ANR EvoSheep

First zootechnical innovations in Southwest Asian societies (5th-2nd millennia B.C.): origin and development of sheep breeds

Evosheep website

EVOSHEEP proposes to document how Near Eastern and Middle Eastern societies developed sheep farming and how this influenced their history using a multidisciplinary approach drawing on evidence from different sources; archaeozoology, epigraphy, iconography and paleogenetics from a wide temporal (7000-1000 BC) and geographic scale (Near East and Middle East, the Caucasus…). This approach conducted on ancient breeds will be completed by work on recent breeds (sheep with hairy fleece or hair from Lebanon, Iran, North Africa) to create new biometric and genetic reference records more adequate than European races for further scientific research. The originality of EVOSHEEP is to combine morphometric and genetic data from ancient and modern breeds to document the pace of the emergence of sheep breed in the course of the complexification of Near and middle eastern societies.

Main coordinator : E Vila, Maison de l’Orient et de la Méditerranée, Univ. Lyon II