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C R Biol. 2011 Mar;334(3):171-81. doi: 10.1016/j.crvi.2010.12.009. Epub 2011 Feb 2.

The origins of animal domestication and husbandry: a major change in the history of humanity and the biosphere.

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CNRS-InEE, Muséum national d'histoire naturelle, UMR 7209, archéozoologie, archéobotanique: sociétés, pratiques et environnements, 55 rue Buffon, Paris, France.


This article aims to summarize the present archaeo(zoo)logical knowledge and reflections on the origins of Neolithic animal domestication. It targets the main characteristics of early Neolithic animal domestication set against a backdrop of two complementary scales, namely the global and macro-regional scales (the latter using the example of the Near East). It discusses the conceptual and methodological issues, arguing in favor of an anthropozoological approach taking into account the intentions and the dynamics of human societies and critically analyzes the reductionist neo-Darwinian concepts of co-evolution and human niche construction. It also provides a brief discussion on the birth of ungulate domestication and its roots, as well as appropriate bibliographic references to enlighten the current status of domestication research.

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