Hunting Strategies with Cultivated Plants as Bait and the Prey Pathway to Animal Domestication

Abstract : For various reasons related to human diet, social prestige or cosmology, hunting - especially of large preys - has always been central in foragers' societies. When pre-Neolithic foragers have given up their nomadic way of life they have faced a sink-source problem about game procurement in the resource-catchment area around their settlements. Baiting, by mean of the cultivation of wild plants in food plots, may have help them to attract herbivores, thus improving the return of hunting activities. These foragers were also motivated by the capture of wild animals alive, in order to keep fresh meat for a while, to translocate these animals or for milk exploitation. For this capture, the use of a passive form of drive hunting seems best suited. The cultivation of food plots within the funnel and the corral might have been used to attract wild herbivores into the drive. Baiting was therefore designed either to increase the hunt or to improve the capture of large wild herbivores such as the Near-Eastern wild caprines that were later domesticated. Therefore baiting should be viewed as a hunting strategy as well as an unconscious selection mechanism since it has inadvertently contributed to the prey pathway to animal domestication.
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Serge Svizzero. Hunting Strategies with Cultivated Plants as Bait and the Prey Pathway to Animal Domestication. International Journal of Research in Sociology and Anthropology, ARC, 2016, 2 (2), pp.53-68. ⟨10.20431/2454-8677.0202007⟩. ⟨hal-02146469⟩

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