DOMEXP Exploring new anatomical and epigenetic markers of animal domestication process in archaeology.


Animal domestication, along with agriculture, represent the roots of modern human societies and as such mark a key step in human evolution. Animal domestication is also a key model in animal evolution since Darwin. For all these reasons, documenting animal domestication in archaeology is a vibrant interdisciplinary research which explore the moment in our history when our relationship with nature has shifted.

However, documenting the impact of the domestication process in a continuum of human/animal interactions intensification in the archaeological archives remains a challenge. Until now, bioarchaeologist rely on morphological and genetic markers that allow to identify domestic animal but not their process. Preventing the deciphering of many interactions and aborted domestication though time and space.

DOMEXP project aims at identifying markers of the environmental stress produced by the domestication process using an experimental and comparative approach of the anatomic and epigenetic effects of captivity in a wild ungulate model: the wild boar (Sus scrofa). DOMEXP hypothesis is that captivity will leave a print in the bone anatomy and the epigenome that could be used as a marker in the archaeological record of intentional human control of wild populations.


Skull shape variation in wild boars and domestic pigs showing divergence in plastic response to captivity from phenotypic change induced by the last 200 years of pigs’ selective breeding.

Neaux […], Cucchi, in prep.
Publié le : 04/04/2019 15:41 - Mis à jour le : 17/05/2023 09:30