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An acquired taste: emulation and indigenization of cattle forelimbs in the southern Levant

Allentuck, A; (2015) An acquired taste: emulation and indigenization of cattle forelimbs in the southern Levant. Cambridge Archaeological Journal , 25 (1) pp. 45-62. 10.1017/S0959774314000249. Green open access

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Abstract

The influence of Egyptian unification and expansion on the southern Levant at the end fourth millennium BC has been the source of a protracted debate. In this paper, a novel approach to the study of Egyptian-Levantine relations considers how food preferences, mediated by knowledge transmission and local cultural logic, provides an effective interpretive scheme for understanding the nature of relations between neighbouring societies. To this end, zooarchaeology can reveal how food preferences become enmeshed into the transformation of identity. Zooarchaeological analysis from the Early Bronze I (EB I) village of Horvat ‘Illin Tahtit, Israel, finds a clear overrepresentation of cattle forelimb parts relative to hindlimb parts. The results of a correspondence analysis of faunal data from late fourth/early third millennium assemblages in the Levant and Egypt shows that this pattern of forelimb overrepresentation is most common in Late EB I when the intensity of Egyptian-Levantine relations peaked. I suggest that while Egyptians clearly accorded high status to cattle forelimbs, their Levantine contemporaries, who did not have materially inscribed social rankings, defined cattle forelimbs according a cultural logic unrelated to status.

Type: Article
Title: An acquired taste: emulation and indigenization of cattle forelimbs in the southern Levant
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0959774314000249
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0959774314000249
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research 2015 The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution licence
UCL classification: UCL
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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1433048
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