Since 2016, excavations have concentrated in “Area B” (Operations 2, 9, 10) on the southern edge of the mound, where Ubaid through LC 1-2 architecture was uncovered in three adjacent 10 × 10 m trenches (fig. 2). In the easternmost trench, Operation 2, excavators uncovered domestic architecture, with an abutting outside/courtyard area containing ovens and pits. At least two houses were identified, with a narrow alley running between them. In the western part of Area B (Operations 9 and 10), excavators uncovered a large, free-standing, and apparently non-domestic building that included rooms as well as a large enclosing wall, presumably around outside surfaces. The building contained many animal bones and other debris, as well as stamp seals, seal impressions, a mortar and a pestle, and an almost complete painted lenticular spouted vessel (Stein and Fisher 2019). Despite its unusual nature, this building’s alignment with the houses indicates that the structures belonged to the same occupation (Stein 2018; Stein and Fisher 2019).

32In addition to the zooarchaeological evidence presented below, bone and ceramic artifacts from Surezha shed light on textile production. A more detailed analysis of textile production will be examined in a later paper, but here it is worth noting the recovery of dozens of bone tools, particularly awls and needles, as well as ceramic spindle whorls in the Ubaid through LC 1-2 periods. Similar to the evidence from Kosak Shamali (Sudo 2010), the diameter and mass of spindle whorls was low (< 50 g for all specimens; median weight = 19.9 g; n = 23; fig. 3). Importantly, this indicates that animal fibers (and not flax) were being spun.

Fig. 3 – Sizes of spindle whorls over time at Tell Surezha.

Fig. 3 – Sizes of spindle whorls over time at Tell Surezha.


33Faunal remains were recovered by hand and with dry sieving in primary secondary contexts. Once collected, bones were exported to the Zooarchaeology Laboratory at Harvard University, where they were assessed for taxonomic identification, age-at-death, biometrics, paleopathologies, and taphonomic marks.

34Age-at-death was assessed in cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs using several standards for dental eruption and wear (Payne 1973; Legge 1992; Lemoine et al. 2014) and epiphyseal fusion timing (Hongo 1998: 126; Zeder 2006; Zeder et al. 2015). For dental-based age-at-death, following Payne (1988), we counted right and left mandibles or isolated teeth that included deciduous fourth premolars or third molars. In cases in which a mandible could be assigned to two age classes, a count of .5 was allocated to each age class.

35Biometrical data were collected using the standard measurements (Driesch 1976; Payne and Bull 1988). Fused and unfused bones were measured, but obviously neonatal or very young specimens were excluded. Measurements were converted to log-size index values (LSI), using published standards for sheep (Uerpmann and Uerpmann 1994: 433), goats (Uerpmann and Uerpmann 1994: 437), pigs (Payne and Bull 1988), and cattle (Steppan 2001). In cases of multiple measurements on the same specimen, a mean LSI value was taken. To deal with potential allometric scaling differences, a one-way ANOVA of LSI values across elements was conducted. If p < .1, LSI values were plotted by element and visually inspected for deviations, and with most deviating elements removed until p < .1. This conservative approach led to the exclusion of tibia measurements in sheep and cattle and deciduous premolars in pigs.

36Statistical analysis was conducted in R using the basic Stats package (R Core Team 2014). Additional packages were employed as well, including zooaRch (Price et al. 2016) for analysis of kill-off profiles and “Mixtools” (Benaglia et al. 2009) for mixture analysis. For mixture analysis, expectation-maximization mixture modeling was performed, assuming k = 2 Gaussian distributions. We note that one should approach with caution the results of mixture models using LSI data. However, our more conservative approach to minimize allometric scaling differences between assemblages should mitigate some of the problems.


Taxonomic Abundance

37Table 5 and table 6 show numbers of identified specimens (NISPs) from the prehistoric periods at Tell Surezha. Overall, caprines represent about half of the identified remains, with sheep and goats in roughly equal proportions. The one exception to this pattern is the LC 1-2, in which caprines represent 80%. That percentage, however, is influenced by the recovery of five almost complete, but disarticulated, sheep and goat skeletons (NISP = 222) in Op. 10, Locus 3—a large pit filled with what appears to have been feasting debris.

Table 5 – NISP for all Chalcolithic phases at Surezha.

Table 5 – NISP for all Chalcolithic phases at Surezha.

Table 6 – Relative abundances (based on %NISP of mammals) of major taxa from Tell Surezha.

Table 6 – Relative abundances (based on %NISP of mammals) of major taxa from Tell Surezha.

38Pigs were the second-most common taxon, representing about 30% of the Chalcolithic mammal remains. Cattle and canines (especially in the LC 1) make up most of the remaining fauna. Wild mammals (mostly gazelle) constitute a small proportion of the remains. However, small numbers of fish, mollusks, and a single Potamon sp. (river crab) attest to riverine exploitation. The single identified fish belonged to the Cyprinidae family (cf. freshwater carps), while a number of Unionida (freshwater mussel) shells were also identified, similar to finds at Halaf-Ubaid Tell Aqab (Pickard 2016).

Sheep and Goats

39Sheep and goats were found in roughly equal proportions across periods (sheep-to-goat ratio = 116: 114; for MNIs, see Appendix table 6). Survivorship curves based on caprine dental kill-off data are shown in Figure 4 for both the LC 1 period and the later LC 1-2 through LC 3 phases. The curves are consistent with Payne’s (1973) “meat curve.” For the LC 1 period, 28% fell in wear stages G, H, I. For the LC 1-2 through LC 3 contexts, 20% belonged to these age classes, which is well below the expected number for a herding strategy maximizing wool production (Raw dental wear data and epiphyseal fusion data available in the Appendix tables 1 and 3).

Fig. 4 – Survivorship of sheep and goats at Tell Surezha in LC 1(top) and LC 1-2 through LC 3 (bottom). Gray shading indicates 68% confidence interval. Payne’s (1973) Wool and Meat curves are added.

Fig. 4 – Survivorship of sheep and goats at Tell Surezha in LC 1(top) and LC 1-2 through LC 3 (bottom). Gray shading indicates 68% confidence interval. Payne’s (1973) Wool and Meat curves are added.

