Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GeoFodder (The scale and significance of early animal husbandry in SW Europe: development of aninterdisciplinary high-resolution approach to the investigation of livestock diets and herding practices.)
Reporting period: 2019-03-27 to 2021-03-26
This will generate a suite of geoarchaeological and archaeobotanical proxies, for different plant types (taxa, anatomical parts, seasons) with different preservation histories (ingested, decayed, burnt), that will then be applied to analysis of prehistoric penning deposits in Iberian caves and rock-shelters. The resulting semi-quantitative data on livestock diet in particular contexts will underpin modelling of the qualitative and temporal dimensions of early livestock grazing/browsing and foddering at intra- and inter-site levels to enable assessment of the potential scale of herding and thus of the likely mobility of livestock and relative importance of crops and livestock in early farming. Geofodder will thus advance our understanding of early livestock husbandry in the SW Mediterranean, contribute to assessment of the long-term landscape impact and sustainability of herding, and establish methodological standards for investigating such questions in other regions and periods.
The project has also succeed in unravelling the formation processes of prehistoric corralling areas in caves and rock-shelters studied by clarifying the agents of accumulation (human, animal, environmental) and alteration (organic decay, combustion) of organic and inorganic residues. This achievement has significantly improved our ability to assess the impact of formation processes on the preservation of plant remains and therefore, on our the ability detect them in the archaeological record.
Temporal dimensions of early livestock livestock diet and management and plant resource exploitation at intra-and inter-site levels have been characterized. Comprehensive semi-quantitative data sets provided by micromorphological analysis have allowed to determine variabilities in early livestock diet and management and plant resource exploitation between chronocultural periods (i.e. Early/Middle/Late Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze Age) at intra- and inter-site levels.
Scientific and technological achievements of GeoFodder have significantly improved our understanding of the strategies, scale and landscape impact of early livestock management in the Iberian Peninsula a key area for the investigation of early farming in SW Europe.
Public exposure, crucial to connect with different audiences and give visibilityto research updates of the project has been achieved through the project website and engagement of the project in social media.