Animal Gathering Enclosures

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Summary Animal gathering enclosures are fenced areas where domestic animals are corralled. A common phenomenon in all types of animal gathering enclosures is the accumulation of dung deposits within roofed, semiroofed and unroofed structures. This chapter focuses on experimental, ethnoarchaeological and archaeological studies of stabling dung deposits. The majority of studies of this specific deposit centre in the Near East and Western Europe, with a focus on herbivore dung of cattle, sheep and goats. The chapter describes the micromorphological studies so far conducted on herbivore stabling deposits of sheep, goats and cattle in Old World contexts, paying special attention to the dung component of these deposits. The information presented in the chapter builds quite extensively on modern and submodern experimental and ethnoarchaeological case studies of organic-rich dung deposits, which illustrate how dung deposits form. The chapter then discusses extensive archaeological examples that illustrate the outcome of organic matter degradation and formation of organic-poor dung deposits.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArchaeological Soil and Sediment Micromorphology
EditorsC. Nicosia, G. Stoops
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781118941065
StatePublished - 2017


  • animal gathering enclosures
  • domestic animals
  • ethnoarchaeological case studies
  • extensive archaeological examples
  • micromorphological studies
  • organic matter degradation
  • organic-poor dung deposits
  • organic-rich dung deposits


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