Spread of Domestic Animals Across Neolithic Western Anatolia: New Stable Isotope Evidence from Ugurlu Höyük, the Island of Gökçeada, Turkey
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The origins of agriculture in Southwest Asia over 10,000 years ago and its subsequent spread into Europe during the Neolithic have been the focus of much archaeological research over the past several decades. Increasingly more sophisticated analytical techniques have allowed for better understanding of the complex interactions that occurred amongst humans, animals, and their environments during this transition. The Aegean Islands are critically situated where Anatolia and the mainland Greece meet, making the region pivotal for understanding the movement of the Neolithic into Europe. Located on the largest Turkish Aegean island of Gökçeada, the site of Uğurlu Höyük dates to the early Neolithic and has been the subject of ongoing excavations and research integrating a rigorous dating program with comprehensive zooarchaeological research. This paper focuses on the combination of bone collagen and tooth enamel stable isotope data with existing archaeological data to develop a fine-resolution picture of the spread of the Neolithic, particularly the importation and management of domestic fauna on Gökçeada, with broader relevance for understanding Aegean-Anatolian interactions. The stable isotope values from the fauna at Uğurlu have been used for both diachronic intrasite analyses and intersite comparisons between contemporaneous mainland sites. Integrating stable isotope and zooarchaeological datasets makes Uğurlu one of the first island sites to provide a comprehensive understanding of the geographic origin of Neolithic livestock populations and the timing of their spread from Anatolia into Europe during the process of Neolithization.
Agriculture | Paleontology
Pilaar Birch, S. E.,
Spread of Domestic Animals Across Neolithic Western Anatolia: New Stable Isotope Evidence from Ugurlu Höyük, the Island of Gökçeada, Turkey.
PLoS ONE, 14(10),