40Figure 5 shows LSI data for sheep and goats from all Chalcolithic phases, clearly indicating large-sized sheep. Individual metrics suggest a 10-15% size different between the caprine taxa; for example, among lateral lengths of the astragalus (GLl), the most common element, sheep (n = 12) averaged 31.4 mm, 14% larger than goats (n = 7), which averaged 27.5 mm (t-test: t = 3.99, df = 11.97, p = .002). Tell Surezha’s sheep matched the size of Vila and Helmer’s (2014: 26) large Late Chalcolithic sheep, which exhibited site average astragalus GLl measurements ranging from 30.5-33.2 mm (compared to 27.7-29.9 mm in the Halaf). At Surezha, large-sized sheep were found in the Ubaid-LC 1 transitional layers (one astragalus GLl = 32.6 mm). While the sample size is small from these layers, this suggests that the large-bodied sheep associated with wool production existed in northern Mesopotamia by the early 5th millennium BC.

Fig. 5 – Biometrical data for sheep (top) and goats (bottom) from all Chalcolithic phases at Tell Surezha. Graphs include unfused remains. Note: Tibia measurements removed for sheep.

Fig. 5 – Biometrical data for sheep (top) and goats (bottom) from all Chalcolithic phases at Tell Surezha. Graphs include unfused remains. Note: Tibia measurements removed for sheep.

41The large average size of sheep specimens might also reflect differences in sex ratios between the two caprine taxa. In figure 5, the right skew to the goat histogram contrasts with the more even bimodal distribution of sheep. To explore this issue further, we performed mixture analysis of the sheep remains, which identified two components with mean LSI values located at -.010 ± .019 and .034 ± .010 (log-likelihood at estimate = 70.80). This translates to an 11% difference in average size, similar to average metrical differences between rams and ewes (8%) of modern Shetland sheep (Davis 2000: 387). For the Surezha sheep, the mixing components were 70% for the smaller mode and 30% for the larger one, suggesting about 30% of mature males in the herd. These proportions must be taken with a grain of salt as they are based on relatively small samples and the calculation of the mixing statistics is sensitive to small differences in sample parameters (Dong 1997). Nevertheless, the Surezha metrical data might be indicative of a higher-than-expected number of mature males, a feature consistent with—though by no means exclusive to— fiber exploitation (Payne 1973: 284).


42Minimal age-at-death for cattle were available; only nine lower teeth of cattle were assigned ages at death. However, epiphyseal fusion data showed the majority of cattle slaughtered before 2-3.5 years of age, which is consistent with expectations for a meat or security management (Appendix table 5).

43Biometrical data (fig. 6) show a population of domestic cattle, with all but two measurements falling below LSI = 0. The mean LSI value was -.072, which is similar to cattle measurements from Halaf-period Gird Banahilk (µ = -.055; t-test: t = 1.36, df = 36.1, p = .183) and Late Chalcolithic Hassek Höyük (µ = -.062; t = .560, df = 30.39, p = .580; Arbuckle et al. 2016; Boessneck 1992; Laffer 1983).

Fig. 6 – Cattle LSI values from all Chalcolithic phases at Tell Surezha. Note: Tibia measurements removed.

Fig. 6 – Cattle LSI values from all Chalcolithic phases at Tell Surezha. Note: Tibia measurements removed.

44A number of distal limb elements of cattle showed evidence of pathological lesions. Seven cattle distal limb elements, in total, showed evidence of pathologies, including pitting, exostotic growth, and lipping over on articular surfaces (table 7; Appendix figs 1-5). This compares to four on sheep/goats and one on pigs. The severity of the pathologies was generally low—all affected specimens were a “2” or “3” on De Cupere et al.’s (2000) scale—but the proportion of affected limb bones suggests that cattle at Tell Surezha were under significant amounts of physical stress. While the etiology of these pathologies is non-specific, mobility over rough terrain can be ruled out given the relative flatness of the Erbil Plain. It is therefore likely that the pathologies reflect frequent use of cattle for draft purposes.

Table 7 – Distal limb bones of cattle showing evidence of pathologies compared to total number of cattle remains, tabulated by minimum number of elements (MNE).

Table 7 – Distal limb bones of cattle showing evidence of pathologies compared to total number of cattle remains, tabulated by minimum number of elements (MNE).


45A total of 29 mandibles and loose teeth were assigned age-at-death, of which 22 derived from the LC 1 period. The data reveal a substantially young-focused kill-off, with 64% culled prior to one year of age and around a third culled prior to six months (fig. 7). This pattern suggests an intensive husbandry system in which piglets, born in the early spring, were raised and fattened for slaughter in the autumn or winter.

Fig. 7 – Survivorship of pigs from Tell Surezha in the LC 1 period. Gray shading indicates 68% confidence interval. Age classes follow Lemoine et al.’s (2014) “simplified A” system, which is equivalent to Hongo and Meadow (1998).

Fig. 7 – Survivorship of pigs from Tell Surezha in the LC 1 period. Gray shading indicates 68% confidence interval. Age classes follow Lemoine et al.’s (2014) “simplified A” system, which is equivalent to Hongo and Meadow (1998).

46Biometrical data from suid teeth (fig. 8) indicate that pigs from Surezha were roughly the size of 6th millennium domestic pigs from other sites in northern Mesopotamia, with molar measurements exhibiting an average LSI value of -.10 for both the LC 1 (n = 33) and the combined Chalcolithic assemblages (n = 43). This is comparable to pig dental measurements from Halaf-period Gird Banahilk (µ = -.10; t-test: t = 1.411, d = -60.53, p = .163). However, the Surezha pigs were significantly larger than those from LC 2-4 Hacinebi (µ = .12; t = 5.013, df = 86.89, p < .001; Price and Evin 2019).

Fig. 8 – Log-size Index of pig molars and post-cranial bones from all Chalcolithic contexts from Tell Surezha.

Fig. 8 – Log-size Index of pig molars and post-cranial bones from all Chalcolithic contexts from Tell Surezha.


47Canines represent only 1-3% of the faunal remains in every period except the LC 1, when they represent 8%. To a large extent, this unexpectedly high proportion was driven by the presence of canine bones within and around the non-domestic structure in Operations 9 and 10. While disarticulated, most of the bones may have belonged to a small number of individuals (MNI = 4, based on lower first molars).

48Several of the canine remains showed evidence of butchery. Cut marks (n = 4) were found across the skeleton (table 8; figure 9). They are most consistent with dismemberment, although some could relate to skinning of animals. All of the canines were mature, with all long bones exhibiting fused epiphyseal ends and no deciduous teeth recorded. Their presence in a non-domestic, potentially ritual context, will not be explored further here but may be related to forms of ritual behavior not typically observed in the Late Chalcolithic. Intriguingly, biometrical data indicate the presence of both domestic dogs and at least one wolf (table 9).

