UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Modern development studies as a resource for understanding working animal use in later human prehistory: the example of 4th-3rd millennium BC Mesopotamia

Goulder, Jill Rosamund; (2018) Modern development studies as a resource for understanding working animal use in later human prehistory: the example of 4th-3rd millennium BC Mesopotamia. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

[img]
Preview
Text (Volume 2: Appendices)
Goulder Vol 2 thesis.pdf

Download (7MB) | Preview
[img]
Preview
Text
Goulder_10053639_thesis_Vol 1.Redacted.pdf

Download (28MB) | Preview

Abstract

This thesis develops and employs a novel interdisciplinary tool for examining the practical implications of early systematic working-animal use in prehistoric contexts, on which only fragmentary evidence is otherwise available. I explore the potential of this tool – modern development studies – through an extended case study: the use of working animals in Mesopotamia, in the 4th and 3rd millennium BC. The aim throughout is to broaden substantially the range of archaeological and historical inference, rather than to propose new high-level models. For achieving this aim, I use close qualitative analysis of the large body of published official and NGO studies of working-animal use today, particularly in regions where working cattle and donkeys are recent adoptions and mechanisation is minimal. These data, little-used as yet in archaeology, shed light on the day-to-day practicalities of working-animal adoption and management – breeding, supply, and maintenance. They further provide significant new bottom-up insights into common community-level social and economic levelling mechanisms such as hiring and lending of working animals, suggesting a revision to established models of social inequality relating to their adoption. One major outcome of this analysis is the argument for greater recognition of the donkey – multi-function, low-maintenance – as a significant working force in late prehistoric Mesopotamia, challenging the established ox-focused models upon which many current reconstructions rely. The scarcity of donkey remains in food-middens has contributed to this neglect. Donkeys – and female cows – are widely employed in many modern developing regions for tilling light soils, and ploughing is often a minority element of working-animal use. Here the case is made for a similar range of roles in early Mesopotamia, for example in the myriad short-distance transportation tasks that form a central element of their use today, and in the rural ‘private sector’ now recognised as present outside the purview of elite, urban texts.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Modern development studies as a resource for understanding working animal use in later human prehistory: the example of 4th-3rd millennium BC Mesopotamia
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from the ethesis. Images identifying individuals have been redacted or partially redacted to protect their identity.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10053639
Downloads since deposit
272Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item