Were Desert Kites Used Exclusively as Driven Hunting Structures? Unresolved Issues and Alternative Interpretations of the Evidence - Socio-economic and Biological Considerations (A Draft)

Although much information has been gathered during the last decade (as a result of archaeological excavations and satellite imaging) many unresolved issues remain about desert kites. These include the precise function of these huge archaeological stone structures which are widely distributed throughout southwestern Asia. According to the common vision, kites were hunting structures used to drive and to mass-kill large herds of wild ungulates. We qualify this view by analyzing the morphology of kites, the behavior of the targeted prey, and the logistical constraints associated with the mass-killing of ungulates. This leads us to conclude that as hunting structures, kites could also have been used for passively trapping animals. We believe it to be likely that kites were used (individually or collectively) for multiple purposes, which may have altered with the passage of time. An important use (at one stage in the existence of many kites) may have been for the mustering of livestock (especially sheep and goats), and for the capture of some wild or feral species of animals suitable for domestication. Some kites may also have been utilized for religious purposes or for cultural ceremonies.

Issue Date:
Feb 01 2017
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
DOI and Other Identifiers:
ISSN: 1327 8231 (Other)
Record Identifier:
PURL Identifier:
Total Pages:
JEL Codes:
Series Statement:
Economics, Ecology and the Environment

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2019-08-30

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