Over the last few decades, and under the rubric of “human–animal studies” (Shapiro 2008; Freeman, Leane, and Watt 2011: 2–3; DeMello 2012: 4–6), encounters between humans and animals have slowly become the focus of rich academic debates in the humanities and social sciences.1 As expressed by Kenneth Shapiro, the field is characterized by its focus on relationships and therefore is dedicated, specifically, to investigating the various ways in which animals take part in our lives and we in theirs. It also explores the various “attachments, interactions, and communications” involved in human-animal relations (Shapiro 2008: 1–3). As a result of debates within the field, new and rich insights on human-animal interactions have increasingly become a part of the study of archaeology and the ancient Near East as well, and they are the focus of various fields of study (recently, Sykes 2014; Mattila, Ito, and Fink 2019; Recht and Tsouparopoulou 2021; Russel 2022). However, interdisciplinary studies remain uncommon.
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