Most of the existing evidence from this pivotal period for animal husbandry in our area comes from animal remains deposited with human burials and cremations, and therefore tends to be of highly fragmented and burnt bone. Survival of unburnt bone is rare. Where it does survive, smaller bones such as carpals, tarsals and sesamoids serve as evidence of the species present. Pig bones seem to have been deposited with human remains perhaps as a ritual offering for the dead, or as the remains of celebratory meals for the living. Examples are the remains of a right pig foreleg and a possible cattle rib from the barrow at North Mains, Strathallan, dated to the early 2nd millennium BC (Barnetson 1983a, 231). At the North Mains henge, pig and ovicaprid fragments, dating to between the Neolithic to Early Bronze Age, accompanied a burial, and pig bones and large artiodactyl, probably cattle, came from a ring feature at North Mains (Barnetson 1983b, 178).
The evidence for the boundary between the Mesolithic ‘hunter-gatherer’ and the Neolithic ‘settled farmer’ is not present and is an area for further investigation if such sites emerge.