Table 8 – Canine remains displaying cut marks.

Table 8 – Canine remains displaying cut marks.

Fig. 9 – Photographs of cut marks and possible cut marks on dog/wolf bones from the LC 1 period. Clockwise from top left: 2229: Distal radius showing two parallel cut marks on medial edge; 2879: Mandible with cut mark on ventral edge, below 3rd and 4th premolars; 4133: calcaneus with possible cut mark on posterior edge; 4317: proximal ulna with possible cut mark on olecranon process (although note the proximity to gnawing marks).

Fig. 9 – Photographs of cut marks and possible cut marks on dog/wolf bones from the LC 1 period. Clockwise from top left: 2229: Distal radius showing two parallel cut marks on medial edge; 2879: Mandible with cut mark on ventral edge, below 3rd and 4th premolars; 4133: calcaneus with possible cut mark on posterior edge; 4317: proximal ulna with possible cut mark on olecranon process (although note the proximity to gnawing marks).

Table 9 – Tell Surezha Canis lower first molar measurements. Data compared to a domestic dog recovered from Akkadian period levels (late 3rd millennium BC) at Tell Surezha (Clutton-Brock 1989) and modern wolves from the Zagros (Davis and Valla 1978: 610).

Table 9 – Tell Surezha Canis lower first molar measurements. Data compared to a domestic dog recovered from Akkadian period levels (late 3rd millennium BC) at Tell Surezha (Clutton-Brock 1989) and modern wolves from the Zagros (Davis and Valla 1978: 610).

Discussion and Conclusions

49The zooarchaeological remains from Tell Surezha, when viewed in the broader context of northern Mesopotamia in the Ubaid through LC 2, shed light on the dynamics of animal economies during the transition to stratified and politically centralized societies. First, wild animals were rare at Tell Surezha, paralleling the general shift to livestock production across the region, with the notable exception of some Late Chalcolithic communities in the Khabur region (Bar-Oz et al. 2011). Further research is necessary to determine the exact causes of the decline in hunting, but we posit that inter-household competition in the Ubaid and LC 1 played a leading role. As lineage groups or households sought to develop their wealth and prestige, raising greater numbers of livestock would have proved a key advantage. Domestic animals could provide reliable and abundant supplies of meat for feasts and secondary products for gifts or exchange. Moreover, they constituted a heritable, mobile, and reproducible form of wealth. Indeed, Schmid (2009) has hypothesized that the increased presence of grain storage at Gawra XII (LC 1) indicates a focus on enlarging herds. If so, the quest to increase stocks may have initiated a run-away process of inequality, one facilitated by inter-generational transmission of animal wealth (Borgerhoff Mulder et al. 2009). The pursuit and adoption of successful strategies of livestock management, for both primary and secondary products, figured prominently (and perhaps definitively) in the separation of society into “haves” and “have-nots.”

50Pigs were a prominent feature of meat production at Tell Surezha in all periods and, at least in the Chalcolithic, they may have been included among animal wealth. They appear to have lost that position by the Bronze Age (Price et al. 2017). Nevertheless, pigs would remain a prominent feature of animal economies in the urbanized core of the Khabur region (Price et al. 2017) and on the Erbil Plain (Schwartz et al. 2017: 31) in the Early and Middle Bronze Ages. The ability of pigs to grow and breed rapidly, as well as produce copious amounts of fat-rich meat, make them an ideal animal for feasting. The culling of young pigs at Surezha suggests an ability of Chalcolithic herders to achieve slaughter weight quickly, enabling regular slaughter of spring-born piglets in the autumn or winter. Such pig-rearing strategies may have supported feasts at Surezha. Archaeological evidence for pig feasts from the Chalcolithic site of Tel Tsaf in the Jordan River Valley (Ben-Shlomo et al. 2009), as well as textual evidence mentioning large-scale pig feasts for elites in the Akkadian period (e.g., Foster 2016: 1), suggest that pork may have played a more important social role than frequently imagined.

51The wool economy expanded in the Late Chalcolithic period to become a core feature of Mesopotamian institutions. There is now biometrical (Vila and Helmer 2014), demographic (table 3), and artifactual (Sudo 2010) data to support the hypothesis that specialized herding practices intended to intensify fiber production had their roots in the Ubaid and LC 1 periods. At Tell Surezha, bone tools and spindle whorls indicate a vibrant textile economy operating at the site in the Ubaid through LC 2, with spindle-whorl mass indicating wool was the preferred material. The presence at the site of large-bodied sheep, which might represent a special wool-bearing breed, is another potential sign of wool production beginning in the Ubaid period. However, the caprine data from LC 1 Surezha do not present clear evidence for intensive herd management strategies aimed at maximizing wool production. While mixture modeling of biometrical data potentially suggest a high proportion of males, the combined sheep/goat kill-off profile matched herd security/meat production models, not intensive fiber exploitation.

52One explanation for these divergent patterns is that the inhabitants of Tell Surezha were experimenting on a low-level with new forms of herd management in order to promote wool exploitation. Effectively, the Surezha herders allowed a higher number of males to reach adulthood, but did not allow their herds to become dominated by animals over four years old, as in modern herds managed for wool production. When viewed in the context of other sites in northern Mesopotamia, the Surezha data indicate a community on the road to a fully-fledged wool economy and the “fiber revolution” it unleashed (McCorriston 1997).

53The issue of cattle traction has received relatively little attention in the Late Chalcolithic period, a glaring oversight given the likely importance of these animals in the evolution of complex societies in the Old World (Bogaard et al. 2019; Bogucki 1993; Halstead 1995). Combined with captive-taking, clientelism, and other forms of surplus labor appropriation, plowing would have facilitated massive increase in the ability of emerging elites to generate staple surplus and at the same time promoting extensification. The latter process would make land a scarce and jealously guarded resource. While the few kill-off data from Surezha suggest that cattle husbandry was geared towards meat production, the higher-than-expected number of pathological lesions on cattle distal limbs suggests use for traction. This is intriguing when placed side-by-side with the pathological distal metacarpal from nearby Ubaid-LC 2 Tell Nader (Hadjikoumis 2016). Together, the data suggest a process of agricultural extensification taking place on the Erbil Plain in the 5th millennium BC. Yet this issue needs further exploration and more rigorous recording at other sites to fully evaluate the extent of cattle traction in the evolution of northern Mesopotamian political economies.

