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Bones geometric morphometrics illustrate 10th millennium cal. BP domestication of autochthonous Cypriot wild boar (Sus scrofa circeus nov. ssp)

Abstract : Abstract Epipaleolithic hunter-gatherers from the Near East introduced wild boars ( Sus scrofa ) to Cyprus, with the Early Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN) settlers hunting the wild descendants of these boars. However, the geographic origin of the Cypriot boar and how they were integrated into the earliest forms of pig husbandry remain unsolved. Here, we present data on 11,000 to 9000 cal. BP Sus scrofa from the PPN sites of Klimonas and Shillourokambos. We compared them to contemporaneous populations from the Near East and to Neolithic and modern populations in Corsica, exploring their origin and evolution using biosystematic signals from molar teeth and heel bones (calcanei), using 2D and 3D geometric morphometrics. We found that the Cypriot PPN lineage of Sus scrofa originates from the Northern Levant. Yet, their phenotypic idiosyncrasy suggest that they evolved into an insular sub-species that we named Sus scrofa circeus, referring to Circe, the metamorphosis goddess that changed Ulysses companions into pigs. The phenotypic homogeneity among PPNA Klimonas wild boars and managed populations of PPNB Shillourokambos suggests that local domestication has been undertaken on the endemic S . s. circeus , strengthening the idea that Cyprus was integrated into the core region of animal domestication.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 15, 2021 - 3:29:36 PM
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Thomas Cucchi, Auriale Domont, Hugo Harbers, Allowen Evin, Roger Alcàntara, et al.. Bones geometric morphometrics illustrate 10th millennium cal. BP domestication of autochthonous Cypriot wild boar (Sus scrofa circeus nov. ssp). Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2021, 11, ⟨10.1038/s41598-021-90933-w⟩. ⟨hal-03246314⟩

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