Further insight into Neolithic agricultural management at Kouphovouno, southern Greece: expanding the isotopic approach
Vaiglova, P, Gardeisen, A, Buckley, M, Cavanagh, W, Renard, J, Lee-Thorp, J, Bogaard, A
Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences
© 2020, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. This paper investigates agricultural management choices of farmers at the Neolithic site of Kouphvouno, southern Greece. Previous stable isotopic analysis of charred plant remains and bone animal collagen showed that throughout the Neolithic occupation of this site, farmers employed species-specific strategies to cultivate crops and herd domestic animals. Additional analyses of charred plant remain carried out in this study (including einkorn, a cereal species not measured before) expanding our understanding of the diversity and flexibility of early crop cultivation on a local scale. Furthermore, sequential tooth enamel carbonate isotopic analyses are used to assess the seasonal dietary and grazing patterns of domestic sheep and goat, providing a more nuanced picture of the roles of these animals in the subsistence economy of this community. The results show that the species-specific cultivation system was dictated by the crops’ ecological adaptations. Based on a small number of individuals available for analysis, the findings suggest that animal management was also likely driven by cultural choices, and involved foddering of goats managed for milk and local grazing of sheep managed for meat.