Hunting and herding in Central Anatolian prehistory: the 9th and 7th Millenium sites at Pinarbaşi
Carruthers, Denise B.
This dissertation examines the faunal remains from a series of Neolithic archaeological sites located in Central Anatolia dated from the 9th to the 6th millennium cal BC. The purpose of this research is to reinterpret previously published faunal datasets and present new faunal data from Central Anatolia in order to elucidate subsistence patterns for this region The research is divided into two sections. The first section will review published palaeoenvironmental, archaeological and zooarchaeological data which have been used to established subsistence behaviour for the region. Critical to this review is the addition of new zooarchaeological data sets from Asikli Hoytuk and the renewed excavations at Catalhoyiik (East). The second section presents the results of the zooarchaoelogical analysis of faunal remains from the newly excavated sites at Pinarbasi A and B located on the Konya Plain in Central Anatolia. Pinirbasi , Site A is the earliest excavated site in Central Anatolia, dated at 8500 cal BC; Site B is contemporaneous with the latter part of the Catalhoyuk (East) sequence and is dated at 6400 cal BC. The re-examination of faunal data published from Central Anatolian sites appear to contradict commonly accepted patterns which characterise the Region as the centre of cattle domestication for the Near East. Based on the faunal data analysed, there is not enough data to currently state that cattle were locally domesticated within Central Anatolia and then distributed outwards to other centres. The examination of Pinarbasi A faunal data indicates hunting and broad spectrum subsistence was practiced at 8500 cal BC in Central Anatolia. However, due to the small morphological size of sheep bones recovered, herding is speculated. In addition, there is also evidence of longer, semi-sedentary occupation of the site due to the presence of cultural material that includes indigenous microlith tools and stone and mud brick foundations. Pinarbasi B' s faunal assemblage revealed subsistence practices characteristic of a herd based economy. Sheep and goat remains dominate the assemblage in addition to the continuation of seasonal hunting of larger wild taxa. Based on the new data from Pinarbasi Site A and B, and the reanalysis of new and existing faunal data, it is argued that Central Anatolian settlement and subsistence patterns did not display a pattern of gradual change in subsistence from hunting and gathering to plant and subsequently animal domestication that appear in the rest of the Levant but rather the domestication of animals appears to be quite early based on Central Anatolia's present chronological composition. Central Anatolian sites appear to be settled with domestic caprines. It is only speculated that in later levels of Catalhoyuk (East), Erbaba and Catalhoyuk (West) that domestic cattle will be found.