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Expansion of the known distribution of Asiatic mouflon (Ovis orientalis) in the Late Pleistocene of the Southern Levant

Yeomans, L; Martin, L; Richter, T; (2017) Expansion of the known distribution of Asiatic mouflon (Ovis orientalis) in the Late Pleistocene of the Southern Levant. Royal Society Open Science , 4 (8) , Article 170409. 10.1098/rsos.170409. Green open access

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Abstract

Wild sheep (Ovis orientalis) bones recovered from the Natufian site of Shubayqa 1 demonstrate a wider distribution of mouflon in the Late Pleistocene of the Southern Levant than previously known. Early Epipalaeolithic sites are common in the limestone steppe region of eastern Jordan but have yielded only a handful of caprine bones that cannot be identified to species level and few faunal remains from excavated Late Epipalaeolithic sites have been reported. Analysis of animal bone from Shubayqa 1 suggests a significant population of wild sheep could be found concentrated in the basalt desert environment of eastern Jordan during the Late Pleistocene, especially where higher rainfall over the Jebel Druze provided more water. A population of wild sheep was still present in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A when the nearby site of Shubayqa 6 was occupied. Hunting of diverse, locally available resources including wild sheep at the end of the Pleistocene illustrates the flexible and adaptive exploitation strategies that hunter-forager groups engaged in. This provides further evidence to the increasing body of data showing the creative and opportunistic approach of terminal Pleistocene groups allowing continued occupation even in more marginal environments in a period of environmental change.

Type: Article
Title: Expansion of the known distribution of Asiatic mouflon (Ovis orientalis) in the Late Pleistocene of the Southern Levant
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rsos.170409
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.170409
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited
Keywords: Science & Technology, Multidisciplinary Sciences, Science & Technology - Other Topics, Epipalaeolithic, Late Pleistocene, Natufian, Ovis orientalis, zoogeography, Goats Capra, Sheep, Jordan
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10037713
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