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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52919
Doc. No:TL22873
Call number:‭3368038‬
Main Entry:David C. Meiggs
Title & Author:Investigation of neolithic ovicaprine herding practices by multiple isotope analysis: A case study at PPNB grittile, southeastern TurkeyDavid C. Meiggs
College:The University of Wisconsin - Madison
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:378
Abstract:This study's goal was to identify specific dietary, seasonal, and geographic aspects of sheep and goat herding practices during the earliest period of animal husbandry. The earliest integrated agro-pastoral economies in southwest Asia emerged in the upper Euphrates-Tigris basin. Gritille is a multi-component mound along the Euphrates in southeastern Turkey, excavated 1980-1984 by Richard Ellis and Mary Voigt preceding construction of the Atatürk Dam. Initial examination by Gil Stein of fauna recovered from Neolithic trenches, dated ca. 8000-6500 cal BC, indicated sheep and goat were domesticated, consistent with other contemporaneous sites. Comprehensive analysis of the assemblage by Belinda Monahan established changing patterns of animal exploitation, linked to shifting patterns of land use and resource scheduling through time. Evidence for prehistoric dietary, seasonal, and geographic patterns have generally been inaccessible through traditional archaeozoological methods. Carbon (δ 13 C), oxygen (δ 18 O), and strontium ( 87 Sr/ 86 Sr) isotope ratios provide excellent proxies for these, previously successfully applied in ecological and archaeological studies. This study extends such applications through comprehensive study at an individual site, focusing on detailed and socially-meaningful interpretation of isotopic data. Series of sequential tooth enamel samples were analyzed taken from ovicaprine second and third molars. Carbon isotopes suggested increased herd provisioning during the latest occupation phase, and unexpected diversity between individuals from earlier phases. Oxygen isotopes appeared to distinguish sheep from goat by birth timing, additionally suggesting differential domestic status consistent with regional archaeological data. Strontium isotopes were remarkably homogeneous. The majority of values indicated a geographic range restricted to the limestone plateaus surrounding the Euphrates in this region, extending southward to Syria. Aside from one individual likely from mountains to the north, there was no evidence of seasonal, vertical transhumance. A system of household and inter-community exchange of animals was advanced to explain isotope patterns. Such exchange is similar to, and more extensive than, that suggested for some Greek Neolithic sites, characterized by overlapping communal grazing areas between a series of sites along the Euphrates. Herding in the last occupation phase becomes more spatially-restricted, increasing levels of provisioning. Other regional archaeological data also indicate increasing household economic autonomy through the Aceramic Neolithic.
Subject:Social sciences; Neolithic; Isotopes; PPNB; Sheep/goat herding; Southeastern Anatolia; Herding; Turkey; Archaeology; 0324:Archaeology
Added Entry:T. D. Price
Added Entry:The University of Wisconsin - Madison