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.