54Tell Surezha offers a glimpse of an evolving animal economy in northern Mesopotamia. While there is little evidence for large-scale specialized herding practices, the faunal remains provide tentative evidence for the first gasps of a developing fiber economy and use of cattle for traction. In time, the uses of sheep and cattle for their secondary products created two of the fundamental pillars of the ancient Mesopotamian political economy, wool and grain. The consequences of this transition would include the development of land-limited agricultural systems, large-scale production of textiles, specialized production, the appropriation of surplus labor through the supplying of “rations,” and new forms of wealth. All of these would enable the institutions of the Bronze Age to rise to power and maintain their dominance over Mesopotamian societies for millennia.

Haut de page


Akkermans P. M. M. G. and Duistermaat K. 1996 – Of storage and nomads: the sealings from Late Neolithic Sabi Abyad, Syria. Paléorient 22: 17-32.

Algaze G. 2001 – Initial Social Complexity in Southwestern Asia: The Mesopotamian Advantage. Current Anthropology 42,2: 199-233.

Algaze G. 2008 – Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.

Arbuckle B. S. 2014a – Inequality and the Origins of Wool Production in Central Anatolia. In: Arbuckle B. S. and McCarty S. A. (eds.), Animals and Inequality in the Ancient World: 209-229. Boulder, University of Colorado Press.

Arbuckle B. S. 2014b – The Rise of Cattle Cultures in Bronze Age Anatolia. Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology & Heritage Studies 2: 277-297.

Arbuckle B. S., Price M. D., Hongo H. and Öksüz B. 2016 – Documenting the Initial Appearance of Domestic Cattle in the Eastern Fertile Crescent (Northern Iraq and Western Iran). Journal of Archaeological Science 72: 1-9.

Arbuckle B. S. and Öztan A. 2018 – Horse and Hemione Hunting at Late Neolithic/Chalcolithic Kösk Höyük, central Turkey. In: Çakırlar C., Chahoud J., Berthon R. and Birch S. P. (eds.), Archaeozoology of the Near East XII: 41-58. Groningen, Barkhuis.

Bar-Oz G., Zeder M. A. and Hole F. 2011 – Role of Mass-Kill Hunting Strategies in the Extirpation of Persian Gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa) in the Northern Levant. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108,18: 7345-7350.

Bartosiewicz L. 2016 – Halaf Period Animal Remains from tell Aqab, Northeastern Syria. In: Marom N., Yeshurun R., Weissbrod L. and Bar-Oz G. (eds.), Bones and Identity: 125-155. Oxford, Oxbow Books.

Bartosiewicz L., Van Neer W. and Lentacker A. 1993 – Metapodial Asymmetry in Draft Cattle. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 3: 69-75.

Ben-Shlomo D., Hill A. C. and Garfinkel Y. 2009 – Feasting between the Revolutions: Evidence from Chalcolithic Tel Tsaf, Israel. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 22,2: 129-150.

Benaglia T., Chauveau D., Hunter D. R. and Young D. 2009 – Mixtools: An R Package for Analyzing Finite Mixture Models. Journal of Statistical Software 32,6: 1-29.

Bernbeck R. 1995 – Lasting Alliances and Emerging Competition: Economic Developments in Early Mesopotamia. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 14,1: 1-25.

Bigelow L. 2011 – Economic Specialization in Late Chalcolithic Animal Systems: The Fauna at Hacinebi Tepe, Turkey. Unpublished PhD Dissertation, Anthropology, Northwestern University, Evanston.

Boessneck J. 1992 – Landschaft, Flora und Fauna: Besprechung der Tierknochen und Molluskenreste von Hassek Höyük. In: Behm-Blanke M. R. (ed.), Hassek Höyuk: Naturwissenschaftliche Untersuchungen und lithische Industrie: 58-74. Tübingen, Ernst Wasmuth Verlag.

Bogaard A., Fochesato M. and Bowles S. 2019 – The farming-inequality nexus: new insights from ancient Western Eurasia. Antiquity 93: 1129-1143.

Bogucki P. 1993 – Animal Traction and Household Economies in Neolithic Europe. Antiquity 67: 492-503.

Bogucki P. 1996 – The Spread of Early Farming in Europe. American Scientist 84: 242-253.

Borgerhoff Mulder M., Bowles S., Hertz T., Bell A., Beise J., Clark G., Fazzio I., Gurven M., Hill K., Hooper P. L., Irons W., Kaplan H., Leonetti D., Low B., Marlowe F., McElreath R., Naidu S., Nolin D., Piraino P., Quinlan R., Schniter E., Sear R., Shenk M., Smith E. A., Rueden C. V. and Wiessner P. 2009 – Intergenerational Wealth Transmission and the Dynamics of Inequality in Small-Scale Societies. Science 326: 682-688.

Borgerhoff Mulder M., Fazzio I., Irons W., McElreath R. L., Bowles S., Bell A., Hertz T. and Hazzah L. 2010 – Pastoralism and Wealth Inequality: Revisiting an Old Question. Current Anthropology 51: 35-48.

Boserup E. 1965 – The Conditions of Agricultural Growth. London, Earthscan Publications.

Bourke S. J., Lovell J., Sparks R. T., Seaton P. L., Mairs L. D. and Meadows J. 2007 – A Fourth Season of Renewed Excavation by the University of Sydney at Tulaylat al-Ghassul (1999). Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 51: 35-80.

Breniquet C. 2014 – The Archaeology of Wool in Early Mesopotamia: Sources, Models, Perspectives. In: Breniquet C. and Michel C. (eds.), Wool Economy in the Ancient Near East and the Aegean: From the Beginnings of Sheep Husbandry to Institutional Textile Industry: 52-78. Oxford, Oxbow Books.

Çakirlar C. 2012 – The evolution of animal husbandry in Neolithic central­west Anatolia: the zooarchaeological record from Ulucak Höyük (c. 7040-5660 cal. BC, Izmir, Turkey). Anatolian Studies 62: 1-33.

Carter R. A. and Philip G. 2010 – Deconstructing the Ubaid. In: Carter R. A. and Philip G. (eds.), Beyond the Ubaid: 1-22. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.

Clutton-Brock J. 1989 – A Dog and a Donkey Excavated at Tell Surezha. Iraq 51: 217-224.

Davis S. J. M. 1984 – The Advent of Milk and Wool Production in Western Iran: Some Speculations. In: Clutton-Brock J. and Grigson C. (eds.), Animals in Archaeology 3: Early Herders and Their Flocks: 265-278. Oxford, BAR Publishing (International Series 202).

