The faunal assemblage from the 9th-8th millennium BP site at Sha'ar Hagolan, Israel, is used to study human interaction with wild suids and cattle in a time period just before the appearance of domesticated animals of these species in the Jordan Valley. Our results, based on demographic and osteometric data, indicate that full domestication of both cattle and suids occurred at the site during the 8th millennium. Importantly, domestication was preceded in both taxa by demographic and metric population parameters indicating severe overhunting. The possible role of overhunting in shaping the characteristics of domesticated animals and the social infrastructure to ownership of herds is then explored.
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