Household rituals and sacrificial donkeys: Why are there so many domestic donkeys buried in an early bronze age neighborhood at tell es-Sâfi/Gath?

Haskel J. Greenfield, Tina L. Greenfield, Itzhaq Shai, Shira Albaz, Aren M. Maeir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The origin of domestic donkeys (Equus asinus dom.) appears to lie in northeastern Africa, somewhere in the region of Somalia, Sudan, and Ethiopia. They were domesticated from the Nubian ass (Equus asinus fer.) sometime early in fourth millennium b.c.e., or around the end of the Chalcolithic (Kimura et al. 2010; Milevski 2009: 251; Rossel et al. 2008). The donkey rapidly spread into Egypt where it was considered a valuable animal and incorporated into the royal grave goods during the First Dynasty (Rossel et al. 2008). Subsequently, domesticated donkeys spread across the southern Levant (as early as the Chalcolithic) and the rest of the Near East during the Early Bronze Age (Grigson 1993, 1995; Hesse and Wapnish 2002).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-211
Number of pages10
JournalNear Eastern Archaeology
Volume81
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2018

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