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"Sheep and goat management in Cyprus from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age: an archaeozoological, isotopic and ethnographic approach" (SGCNB)
Start date: Sep 15, 2012, End date: Sep 14, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The main objective of the proposed project is an archaeozoological study of the role that sheep and goat played from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age in Cyprus. Sheep and goat assumed a pivotal role in many aspects of life in Cyprus, such as the economy, natural environment, way of life, etc. In order to fully understand this role, it is necessary to study the diachronic relationship between these two species and humans. To better evaluate the Cypriot data and contextualise their interpretation, comparisons with relevant data from neighbouring areas will be carried out.In order to achieve the main objective, a multitude of specific objectives has to be fulfilled. First, is the creation of an electronic database containing a variety of data of sheep and goat spanning from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. Second, an analysis of the recorded archaeozoological data to enable the production of new knowledge on sheep and goat husbandry. Third, the detection of seasonality patterns and movements of animals between areas are pursued through isotopic analyses. Fourth, is the collection of ethnoarchaeological data, through interviews with traditional sheep and goat herders in Cyprus and a desk-based study. This component will provide ecologically relevant models for interpreting the archaeozoological data.The material necessary for this research project derives from faunal assemblages excavated in the past or currently in Cyprus. A sufficient number of excavators have already been contacted and expressed their willingness to facilitate access. The potential of the ethnoarchaeological component has also been evaluated through contacts with sheep and goat herders in Cyprus.The project has immense potential to answer many archaeological questions relevant to the palaeoeconomy, palaeoenvironment, beliefs and everyday life of ancient Cypriots. Its diachronic multi-site approach enables us to study all these aspects both through periods and across the landscape."

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