Husbandry and hunting in the Neolithic of Central Germany

Hans-Jürgen DÖHLE

en Anthropozoologica 25-26 - Pages 441-448

Published on 01 June 1998

This article is a part of the thematic issue Proceedings of the 7th ICAZ International Meeting, Constance, September 1994

During the last three decades, a number of faunal assemblages from Neolithic sites in Central Germany was studied. Most of the bone material excavated and studied here belongs to the Bandkeramik (Bandceramic culture, early Neolithic), the Trichterbecherkultur (Funnel Beaker culture, middle Neolithic), and the Schnurkeramik (Corded Ware culture, late Neolithic ). At all settlement sites, bones of domestic animals dominated over wild ones, amounting to more than 90% (based on the number of bones of mammals only ). It can be concluded from these results that meat requirements could be covered by domestic animals, particularly cattle, throughout the whole Neolithic, as far as animal bones give evidence at all. The consistently low proportion of wild animals bones during the whole Neolithic in Central Germany is, at the very least, remarkable. This is in sharp contrast to other regions (and other Neolithic cultures) in Central Europe, such as Southern Germany where, as a rule, wild mammals bones comprise over 20%. It seems that the relative proportion of domestic and wild animals depends more on ecogeographic factors than on a certain Neolithic culture.


Husbandry, hunting, Neolithic, Central Germany, Southern Germany.

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