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Socioeconomic Development and Changing Reasons for Using Desert Kites to Kill Gazelles

Abstract : Possible reasons for using kites to kill gazelles are comprehensively reviewed in this article. Even though they are now well inventoried and documented, desert kites are still not well understood, as exemplified by the recurrent controversies about their function and dating. According to the dominant view, kites were hunting structures used to drive and to mass kill large herds of wild ungulates, particularly gazelles. Although kites were intensively used during the Early Bronze Age, some of them could have been built and used before that. Beyond these issues, the cultural and socioeconomic aspects of the kites phenomenon are even less understood, and therefore we focus on changing reasons for the long-lasting use of kites as hunting devices. We contend that the reasons why they were used during the period of utilization for hunting gazelles changed, in most cases, in response to socioeconomic development. It is hypothesised, for example, that, as a result of urban development, kites may have been increasingly (but not exclusively) used to kill gazelles to trade their products with urban communities and farmers, even though they had other uses as well which are also considered. The main hypothesis presented in this article enables diverse opinions about the types of uses and reasons for utilizing desert kites to be reconciled, including in particular varied reasons given in the literature about why they were used for killing gazelles.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 2:03:19 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 4:25:40 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-02135572, version 1



Serge Svizzero, Clement Allan Tisdell. Socioeconomic Development and Changing Reasons for Using Desert Kites to Kill Gazelles. Donald C. Wood. Individual and Social Adaptations to Human Vulnerability, 38, Emerald publishing, pp.223-247, 2018, 978-1-78769-175-9. ⟨hal-02135572⟩



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