People, dogs and wild game: evidence of human-animal relations from Middle Neolithic burials and personal ornaments in northern Italy

  • Maria Bernabò Brea Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dell’Emilia Romagna, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Parma
  • Paola Mazzieri Scuola di Dottorato in Scienze dell’Antichità – Dottorato in Archeologia, Dipartimento di Scienze Archeologiche, Università degli Studi di Pisa
  • Roberto Micheli Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici del Friuli Venezia Giulia, Trieste
Keywords: burials, personal ornaments, domesticated and wild animals, Square Mouthed Pottery culture, Middle Neolithic

Abstract

In order to review evidence of human-animal relations, the paper offers an overview of the customs and funerary traditions of the Square Mouthed Pottery culture, between c. 5000 and 4300 calBC. We focus on the importance of domestic and wild animals on the basis of an analysis of grave-goods, funerary rites and personal ornaments. We also consider recent discoveries of peculiar offerings of animals and some dog burials. The evidence testifies to a diffusion of a wild component, symbolically emphasising the importance of the hunter identity in a society where subsistence actually depends primarily on domestic animals. Therefore, a contrast is drawn between the everyday and the symbolic worlds.

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Published
2010-12-31
How to Cite
Bernabò Brea, M., Mazzieri, P., & Micheli, R. (2010). People, dogs and wild game: evidence of human-animal relations from Middle Neolithic burials and personal ornaments in northern Italy. Documenta Praehistorica, 37, 125-146. https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.37.11
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Articles