Becker, Cornelia / Benecke, Norbert / Küchelmann, Hans Christian / Suhrbier, Stefan (2020): Finding the woolly sheep: meta-analyses of archaeozoological data from south-western Asia and south-eastern Europe. in: Schier, Wolfram & Pollock, Susan (eds.): The Competition of Fibres. Early Textile Procuction in Western Asia, South-East and Central Europe (10,000-500 BC). International workshop Berlin, 8-10 March 2017, Ancient Textiles Series 36, 83-93, Oxford
Archaeozoological data from 401 sites in south-western Asia and south-eastern Europe dating to the time span 7000–1500 BC were analysed to address the question of when and where the economic shift occurred from a milk- and meat-oriented sheep husbandry to one with a focus on wool production. This article offers some preliminary results from meta-analyses of an associated database. Among the parameters studied fluctuations in the demographic composition of herds as well as osteometric data indicating changes in animal size and body shape have yielded some indirect evidence for incipient and/or increasing importance of wool exploitation in sheep. In south-western Asia this development started around 4000 BC, while in south-eastern Europe it began a thousand years later.