Davis S. J. M. 2000 – The Effect of Castration and Age on the Development of the Shetland Sheep Skeleton and a Metric Comparison Between Bones of Males, Females and Castrates. Journal of Archaeological Science 27: 373-390.

Davis S. J. M. and Valla F. R. 1978 – Evidence for Domestication of the Dog 12,000 Years Ago in the Natufian of Israel. Nature 276: 608-610.

De Cupere B., Lentacker A. and Van Neer W. 2000 – Osteological Evidence for the Draught Exploitation of Cattle: First Applications of a New Methodology. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 10: 254-267.

Dong Z. 1997 – Mixture Analysis and its Preliminary Application in Archaeology. Journal of Archaeological Science 24: 141-161.

Driesch A. von den 1976 – A Guide to the Measurements of Animal Bones from Archaeological Sites. Cambridge (MA), Peabody Museum (Bulletin 2).

Esin U. 1989 – An early trading center in Eastern Anatolia. In: Emre K., Hrouda B., Mellink M. and Özgüç N. (eds.), Anatolia and the Ancient Near East: 135-141. Ankara, Türk Tarih Kurumu.

Evershed R. P., Payne S., Sherratt A., Copley M. S., Coolidge J., Urem-Kotsu D., Kotsakis K., Özdoğan M., Özdoğan A. E., Nieuwenhuyse O., Akkermans P. M. M. G., Bailey D., Andeescu R.R., Campbell S., Farid S., Hodder I., Yalman N., Özbaşaran M., Biçakci E., Garfinkel Y., Levy T. E. and Burton M. M. 2008 – Earliest date for milk use in the Near East and southeastern Europe linked to cattle herding. Nature 455: 528-531.

Fisher M. 2017 – The Late Chalcolithic 1 Period in Northern Mesopotamia: Tell Zeidan, Syria, in Regional Context. Unpublished PhD Dissertation, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago, Chicago.

Foster B. R. 2014 – Wool in the Economy of Sargonic Mesopotamia. In: Breniquet C. and Michel C. (eds.), Wool Economy in the Ancient Near East and the Aegean: From the Beginnings of Sheep Husbandry to Institutional Textile Industry: 115-123. Oxford, Oxbow Books.

Foster B. R. 2016 – The Age of Akkad: Inventing Empire in Ancient Mesopotamia. New York, Routledge.

Frangipane M. 1997 – A 4th-Millennium Temple/Palace Complex at Arslantepe-Malatya: North-South Relations and the Formation of Early State Societies in the Northern Regions of Greater Mesopotamia. Paléorient 23,1: 45-73.

Frangipane M. 2007 – Different types of egalitarian societies and the development of inequality in Early Mesopotamia. World Archaeology 39,2: 151-176.

Frangipane M., Strand E. A., Laurito R., Möller-Wiering S., Nosch M. L., Rast-Eicher A. and Lassen A. W. 2009 – Arslantepe, Malatya (Turkey): Textiles, Tools and Imprints of Fabrics from the 4th to the 2nd Millennium BCE. Paléorient 35: 5-29.

Gaastra J. S., Greenfield H. J. and Vander Linder M. 2018 – Gaining traction on cattle exploitation: zooarchaeological evidence from the Neolithic Western Balkans. Antiquity 92: 1462-1477.

Goody J. 1976 – Production and Reproduction: A Comparative Study of the Domestic Domain. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Gourichon L. and Helmer D. 2003 – Preliminary analysis of faunal remains from Tell Kosak Shamali (Syria): Squares AD5, AE5, AF5, BD6 and BE6. In: Nishiaki Y. and Matsutani T. (eds.), Tell Kosak Shamali: The Archaeological Investigations on the Upper Euphrates, Syria: 273-282. Tokyo, The University Museum.

Gourichon L. and Helmer D. 2008 – Étude de la faune néolithique de Menteşe (Turquie). In: Roodenberg J. and Roodenberg S. L. A. (eds.), Life and Death in a Prehistoric Settlement in Northwest Anatolia. The Ilıpınar Excavations, Volume III. With contributions on Hacılartepe and Menteşe: 435-448. Leiden, Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten te Leiden.

Green M. W. 1980 – Animal Husbandry at Uruk in the Archaic Period. Journal of Near Eastern Studies 39,1: 1-35.

Grigson C. 1995 – Cattle keepers of the northern Negev: Animal remains from the Chalcolithic site of Grar. In: Gilead I. (ed.), Grar: A Chalcolithic site in the northern Negev: 377-452. Beersheva, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Press.

Grigson C. 2006 – Farming? Feasting? Herding? Large Mammals from the Chalcolithic of Gilat. In: Levy T. E. (ed.), Archaeology, Anthropology and Cult: The Sanctuary at Gilat, Israel: 215-319. London, Equinox.

Grossman K. M. and Hinman M. 2013 – Rethinking Halaf and Ubaid Animal Economies: Hunting and Herding at Tell Zeidan (Syria). Paléorient 39,2: 201-219.

Hadjikoumis A. 2016 – Animal husbandry and other human-animal interactions in Late Ubaid-Early Uruk northern Iraq: the faunal remains from the 2012 excavation season at Tell Nader. In: Kopanias K. and MacGinnis J. (eds.), The Archaeology of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and Adjacent Regions: 87-99. Oxford, Archaeopress.

Halstead P. 1995 – Plough and power: the economic and social significance of cultivation with the ox-drawn ard in the Mediterranean. Bulletin on Sumerian Agriculture 8: 11-22.

Halstead P. 1998 – Mortality Models and Milking: Problems of Uniformitarianism, Optimality and Equifinality Reconsidered. Anthropozoologica 27: 3-20.

Helmer D., Gourichon L. and Vila E. 2007 – The Development of the Exploitation of Products from Capra and Ovis (meat, milk, and fleece) from the PPNB to the Early Bronze in the Northern Near East (8700 to 2000 BC cal.). Anthropozoologica 42,2: 41-69.

Helmer D., Balise E., Gourichon L. and Saña-Segui M. 2018 – Using Cattle for Traction and Transport during the Neolithic Period: Contribution of the Study of the First and Second Phalanxes. Bulletin de la Société Préhistorique Française 115: 71-98.

Hongo H. 1998 – Patterns of Animal Husbandry in Central Anatolia from the Second Millennium BC through the Middle Ages: Faunal Remains from Kaman-Kalehöyük, Turkey. Unpublished PhD Dissertation, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University, Cambridge (MA).

