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Human-animal interactions in early sedentary and urban societies in the Near East and northern Africa: microarchaeology of livestock dung

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 MICROARCHAEODUNG project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the MICROARCHAEODUNG project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "MICROARCHAEODUNG" about.

manure    oversight    excavation    livestock    maghreb    analytical    preservation    dung    economic    methodology    neolithic    mobile    animal    assemblages    transect    herds    farming    domesticated    worldwide    bulk    microarchaeological    ethnoarchaeological    plants    despite    later    material    bioarchaeology    cultural    little    area    communities    sedentary    life    domestication    geoarchaeology    heartlands    interdisciplinary    deposition    found    mediterranean    near    methodological    urban    eastern    regions    form    episodes    overlooked    naturally    implications    materials    potentially    combining    africa    archaeological    valuable    routinely    east    surrounding    ways    archeology    receiving    temper    environmental    societies    time    content    northern    tracing    interactions    standard    hunting    examine    social    source    fuel    strategies    human    critical    context    biochemistry    building    animals    destroy    secondary    suppliers    settlements    sahara    gathering    experimental    diverse   

Project "MICROARCHAEODUNG" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: RG6 6AH

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Project website
 Total cost 183˙454 €
 EC max contribution 183˙454 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2015
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-06-01   to  2018-05-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    THE UNIVERSITY OF READING UK (READING) coordinator 183˙454.00


 Project objective

Livestock dung is commonly found in many human settlements, especially after the domestication of herds. Although receiving increasing attention in archeology, dung materials and secondary products are still routinely overlooked and this area of research is under-developed despite their worldwide importance as suppliers of manure, fuel source, temper and building material. This oversight is due in part to methodological problems in identifying dung during excavation and many bulk analyses, which destroy critical evidence on dung form, content, deposition and preservation in archaeological assemblages. This research will develop new interdisciplinary analytical strategies for microarchaeological study of dung combining geoarchaeology, bioarchaeology and biochemistry and experimental and ethnoarchaeological approaches. This integrated methodology will be applied to examine the context and content of livestock dung from mobile hunting-gathering to more sedentary farming Neolithic case-studies selected on a transect through the Near East, one of the key heartlands in which plants and animals that were later domesticated occur naturally, to the still little investigated northern Africa, a potentially critical area with implications for surrounding areas including the Mediterranean and the Sahara. It will also provide exciting new insight into the role of livestock and livestock dung in the development of more complex urban societies in Eastern Maghreb. These case-studies offer rich dung evidence for tracing human-animal interactions in different regions through time and key episodes of environmental and social change. The proposed project will establish a standard state-of-the-art interdisciplinary methodology for insight into archaeological dung as a valuable source of information on diverse cultural and economic aspects of past life-ways and the developments early farming and complex urban communities more widely.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Amaia Arranz-Otaegui, José Antonio López-Sáez, José Luis Araus, Marta Portillo, Andrea Balbo, Eneko Iriarte, Lionel Gourichon, Frank Braemer, Lydia Zapata, Juan José Ibáñez
Landscape transformations at the dawn of agriculture in southern Syria (10.7–9.9 ka cal. BP): Plant-specific responses to the impact of human activities and climate change
published pages: 145-163, ISSN: 0277-3791, DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2017.01.001
Quaternary Science Reviews 158 2019-06-13
2016 Sanmartí, J., Kallala, N., Belarte, M.C., Ramon, J., Maraoui-Telmini, B., Ben Moussa, M., Tarradell, N., Bel Haj Nasr Loum, Z., Revilla, V., Jornet, R., Campillo, J., Montanero, D., Chérif, S., Fadrique, T., López, D., Portillo, M., Valenzuela, S., Cantero, F., Torchani, M., Jenène, M. Hatmih, M.
El projecte de recerca arqueològica a Althiburos i els seus encontorns (El Kef, Tunísia)
published pages: 345–364, ISSN: 1130-7781, DOI:
Tribuna d\'Arqueologia 2013-2014 2019-06-13
2016 Donald O Henry, Carlos E Cordova, Marta Portillo, Rosa-María Albert, Regina DeWitt, Aline Emery-Barbier
Blame it on the goats? Desertification in the Near East during the Holocene
published pages: 625-637, ISSN: 0959-6836, DOI: 10.1177/0959683616670470
The Holocene 27/5 2019-06-13
2018 García Suárez, A., Portillo, M., Matthews, W.
Early animal management strategies during the Neolithic of the Konya Plain, Central Anatolia: integrating micromorphological and microfossil evidence
published pages: , ISSN: 1461-4103, DOI: 10.1080/14614103.2018.1497831
Environmental Archaeology: the Journal of Human Palaeoecology 2019-06-13

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The information about "MICROARCHAEODUNG" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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