To see accurate pricing, please choose your delivery country.
United States
All Shops

British Wildlife

8 issues per year 84 pages per issue Subscription only

British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

Subscriptions from £33 per year

Conservation Land Management

4 issues per year 44 pages per issue Subscription only

Conservation Land Management (CLM) is a quarterly magazine that is widely regarded as essential reading for all who are involved in land management for nature conservation, across the British Isles. CLM includes long-form articles, events listings, publication reviews, new product information and updates, reports of conferences and letters.

Subscriptions from £26 per year
Academic & Professional Books  Mammals  Insectivores to Ungulates  Pigs, Peccaries & Hippopotamuses

Evolution of a Taboo Pigs and People in the Ancient Near East

By: Max D Price(Author)
320 pages, 20 b/w illustrations
Evolution of a Taboo
Click to have a closer look
Select version
  • Evolution of a Taboo ISBN: 9780197682647 Paperback Jun 2023 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
  • Evolution of a Taboo ISBN: 9780197543276 Hardback Mar 2021 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
Selected version: £17.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Pigs are among the most peculiar animals domesticated in the Ancient Near East. Their story, from domestication to taboo, has fascinated historians, archaeologists, and religious studies scholars for decades. Rejecting simple explanations, this book adopts an evolutionary approach that relies on zooarchaeology and texts to unravel the cultural significance of swine in the Near East from the Paleolithic to the present day. Five major themes are covered: The domestication of the pig from wild boars in the Neolithic period, the unique roles that pigs developed in agricultural economies before and after the development of complex societies, the raising of swine in cities, the shifting ritual roles of pigs, and the formation and development of the pork taboo in Judaism and, later, Islam.

The origins and significance of this taboo have inspired much debate. Evolution of a Taboo contends that the well-known taboo described in Leviticus evolved over time, beginning with conflicts between Israelites and Philistines in the early part of the Iron Age, and later was mobilized by Judah's priestly elite in the writing of the Biblical texts. Centuries later, the pig taboo became a point of contention in the ethno-political struggles between Jewish and Greco-Roman cultures in the Levant; later still, between Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Through these conflicts, the pig taboo grew in power. As this rich account illustrates, it came to define the relations between pigs and people in the Near East and beyond, up to the present day.


Chapter 1. The Power of Pigs
Chapter 2. Animals in a Landscape
Chapter 3. From Paleolithic Wild Boar to Neolithic Pigs
Chapter 4. Out of the Cradle
Chapter 5. Urban Swine and Ritual Pigs in the Bronze Age
Chapter 6. Theorizing the Taboo
Chapter 7. The Coming of the Taboo - Pigs in The Iron Age
Chapter 8. Clash of Cultures in the Classical Period
Chapter 9. Islam and the Modern Period
Chapter 10. The Complexity of Swine

Customer Reviews


Max D. Price is Lecturer in Archaeology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

By: Max D Price(Author)
320 pages, 20 b/w illustrations
Media reviews

"[...] this is an excellent book, one that both summarizes a large amount of information on such a complex and interesting topic and offers an overall picture of the development of the pig taboo in Judaism and later in Islam."
– Aren M. Maeir, Bar-Ilan University

"As a zooarchaeologist, Price brings a unique perspective – not only deep-time but also pan-regional insights from what archaeology can and has contributed across the Near East [...] [T]his book is the first geographically and temporally rounded history of the pig and the development of the pig taboo in the Near East that is also archaeologically informed. This book rejects simplistic explanations and is relevant to scholars of the ancient Near East, animal specialists, anthropologists, historians, archaeologists, and religious studies interested in either or both pigs and taboos."
– Haskel Greenfield, American Anthropologist

"This author has written an extraordinary book that will hopefully get a wide audience not only for people interested in ancient history or the history of domesticated pigs but generally those who want to understand the ancient differences between Christianity, Judaism and Islam."
– Thiemo Braasch, Suiform Soundings

"How have pigs and humans interacted in the Near East and Mediterranean for 8,000 years? [...] this excellent book traces the earliest Paleolithic boar-hominid interactions through Bronze and Iron Age domestication, which eventually produced pigs [...] The subsequent Christian acceptance of pork, and especially renewed Muslim aversion to it, are discussed in fascinating detail too. Price's clear writing makes this a pleasure to read [...] Highly recommended."

"In summary, Max Price's book offers a fresh look at pigs in the ancient Near East, making an important contribution to the study of the much-discussed taboo."
– Nimrod Marom, Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies

"The sheer range of material Price offers is amazing [...] Price's prose is easy to read and most non-scholars will not have difficulty understanding his ideas. Although he looks at a larger time period and more material than some Jewish readers may be interested in, others will agree with me and appreciate the incredible research his book offers and its interesting and provocative ideas."
– Rabbi Rachel Esserman, Jewish Federation of Greater Binghamton's The Reporter

Current promotions
Field Guide SaleNHBS Moth TrapNew and Forthcoming BooksBuyers Guides