Hongo H. and Meadow R. H. 1998 – Pig Exploitation at Neolithic Çayönü Tepesi (Southeastern Anatolia). In: Nelson S. (ed.), Ancestors for the Pigs: 77-98. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MASCA Research Papers in Science and Archaeology 15).

Ilgezdi G. 2008 – The Domestication Process in Southeastern Turkey: The Evidence of Mezraa-Teleilat. Doctoral thesis, Universität Tübingen, Tübingen.

Isaakidou V. 2006 – Ploughing with Cows: Knossos and the Secondary Products Revolution. In: Serjeantson D. and Field D. (eds.), Animals in the Neolithic of Britain and Europe: 95-112. Oxford, Oxbow Books.

Jasim S. A. 1983 – Excavations at Tell Abada: A Preliminary Report. Iraq 45: 165-185.

Keith K. 1998 – Spindle Whorls, Gender, and Ethnicity at Late Chalcolithic Hacinebi Tepe. Journal of Field Archaeology 25: 497-515.

Kennedy J. R. 2012 – Commensality and Labor in Terminal Ubaid Northern Mesopotamia. Journal for Ancient Studies Special Volume 2: 125-156.

Laffer J. P. 1983 – The Faunal Remains from Banahilk. In: Braidwood L. S., Braidwood R. J., Howe B., Reed C. A. and Watson P. J. (eds.), Prehistoric Archeology Along the Zagros Flanks: 629-648. Chicago, Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

Legge A. J. 1992 – Excavations at Grimes Graves, Norfolk, 1972-1976. Fascicule 4. Animals, Environment and the Bronze Age Economy. London, British Museum Press.

Lemoine X., Zeder M. A., Bishop K. J. and Rufolo S. J. 2014 – A new system for computing dentition-based age profiles in Sus scrofa. Journal of Archaeological Science 47: 179-193.

Makarewicz C. 2011 – Xiongnu Pastoral Systems: Integrating Economies of Subsistence and Scale. In: Brosseder U. and Miller B. (eds.), Xiongnu Archaeology: Multidisciplinary Perspectives of the First Steppe Empire in Inner Asia: 181-192. Bonn, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität.

McCorriston J. 1997 – The Fiber Revolution: Textile Extensification, Alienation, and Social Stratification in Ancient Mesopotamia. Current Anthropology 38,4: 517-535.

McMahon A. 2009 – The lion, the king and the cage: Late Chalcolithic iconography and ideology in northern Mesopotamia. Iraq 71: 115-124.

McMahon A. In press – Early Urbanism in Northern Mesopotamia. Journal of Archaeological Research.

McMahon A., Oates J., Al-Quntar S., Charles M., Colantoni C., Hald M. M., Karsgaard P., Khalidi L., Soltysiak A., Stone A. and Weber J. 2007 – Excavations at Tell Brak 2006-2007. Iraq 69: 145-171.

McMahon A., Soltysiak A. and Weber J. 2011 – Late Chalcolithic mass graves at Tell Brak, Syria, and violent conflict during the growth of early city-states. Journal of Field Archaeology 36,3: 201-220.

Nishiaki Y., Guliyev F., Kadowaki S., Alakbarov V., Miki T., Salimbayov S., Akashi C. and Arai S. 2015 – Investigating Cultural and Socioeconomic Change at the Beginning of the Pottery Neolithic in the Southern Caucasus: The 2013 Excavations at Hacı Elamxanlı Tepe, Azerbaijan. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 374: 1-28.

Oates J. 1993 – Trade and power in the fifth and fourth millennia BC: New evidence from northern Mesopotamia. World Archaeology 24: 403-422.

Özbal R. D. 2006 – Households, Daily Practice, and Cultural Appropriation at Sixth Millennium Tell Kurdu. Unpublished PhD Dissertation, Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University, Evanston.

Parker B. J., Foster C. P., Henecke J., Hopwood M., Hopwood D., Creekmore A., Demirergi A. and Eppihimer M. 2008 – Preliminary Report from the 2005-2006 Field Seasons at Kenan Tepe. Anatolica 34: 103-176.

Paulette T. 2016 – Grain, storage, and state making in Mesopotamia (3200–2000 BC). In: Manzanilla L. R. and Rothman M. (eds.), Storage in ancient complex societies: Administration, organization, and control: 85-109. New York, Routledge.

Payne S. 1973 – Kill-off Patterns in Sheep and Goats: The Mandibles from Aşvan Kale. Anatolian Studies 23: 281-303.

Payne S. 1988 – Animal Bones from Tell Rubeideh. In: Killick R. G. (ed.), Tell Rubeideh: An Uruk Village in the Jebel Hamrin: 98-135. Baghdad, British School of Archaeology in Iraq.

Payne S. and Bull G. 1988 – Components of Variation in Measurements of Pig Bones and Teeth, and the Use of Measurements to Distinguish Wild from Domestic Pig Remains. Archaeozoologia 2: 27-66.

Pickard C. 2016 – Prehistoric Molluscan Remains from Tell Aqab, Northeastern Syria. In: Marom N., Yeshurun R., Weissbrod L. and Bar-Oz G. (eds.), Bones and Identity: Zooarchaeological Appraoches to Reconstructing Social and Cultural Landscapes in Southwest Asia: 157-169. Oxford, Oxbow Books.

Price M. D., Buckley M., Rowan Y. M. and Kersel M. 2013 – Animal Management Strategies during the Chalcolithic in the Lower Galilee: New Data from Marj Rabba. Paléorient 39: 183-200.

Price M. D. and Evin A. 2019 – Long-term morphological changes and evolving human-pig relations in the northern Fertile Crescent from 11,000 to 2000 cal. BC. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 11: 237-251.

Price M. D., Grossman K. and Paulette T. 2017 – Pigs and the pastoral bias: The other animal economy in northern Mesopotamia (3000–2000 BCE). Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 48: 46-62.

Price M. D., Wolfhagen J. and Otárola-Castillo E. 2016 – Confidence Intervals in the Analysis of Mortality and Survivorship Curves in Zooarchaeology. American Antiquity 81: 157-173.

R Core Team 2014 – R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. URL .

Rooijakkers C. T. 2012 – Spinning Animal Fibres at Late Neolithic Tell Sabi Abyad, Syria? Paléorient 38,1-2: 93-109.

Roth M. T. 1980 – The Scholastic Exercise “Laws about Rented Oxen”. Journal of Cuneiform Studies 32: 127-146.

