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Desert Kites: Were They Used For Hunting Or For Herding? A Review of the Recent Academic Literature

Abstract : Since the discovery of desert kites during the 1920s in southwestern Asia (where they are widely distributed) their possible functions have received much attention from archaeologists. Two main functions have been hypothesized, namely, kites primarily used either as game traps or as structures used for livestock husbandry. Two papers published in the 1990s expressed opposing views about the relevance of these different uses. During the last two decades much information has been gathered on kites as a result of archaeological excavations and satellite imaging. However the function or functions of desert kites remains uncertain. Starting from the 1990s debate, we revisit this controversial issue by reviewing the academic literature published since then. On the basis of this literature and other considerations, we conclude that although some (or all) may have been used for hunting, their main use was for the mustering of livestock. This favors the hypothesis of Echallier and Braemer (1995). In addition, it seems likely that kites were used for a third function, namely the capture of some wild or feral species of animals, particularly goats.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 2:59:29 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - 3:41:18 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-02135675, version 1



Serge Svizzero, Clement Allan Tisdell. Desert Kites: Were They Used For Hunting Or For Herding? A Review of the Recent Academic Literature. Journal of Zoological Research, Sryahwa Publications, 2018, 2 (4), pp.7-28. ⟨hal-02135675⟩



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