L'élevage au Néolithique final dans le sud-est de la France : éléments de réflexion sur la gestion des troupeaux


fr Anthropozoologica 40 (1) - Pages 191-216

Published on 02 September 2005

This article is a part of the thematic issue Agriculture and herding on mountain slopes: the view of archaeologists

Late Neolithic breeding in Southeast France : some thoughts about flock management

In a context of important cultural changes, the economy of the late Neolithic societies of Southeast France is marked by increase of agricultural production and intensification of breeding. If flocks structure seems relatively constant, variability in their exploitation can be noticed both between the different cultural groups and inside the same cultural group. The recent archaeozoological analysis of Collet-Redon and Ponteau-Gare (Bouches-du-Rhône) settlements and current studies of La Fare (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence) and La Citadelle (Bouches-du-Rhône) settlements provide new data about herding modes sheep, goat and cattle as well as productions searched by breeders. At the same time, a study of the current sheep breeding provides us with precise information about the strategies of slaughtering developed in rearing for the production of meat. In order to obtain a comprehensive view about the late Neolithic pastoralist system, the interpretation of these pastoral practices have to be framed within territory management, which is a real stake for farming and grazing. The application of sheep and goat milk tooth methods (Helmer et al.this tome) to our series bring data about slaughtering seasonality. Comparing the whole results to data from other late Neolithic sites, Combe Obscure (Ardèche), Claparouse (Vaucluse) and Col-Saint-Anne (Bouches-du-Rhône), allows to hypothesize occupation seasonality and to suggest new researches trends to elucidate late Neolithic flock management in Southeast France.


Breeding, flock management, late Neolithic, Southeast France, territory, seasonality.

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