Rothman M. S. 2002 – Tepe Gawra: The Evolution of a Small, Prehistoric Center in Northeastern Iraq. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania (Museum Monograph 112).

Rothman M. S. 2004 – Studying the Development of Complex Society: Mesopotamia in the Late Fifth and Fourth Millennia BC. Journal of Archaeological Research 12,1: 75-119.

Rothman M. S. 2009 – Religion, Function, and Social Networks: Tepe Gawra in the Late Fifth and Early Fourth Millennia BC. In: Butterlin P. (ed.), À propos de Tepe Gawra, le monde proto-urbain de Mésopotamie: 15-39. Turnhout, Brepols (Subartu XXIII).

Rothman M. S. and Fiandra E. 2016 – Verifying the Role of Storage: Examples from Prehistoric Ancient Mesopotamia. In: Manzanilla L. R. and Rothman M. S. (eds.), Storage in Ancient Complex Societies: Administration, Organization, and Control: 85-109. New York, Routledge.

Russell A. 2010 – Retracing the Steppes: A Zooarchaeological Analysis of Changing Subsistence Patterns in the Late Neolithic at Tell Sabi Abyad, Northern Syria, c. 6900 to 5900 BC. Doctoral thesis, Archaeology, Leiden University, Leiden.

Ryder M. 1983 – The interaction between biological and technological change during the development of different fleece types in sheep. Anthropozoologica 16: 131-140.

Saña M. and Tornero C. 2012 – Use of Animal Fibres during the Neolithisation in the Middle Euphrates Valley: An Archaeozoological Approach. Paléorient 38: 79-91.

Schmid H.2009 – Architecturae Fundamentum. Berlin, Leonhard-Thurneysser-Verlag.

Schwartz G. M., Brinker C. D., Creekmore A. T., Feldman M. H., Smith A. and Weber J. A. 2017 – Excavations at Kurd Qaburstan, A Second Millennium BC. Urban Site on the Erbil Plain. Iraq 79: 213-255.

Shenk M. K., Borgerhoff Mulder M., Beise J., Clark G., Irons W., Leonetti D., Low B S., Bowles S., Hertz T., Bell A. and Piraino P. 2010 – Intergenerational Wealth Transmission among Agriculturalists: Foundations of Agrarian Inequality. Current Anthropology 51,1: 65-83.

Shennan S. 2011 – Property and Wealth Inequality as Cultural Niche Construction. Philosphical Transactions of the Royal Society B 366: 918-926.

Sherratt A. 1983 – The Secondary Products Revolution of Animals in the Old World. World Archaeology 15: 90-104.

Siracusano G. and Bartosiewicz L. 2012 – Meat Consumption and Sheep/Goat Exploitation in Centralised and Non-Centralised Economies at Arslantepe, Anatolia. Origini 34: 111-123.

Spiteri C. D., Gillis R. E., Roffet-Salque M., Navarro L. C., Guilaine J., Manen C., Muntoni I. M., Segui M. S., Urem-Kotsou D., Whelton H. L., Craig O. E., Vigne J.-D. and Evershed R. P. 2016 – Regional Asynchronicity in Dairy Production and Processing in Early farming communities of the northern Mediterranean. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113: 13594-13599

Stein G. J. 1994 – Economy, Ritual, and Power in ‘Ubaid Mesopotamia. In: Stein G. J. and Rothman M. S. (eds.), Chiefdoms and Early States in the Near East: 35-46. Madison (WI), Prehistory Press.

Stein G. J. 2010 – Local Identities and Interaction Spheres: Modeling Regional Variation in the Ubaid Horizon. In: Carter R. A. and Philip G. (eds.), Beyond the Ubaid: 23-44. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.

Stein G. J. 2012 – The Development of Indigenous Social Complexity in Late Chalcolithic Upper Mesopotamia in the 5th-4th Millennia BC—An Initial Assessment. Origini 34: 125-151.

Stein G. J. 2018 – The Roots of Urbanism in Northern Mesopotamia: 2017 Excavations at Surezha. Oriental Institute 2017-18 Annual Report: 15-21.

Stein G. J., Edens C., Miller N. F., Özbal H., Pearce J. and Pittman H. 1996 – Hacinebi, Turkey: Preliminary Report on the 1995 Excavations. Anatolica 22: 85-128.

Stein G. J. and Fisher M. T. 2019 – Surezha Excavations: Erbil Plain, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. Oriental Institute 2018-19 Annual Report: 125-138.

Steppan K. 2001 – Ur oder Hausrind? Die Variabilität der Wildtieranteile in linearbandkeramischen Tierknochenkomplexen. In: Arbogast R. M., Jeunesse C. and Schibler J. (eds.), Rôle et statut de la chasse dans le Néolithique ancien danubien (5500-4900 av. J.-C.): 171-188. Rahden, Verlag Marie Leidorf.

Stol M. 1995 – Old Babylonian Cattle. Bulletin on Sumerian Agriculture 8: 173-213.

Styring A. K., Charles M., Fantone F., Hald M. M., McMahon A., Meadow R. H., Nicholls G. K., Patel A. K., Pitre M. C., Smith A., Sołtysiak A., Stein G., Weber J. A., Weiss H. and Bogaard A. 2017 – Isotope evidence for agricultural extensification reveals how the world’s first cities were fed. Nature Plants 3,6: nplants201776.

Sudo H. 2010 – The Development of Wool Exploitation in Ubaid-Period Settlements of North Mesopotamia. In: Carter R. A. and Philip G. (eds.), Beyond the Ubaid: 169-180. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.

Uerpmann H.-P. and Uerpmann M. 1994 – Animal Bone Finds from Excavation 520 at Qala’at al-Bahrain. Volume I: The Northern City Wall and the Islamic Fortress. In: Højlund F., Hellmuth H. H. and Callot O. (eds.), Qala’at al-Bahrain: 417-444. Moesgaard, Aarhus (Jutland Archaeological Society Publications 25-1).

Upex B. and Dobney K. 2012 – More Than Just Mad Cows: Exploring Human–Animal Relationships Through Animal Paleopathology. In: Grauer A. L. (ed.), A Companion to Paleopathology: 191-213. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell

Ur J. A. 2010 – Cycles of Civilization in Northern Mesopotamia, 4400–2000 BC. Journal of Archaeological Research 18: 387-431.

