Cat Taming in the Western Mediterranean. Issues, Problematics and Unpredictability in the Light of Bio-archaeological Approaches to a Museum Specimen

Roberto Miccichè, Pietro Valenti, Andrea D. Messina, Luca Sìneo, Noboyuki Yamaguchi, Giulio Catalano, Stefano Reale, Mario Cosenza

Abstract


The vast wealth of cultural artifacts and ancient biological samples can today be investigated using a great variety of methods and technologies. The result is a growing diffusion of studies on DNA, isotopes and morphometrics, and the exponential growth of publications and bio-archaeological discoveries of inestimable value for different areas of interpretation, such as phylogeny, history and archaeology. This paper describes the morphological and molecular study of a rare specimen of Felis from an Early Bronze Age horizon. The report offers the opportunity for a brief discussion on cat taming, on the origin of this practice and on the archaeological importance of this specimen for the reconstruction of taming practices in the Western Mediterranean Basin.

Keywords


Felis silvestris; Felis silvestris catus; animal domestication; Sicily; cat taming

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.1973-9494/7114

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Copyright (c) 2015 Roberto Miccichè, Pietro Valenti, Andrea D. Messina, Luca Sìneo, Noboyuki Yamaguchi, Giulio Catalano, Stefano Reale, Mario Cosenza

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