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Mesolithic domestic pigs at Rosenhof – or wild boar? A critical re-appraisal of ancient DNA and geometric morphometrics.

Rowley-Conwy, P. and Zeder, M. (2014) 'Mesolithic domestic pigs at Rosenhof – or wild boar? A critical re-appraisal of ancient DNA and geometric morphometrics.', World archaeology., 46 (5). pp. 813-824.


We challenge the claim by Krause-Kyora et al. (2013) that there were domestic pigs at Mesolithic sites in northern Germany. A small number of animals from Rosenhof and Poel have ancient DNA and geometric morphometric signatures elsewhere associated with domestic animals. At this time Neolithic farming settlements were present 150km to the south, but the Mesolithic specimens are, however, metrically wild boar, much larger than domestic pigs, and cannot be domestic individuals acquired from the farmers. A more likely explanation for these ‘domestic’ traits is that animals that escaped from farmers’ pig herds interbred with local wild boar. Their descendants were morphologically and behaviourally wild, and were shot by Mesolithic foragers in the course of normal hunts. Their presence at Mesolithic sites is not a precursor to agriculture.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in World Archaeology on 04/09/2014, available online at:
Date accepted:01 September 2014
Date deposited:04 July 2016
Date of first online publication:04 September 2014
Date first made open access:No date available

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