Van Neer W. and De Cupere B. 2000 – Faunal Remains from Tell Beydar (Excavation Seasons 1992-1997). In: Van Lerberghe K. and Voet G. (eds.), Tell Beydar: Environmental and Technical Studies: 69-115. Brepolis, Turnhout (Belgium).

Vigne J.-D. and Helmer D. 2007 – Was Milk a ‘Secondary Product’ in the Old World Neolithisation Process? Its Role in the Domestication of Cattle, Sheep, and goats. Anthropozoologica 42: 9-40.

Vila E. 1998 – L´exploitation des animaux en Mésopotamie aux IVe et IIIe millénaires avant J.- C. Paris, CNRS Éditions (Monographie du CRA 21).

Vila E. and Helmer D. 2014 – The Expansion of Sheep Herding and the Development of Wool Production in the Ancient Near East: An Archaeozoological and Iconographical Approach. In: Breniquet C. and Michel C. (eds.), Wool Economy in the Ancient Near East and the Aegean: From the Beginnings of Sheep Husbandry to Institutional Textile Industry: 22-40. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Weiss H. 1983 – Excavations at Tell Leilan and the Origins of North Mesopotamian cities in the Third Millennium B.C. Paléorient 9: 39-52.

Wilkinson T., Monahan B. H. and Tucker D. J. 1996 – Khanijdal East: A Small Ubaid Site in Northern Iraq. Iraq 58: 17-50.

Yener K. A., Edens C., Casana J., Diebold B., Ekstrom H., Loyet M. and Özbal R. 2000 – Tell Kurdu Excavations 1999. Anatolica 26: 31-117.

Zeder M. A. 1998 – Environment, Economy, and Subsistence in Northern Mesopotamia. Bulletin of the Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies 33: 55-67.

Zeder M. A. 2006 – Reconciling Rates of Long Bone Fusion and Tooth Eruption in Sheep (Ovis) and Goat (Capra). In: Ruscillo D. (ed.), Recent Advances in Ageing and Sexing Animal Bones: 87-118. Oxford, Oxbow Books.

Zeder M. A., Lemoine X. and Payne S. 2015 – A New System for Computing Long-Bone Fusion Age Profiles in Sus scrofa. Journal of Archaeological Science 55: 135-150.

Haut de page

Table des illustrations

Titre Table 1 – Culture chronology of Northern Mesopotamian in the Chalcolithic.
Fichier image/jpeg, 121k
Titre Fig. 1 – Map of northern Mesopotamia with Chalcolithic sites mentioned in text.
Fichier image/jpeg, 925k
Titre Table 2 – NISPs of major taxa from Ubaid-LC 2 sites in northern Mesopotamia.
Fichier image/jpeg, 402k
Titre Table 3 – Percentage of caprine mandibles in Ubaid and Late Chalcolithic sites falling into Payne’s (1973) age classes G, H, or I (4 years or older).
Fichier image/jpeg, 501k
Titre Fig. 2 – Map of Tell Surezha.
Fichier image/jpeg, 702k
Titre Table 4 – Major periods represented at Tell Surezha, after Stein (2018).
Fichier image/jpeg, 106k
Titre Fig. 3 – Sizes of spindle whorls over time at Tell Surezha.
Fichier image/jpeg, 135k
Titre Table 5 – NISP for all Chalcolithic phases at Surezha.
Fichier image/jpeg, 336k
Titre Table 6 – Relative abundances (based on %NISP of mammals) of major taxa from Tell Surezha.
Fichier image/jpeg, 91k
Titre Fig. 4 – Survivorship of sheep and goats at Tell Surezha in LC 1(top) and LC 1-2 through LC 3 (bottom). Gray shading indicates 68% confidence interval. Payne’s (1973) Wool and Meat curves are added.
Fichier image/jpeg, 179k
Titre Fig. 5 – Biometrical data for sheep (top) and goats (bottom) from all Chalcolithic phases at Tell Surezha. Graphs include unfused remains. Note: Tibia measurements removed for sheep.
Fichier image/jpeg, 46k
Titre Fig. 6 – Cattle LSI values from all Chalcolithic phases at Tell Surezha. Note: Tibia measurements removed.
Fichier image/jpeg, 84k
Titre Table 7 – Distal limb bones of cattle showing evidence of pathologies compared to total number of cattle remains, tabulated by minimum number of elements (MNE).
Fichier image/jpeg, 54k
Titre Fig. 7 – Survivorship of pigs from Tell Surezha in the LC 1 period. Gray shading indicates 68% confidence interval. Age classes follow Lemoine et al.’s (2014) “simplified A” system, which is equivalent to Hongo and Meadow (1998).
Fichier image/jpeg, 64k
Titre Fig. 8 – Log-size Index of pig molars and post-cranial bones from all Chalcolithic contexts from Tell Surezha.
Fichier image/jpeg, 44k
Titre Table 8 – Canine remains displaying cut marks.
Fichier image/jpeg, 96k
Titre Fig. 9 – Photographs of cut marks and possible cut marks on dog/wolf bones from the LC 1 period. Clockwise from top left: 2229: Distal radius showing two parallel cut marks on medial edge; 2879: Mandible with cut mark on ventral edge, below 3rd and 4th premolars; 4133: calcaneus with possible cut mark on posterior edge; 4317: proximal ulna with possible cut mark on olecranon process (although note the proximity to gnawing marks).
Fichier image/jpeg, 959k
Titre Table 9 – Tell Surezha Canis lower first molar measurements. Data compared to a domestic dog recovered from Akkadian period levels (late 3rd millennium BC) at Tell Surezha (Clutton-Brock 1989) and modern wolves from the Zagros (Davis and Valla 1978: 610).
Fichier image/jpeg, 109k
Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Max Price, Michael Fisher et Gil Stein, « Animal Production and Secondary Products in the Fifth Millennium BC in northern Mesopotamia »Paléorient, 47-2 | -1, 9-41.

Référence électronique

Max Price, Michael Fisher et Gil Stein, « Animal Production and Secondary Products in the Fifth Millennium BC in northern Mesopotamia »Paléorient [En ligne], 47-2 | 2021, mis en ligne le 01 mars 2022, consulté le 26 mai 2024. URL : ; DOI :

Haut de page


Max Price

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge – USA

Michael Fisher

University of Oxford, Oxford – UK

Gil Stein

Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Chicago – USA

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur


Le texte seul est utilisable sous licence CC BY 4.0. Les autres éléments (illustrations, fichiers annexes importés) sont « Tous droits réservés », sauf mention contraire.

Haut de page
Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search