Horwitz and Smith (2000) The Contribution of Animal Domestication to the Spread of Zoonoses

Horwitz and Smith (2000) The Contribution of Animal Domestication to the Spread of Zoonoses

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THE CONTRIBUTION OF ANIMAL DOMESTICATION TO THE SPREAD OF ZOONOSES: A CASE STUDY FROM THE SOUTHERN LEVANT Horwitz L.K. * P. ** * Departme1lt of Evolution, Systematics and Ecology, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel. * * Laboratory of Physical Anthropology, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Hadassah Medical School, The Hebrew U'1iversity, Jerusalem, Israel. Abstract' - The advent of animal domestication was associated with marked changes in human-animal interactions, a process that had a signiticant impact on both parties. In animals these changes are expres- sed in features such as biogeography, morphometry and pathology. In humans they arc reflected in chan- ges in health, disease and demography as well as in social complexity. Current research on the origin and spread of emerging diseases, suggests that many infectious diseases common today originated in the pro- cess of animal domestication. The archaeological record of the Southern Levant (Lebanon, Southern Syria, Jordan, Israel and the Sinai Peninsula) provides an example of the possible role of animal dome- I stication in spreading zoonoses. Resume - La contribution de la domestication animale a la diffusion des zoonoses: Ie cas du Levant meridional. Le debut de la domestication animale a ete associe a des changements remarquables des interactions homme-animal, ce qui cut d'importantes consequences autant sur les hommes, que sur les animaux. En ce qui concerne les animaux, ces changements ont eu des consequences de nature biogeo- graphique, morphometrique et pathologique. En ce qui concerne l'homme, ils peuvent ctre correles a des changements de l'etat de sante, de demographic et de complexite sociale. Des recherches en cours sur l'origine et la diffusion des maladies, suggerent que plusieurs pathologies infectieuses aujourd'hui frequentes trouvent leur origine dans Ie processus de la domestication animale. La documentation archeologique du Levant meridional (Liban, Syrie meridionale, Jordanie, Israel, Peninsule du Sinai") fournit des exemples du possible role joue par la domestication animale dans la diffusion des zoonoses. \ Key-words: Animal domestication, Zoonoses, Southern Levant. Mots des: Domestication animale, Zoonoses, Levant meridional. 1. Introduction The effect of the" Agricultural Revolution" on health status and nutrition has been discussed at great length in the scientific lite- rature (Cockburn, 1971; Cohen Armelagos, 1984; Cohen, 1989). As noted by Brothwell (1978), it constituted" a mixed blessing". On the one hand, it expan- ded the quantity and availability of food all year round. On the other hand, it was asso- ciated with marked changes, often delete- rious, in the pattern of human disease. Several
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Horwitz and Smith (2000) The Contribution of Animal Domestication to the Spread of Zoonoses

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