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Early FarmersThe View from Archaeology and Science$
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Alasdair Whittle and Penny Bickle

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265758

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265758.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

Herding Practices in the Ditched Villages of the Neolithic Tavoliere (Apulia, South-east Italy)

Herding Practices in the Ditched Villages of the Neolithic Tavoliere (Apulia, South-east Italy)

A Vicious Circle? The Isotopic Evidence

(p.143) 8 Herding Practices in the Ditched Villages of the Neolithic Tavoliere (Apulia, South-east Italy)
Early Farmers

Mary Anne Tafuri

John Robb

Maria Giovanna Belcastro

Valentina Mariotti

Paola Iacumin

Antonietta Di Matteo

Tamsin O’Connell

British Academy

In the Apulian Tavoliere (Italy), a large plain south of the Gargano promontory, early and middle Neolithic villages (c.6000–5000 BC) are characterised by circular ditches, which enclose dwellings associated with early farming communities. Through the integration of isotopic data the authors explore the food practices and the social landscapes of these communities, finding that this interconnected cultural system shows a great level of complexity, especially in the economic strategies of the groups investigated. The stable carbon and nitrogen isotope study of human and animal samples reveals how some sites, which are only a short distance from one another, show different isotopic signatures within a largely homogenous environment (for example Passo di Corvo versus Masseria Candelaro and Grotta Scaloria). The authors speculate that such differences reflect multi-faceted herding/farming systems, which in the case of Passo di Corvo involved the use of animal manure.

Keywords:   Italy, Apulian Tavoliere, Early Neolithic, Middle Neolithic, stable isotopes, Passo di Corvo, herding, manure

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