The materiality of dung: The manipulation of dung in Neolithic Mediterranean caves

  • Mlekuž D
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This paper discusses the formation of layers of burnt herbivore dung in Neolithic, Eneo- lithic and Bronze Age Mediterranean caves. While these layers are clearly connected with transhu- mant pastoralism and the practice of keeping herds in the caves, their formation should not be seen as the result of purely practical and ‘rational’ reasons. In this paper, I develop an argument that they are remnants of a complex manipulation of substances which includes burning dung to make white ash. Thus instead of seeing dung as a culturally neutral refuse which has to be disposed of, we might see its burning and deposition as the cultural manipulation of potent substance. IZVLE∞EK

Author-supplied keywords

  • Archaeology
  • Dung
  • Herding
  • Materiality
  • Mediterranean
  • Neolithic

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  • Dimitrij Mlekuž

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