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The history of humanity is closely linked to camels, for without these remarkable animals we would never have occupied the arid regions of Asia and North Africa, and would be unable to cope with the challenges of increasing desertification today. For this reason, research into the unique interaction between man and camels has been on-going since the foundation of the Austrian Academy of Sciences some 160 years ago.
This current conference and publication project is committed to this tradition of research and places the historical and contemporary interaction between humans and this beast of burden at the centre of its research, and contains 26 contributed articles. Camels in Asia and North Africa has both an international and interdisciplinary focus, and is intended to encourage an exchange of expertise between the natural and the human sciences. The discussion on the Old World camelids (dromedary, Bactrian and wild camel) covers the topics origins and domestication, breeding, the keeping of and trading in camels, as well as their importance from social-cultural and economic perspectives, in music, in traditional and veterinary medicine, and the conservation of the last remaining wild camel populations.