Institute of Archaeology

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First for Archaeology in UK 2014

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Origins and Spread of Domestic Animals in Southwest Asia and Europe

1 August 2013

A pastoral scene by Asher Brown Durand which forms the front cover image of the volume on the Origins and Spread of Domestic Animals in Southwest Asia and Europe

An exciting new volume concerning the evolution and development of Neolithic stock-keeping has just been published by Left Coast Press.

The origins of agriculture in southwest Asia have been amongst the most intensively debated topics in Old World archaeology for the last 50 years.

This new volume, edited by Sue Colledge, James Conolly, Keith Dobney, Katie Manning and Stephen Shennan, tackles the fundamental and broad-scale questions concerning the spread of early animal herding from its origins in the Near East into Europe beginning in the mid-10th millennium BC using a wealth of comparative information gathered as a result of research funded at the Institute by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and European Research Council.

The papers in the volume were presented at a conference "The origins and spread of stock-keeping in southwest Asia and Europe", held in the UK in April 2010. Funding for the conference was made possible by the 4-year AHRC-sponsored research project on The Origins and Spread of Stock-Keeping in the Near East and Europe, led by Stephen Shennan.  The production of the resultant volume was supported by funding from the ERC-funded EUROEVOL project on the cultural evolution of Neolithic Europe, again led by Stephen.

Thirty international researchers have contributed to the book in which the zooarchaeological record and discussions of the evolution and the development of Neolithic stock-keeping take cente stage in the debate over the profound effects of the Neolithic revolution on both our biological and cultural evolution.

Through its publications, the Institute brings together key areas of theoretical and substantive knowledge, improves archaeological practice and brings archaeological findings to the general public, researchers and practitioners.