Archaeozoological techniques and protocols for elaborating scenarios of early colonization and Neolithization of Cyprus
This paper summarizes some of the main results that have been obtained through the archaeozoological study of the large Cypriot Pre-Pottery Neolithic site of Shillourokambos, dated between 8300 and 7000 cal bc. It shows how the presence of the archaeozoologists in the field, as well as an original faunal-based critical approach of the relative chronology of the different phases of occupation of this site, can improve the quality of the archaeozoological contribution to the cultural history of the region. Special attention is also paid to the osteometric study of sexually dimorphic ungulates. The results concern the evolution of the system of exploitation of the animal resources during this important phase of the Near Eastern Neolithic transition. They also evidence the long-distance exchanges between early Neolithic villages and they indirectly document the early history of navigation in the eastern Mediterranean.
Joris Peters, Nadja Pöllath, and Benjamin S. Arbuckle
Analysis of spatio-temporal variation in patterns of animal exploitation helps our understanding of the transition from hunting to husbandry of Ovis, Capra, Sus, and Bos in Pre-Pottery Neolithic Anatolia (c.9500–7000 bce). Despite interaction with humans since the final Pleistocene, domestication of Sus in southeastern Anatolia is only evidenced after 8500 bce. This timing coincides with efforts to exert cultural control over Ovis, Capra, and Bos. Applying a broad methodological spectrum, it is shown that in southeastern Anatolia, the Neolithic ‘package’ was in place at the end of the ninth millennium bce, whereas in contemporaneous central Anatolia, livestock husbandry only included sheep and goat. Initially, animal management practices may have focused on a single species, but after 8000 bce, herding strategies comprised at least two species, likely a risk-reducing strategy. Conceivably, large-scale social gatherings, e.g. at Göbekli Tepe, promoted the spread of practices associated with ungulate management and domestication.
Patterns of animal exploitation in western Turkey: from Palaeolithic molluscs to Byzantine elephants
Canan Çakırlar and Levent Atici
This chapter presents a first overview of zooarchaeological research in western Turkey, a vast region between the Anatolian Plateau and the Aegean Sea. The reason for this overview is twofold. First, although zooarchaeological research began early on within the history of archaeology in the region, almost all zooarchaeological studies have been site-based, masking their potential contribution to the cultural and environmental narrative of the region and beyond. Second, recent zooarchaeological research has shown that the region carries path-breaking potential for elucidating patterns of human–animal relationships in both prehistoric and historic periods. This chapter probes the zooarchaeological evidence from the Palaeolithic through historical times and highlights the results of zooarchaeological research on topics such as Epipalaeolithic foraging, Neolithic husbandry, urban animal economies, trade, and the symbolic role of animals.
Tony J. Wilkinson
This chapter provides an overview of the wetland resources of the Middle East, summarizes the somewhat meagre evidence for the preservation of wetland archaeology, and discusses how formation processes have configured the landscape record to obscure what must once have been a much richer landscape record. It also presents the current state of play in terms of wetland evidence in the region, discussing them in chronological order from Palaeolithic to the most recent. The discussions cover the recovery of wetland artefacts; environment, climate change, and wetland development; coastal wetlands; prehistoric sites in Anatolia and Syria; the site of Tell Oueli in southern Mesopotamia; Mesopotamian civilization and wetlands; and wrecks and submerged boats.
Sarah Whitcher Kansa and Justin E. Lev-Tov
This chapter explores the zooarchaeology of the southern Levant over a 3,000-year period, from the late fourth to the mid-first millennium bc. Highlighting contributions from zooarchaeological research, we explore broad-scale issues related to the archaeology and history of the region. Examples include the intersection of states and animal economies, religion and diet/sacrifice, ethnic foodways, and the appearance of new domesticates. Since much zooarchaeological research engages with the region’s archaeology by being contextually and historically grounded, we have organized this chapter chronologically, from the Early Bronze I to the Iron Age II. We also summarize the geography and history of zooarchaeological practice in the region. We close with recommendations for future research in Levantine zooarchaeology, including closer integration with archaeobotany and other related disciplines, as well as more formalized practices around data documentation and dissemination.