Milking the megafauna: Using organic residue analysis to understand early farming practice

Jessica Smyth, Richard P Evershed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In Europe, the shift to agriculture starts around cal 7000 BC, spreading across the continent over several thousand years. The island of Ireland lies geographically and chronologically at the end of this trajectory, in the centuries around cal 4000 BC. Molecular and stable carbon isotope analyses undertaken of ca. 450 pottery vessels from a range of Irish Neolithic sites firmly establishes that dairying is one of the very earliest farming practices in evidence in Ireland, successfully introduced into an island environment that had not supported large mammals for at least the preceding 9000 years – a significant logistical feat.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Environmental Archaeology
Early online date16 Jan 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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