The application of ancient DNA analysis to identify Neolithic caprinae: A case study from the site of Hatoula, Israel

Gila Kahila Bar-Gal, Pierre Ducos, Liora Kolska Horwitz

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27 Scopus citations

Abstract

The evidence for wild sheep (Ovis orientalis) in archaeological sites from the southern Levant is examined through the application of ancient DNA analysis to specimens from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (8300-7500 uncal. BC) site of Hatoula, Israel. The results indicate that at least one of the bones from this site, previously identified as sheep, is in fact goat. To date this is the earliest faunal sample to have yielded DNA in the region. This study highlights the problems in applying morphological criteria to distinguish between caprine species, and illustrates how ancient DNA analysis can serve as a powerful tool in resolving questions of species attribution

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)120-131
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Osteoarchaeology
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2003

Keywords

  • Ancient DNA
  • Capra
  • Domestication
  • Ovis
  • Southern Levant

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