Research articles

Shepherding the past: High-resolution data on Neolithic Southern Iberian livestock management at Cueva de El Toro (Antequera, Málaga)


This study investigates the feeding strategies of early domesticated sheep herds in southern Iberia during the Neolithic period, considering the diverse environmental contexts of the region. Through high-resolution radiocarbon dating and stable isotope analysis of teeth from Cueva de El Toro in Antequera, Málaga, the research examines sheep husbandry management practices and mobility patterns. The results reveal distinct dietary regimes, reproduction patterns, and mobility strategies within the same herd over a short period, indicating the flexibility and adaptability of early Neolithic communities to varying ecological conditions. These findings challenge previous assumptions about livestock management practices in the western Mediterranean and underscore the importance of considering local environmental factors in understanding the complexities of early animal husbandry.