A deposit of gazelle bones at Tell Kuran in the Khabur Basin of northeastern Syria provides evidence for the use of desert kites in the mass-slaughter of steppic game. The deposit's late 4th millennium BCE date, long after livestock had replaced game as primary meat sources, suggests that this practice was directed toward social rather than economic ends. Evidence for the use of kites in the mass killing of steppe animals in the Khabur Basin is examined and the possibility that not only gazelle, but also onagers and possibly other steppe animals' were hunted in this way is explored. The role of such socially driven practices in the local extirpation of steppe species is discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth-Surface Processes