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Lidar Sapir-Hen and Dierdre Dixon Fulton wrote for ANE today about dogs in the Iron Age (end of 2nd millennium – first half of the 1st millennium BCE). Previous research has focused on their use in cultic activity, or viewed dogs as simply “unclean” or pariah animals. In their new joint study of the archaeological and textual evidence, they suggest that dogs functioned as herders, guards and occasionally hunters, and that dogs were actually an important part of Levantine communities.

For ANE today follow: https://www.asor.org/anetoday/2023/10/dogs-social-fabric For the original research paper in Oxford Journal of Archaeology (open access): https://doi.org/10.1111/ojoa.12268

Animals as Symbols—Past Perception of Animals by Humans, the Zooarchaeological Evidence


Human–animal relations in the past are reflected in the zooarchaeological record in various ways—in the way prey animals were hunted and domesticated, how farm animals were raised and treated, as well as the interaction with pet animals, and animals’ roles in ritual behavior. A symbolic value may have been attributed to wild and domestic animals—a value that was based on their interaction with, and their perception by, past human populations. These symbolic roles may be archaeologically visible in rituals, but are also expressed in daily life activities, when animals and their products are used as tools to define status, group identity, and culture, among other roles.

Original manuscripts that address any aspect of the use of animals as symbols in the past are invited for this Special Issue. Topics of special interest include but are not limited to the changing relationship with specific animals (both wild and domestic animals) over time, and the use of animals by different cultures.


Animals/ (ISSN 2076-2615, IF: 2.323) is an international open access journal devoted entirely to animal science and animal welfare, published monthly online by MDPI. It is indexed in SCIE with the latest Impact Factor of 2.323, and ranks 10/63 (Q1) in 'Agriculture, Dairy & Animal Science', 14/142 (Q1) in 'Veterinary Sciences'. Manuscripts are peer-reviewed and a first decision provided to authors approximately 22.5 days after submission. More information about the journal can be accessed at: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/animals.

Animals Special Issue
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