The role of food storage in human niche construction: An example from Neolithic Europe

Michael J. O'Brien*, R. Alexander Bentley

*Corresponding author for this work

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

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Niche construction theory, a branch of evolutionary biology, places emphasis on the capacity of organisms, through their metabolism, activities and choices, to modify natural selection in their environment and thereby act as co-directors of their own evolution as well as that of others. Humans are potent niche constructors, and understanding how niche construction regulates ecosystem dynamics is central to understanding the impact of human populations on their ecological and developmental environments. A classic example is provided by the evolution of dairying by Neolithic groups in Europe and the significant role played by storage in the development of the dairying niche.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-378
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Environmental Archaeology
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015

Keywords

  • Cattle
  • Dairying
  • Milk
  • Neolithic
  • Niche construction
  • Storage

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