and Al Ain maps
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Website last updated:
14 November 2008
Mark Beech & Marjan Mashkour
OF SOUTHWEST ASIA AND ADJACENT AREAS
9th Meeting of ASWA
15-20 November 2008
Al Ain, Abu Dhabi emirate, United Arab Emirates
Marjan Mashkour (Muséum national d'histoire naturelle / CNRS, Paris,
Mark Beech (Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, Abu Dhabi, UAE)
sponsored by the:
Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH)
French Embassy in Abu Dhabi,
Bank of Sharjah
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Hotel - Jebel Hafit
(Arranged alphabetically by order of surname of first author)
[ A - B
- C - D - E - F
- G - H - I - J
- K - L - M - N
- O - P - Q - R
- S - T - U - V
- W - X - Y - Z
Adrian BALASESCU (1), Boris
GASPARYAN (2), Jérémie LIAGRE (3) and Christine CHATAIGNER
(1) Musée Nationale d'Histoire de la Roumanie, Bucarest, Roumanie.
(2) Institut d'Archeologie d'Erevan, Armenie.
(3) SMAC, Chartres, France.
(4) CNRS Archeorient , Lyon, France
The fauna from Kalavan 1
(Upper Palaeolithic/Epipalaeolithic, Armenia)
Discovered in 2004,
the site of Kalavan 1, in the Barepat valley, is located at an altitude
of 1600 m in the Aregunyats mountain chain. In 2005 archaeological excavations
were initiated by a French-Armenian (Caucasus Mission) and two trenches
have revealed the presence of a series of successive occupation horizons:
an installation built by hunter-gatherers dating to the end of the Pleistocene
(level 7), and burials from the Early Bronze Age excavated into the overlaying
sediments (levels 4-6).
The fauna analysed comes entirely from level 7 (Upper Palaeolithic/Epipalaeolithic)
and includes 2043 specimens. Due to the marked fragmentation of this material,
specific identifications could only be carried out for 15 % of the total
number of examined specimens (about 43% by weight of the remains).
The faunal material was in a badly conserved condition, and the interpretations
which follow must be tempered by the knowledge that the results are biased
in favour of adult individuals, to the detriment of younger animals and
smaller species. The majority of the faunal remains display longitudinal
fractures attributable to very complex taphonomic processes (freeze, thaw,
humidity, drought, etc...).
The range of fauna identified is very poor from the viewpoint of the number
of taxa; the great majority of specimens belong to mammals (99%). One
observes a predominance of wild caprines
(Ovis sp./Capra sp.), amongst which a small number can be
attributed to Ovis sp. The diaphysis of a femure from a small carnivore
was recognised but this was too fragmented to be identified to the level
The study of the fauna from Kalavan confirms that Upper Palaeolithic/Epipalaeolithic
communities practiced the hunting of wild caprines which had attained
their maximum weight, thereby providing an important quantity of meat,
but also other products (skin, bone, tendons, blood, intestines, etc.).
Preliminary results of the age determination of these caprines shows an
absence of very young animals (0 to 6 months), which may demonstrate seasonal
hunting during the cold season (autumn - winter).
This type of exploitation of the environment by the prehistoric occupants
of Kalavan is very similar to that which was recently discovered at the
site of Ortvale Klde in the west of Georgia (Adler et al. 2006). There
as long ago as the Late Middle Palaeolithic until the Early Upper Palaeolithic,
the hunting of caprines (in this particular case of ibex, Capra caucasica)
predominated, comprising more than 90% of the fauna. This was clearly
connected with the seasonal migrations of these animals.
La faune de Kalavan
1 (Paléolithique supérieur/Epipaléolithique, Armenie)
Découvert en 2004, le
site de Kalavan-1 (vallée de Barepat) est situé à
1600 m d'altitude dans la chaîne de montagnes Aregunyats. En 2005
ont commencé les fouilles archéologiques franco-arméniennes
(mission Caucase) et deux sondages ont révélé la
présence d'occupations successives : une installation de chasseurs-cueilleurs
datant de la fin du Pléistocène (couche 7), et des sépultures
du Bronze ancien creusées dans les sédiments sus-jacents
La faune analysée provient en totalité de la couche 7 (Paléolithiquesupérieur/Epipaléolithique)
et compte 2043 restes. Á cause de la fragmentation intense du matériel,
les déterminations spécifiques portent sur 15 % du nombre
total des restes examinés (soit 43% en poids de restes).
Le matériel faunique est en mauvais état de conservation,
et les interprétations qui suivent devront tenir compte du fait
que les résultats sont biaisés en faveur des individus adultes
et au détriment des animaux les plus jeunes et des espèces
les plus petites. La majorité des restes fauniques présentent
des fractures longitudinales attribuables à des processus taphonomiques
très complexes (gel, dégel ; humidité, sécheresse,
Le spectre faunique identifié est très pauvre du point de
vue du nombre de taxons ; la grande majorité des restes appartiennent
aux mammifères (99%). Ainsi on observe une prédominance
des caprinés sauvages (Ovis sp./Capra sp.), parmi lesquels très
peu nombreux sont ceux qui sont attribués aux Ovis sp. Une diaphyse
de fémur provient d'un petit carnivore, mais trop fragmentée
pour être identifiée au niveau de l'espèce.
L'étude de la faune de Kalavan confirme le fait que cette communauté
du Paléolithique supérieur/Epipaléolithique pratiquait
la chasse des caprinés sauvages ayant atteint leur poids maximum,
fournissant ainsi une quantité de viande importante, mais aussi
d'autres produits (peau, os, tendons, sang, intestins, etc.). Les données
préliminaires sur l'âge des caprinés montre une absence
des animaux très jeunes (0 à 6 mois); ceci peut démontrer
une chasse saisonnière durant la saison froide (automne - hiver.
Ce mode d'exploitation de l'environnement par les occupants préhistoriques
de Kalavan est très semblable à celui qui a été
récemment mis en évidence sur le site d'Ortvale Klde dans
l'ouest de la Géorgie (Adler et al., 2006). Là, tant au
Paléolithique moyen qu'au Paléolithique supérieur,
la chasse aux caprinés (en l'occurrence des bouquetins, Capra caucasica)
était prédominante (plus de 90% de la faune) et manifestement
liée aux migrations saisonnières de ces animaux.
Adrian BALASESCU (1), Valentin
RADU (2), Emmanuelle VILA (3)
(1) Musée Nationale d'Histoire de la Roumanie, Bucarest, Roumania.
(2) Musée Nationale d'Histoire de la Roumanie, Bucarest, Roumania
(3) CNRS Archeorient, Lyon, France.
The archaeozoological characteristics
of Neolithic communities in the Ararat plain (Armenia)
This contribution presents
the archaeozoological results from two neighbouring sites, Aknashen et
Aratashen, dated to the 6th millennium BC, which are located in Armenia
in the Ararat plain. Lower levels 5 and 4 from Aknashen are contemporary
with the lower level 2 of Aratashen, and upper levels 2 and 3 have parallels
with level 1 of Aratashen. At Aknashen more than 5400 faunal specimens,
coming from the 2004-2007 excavations have been analysed, amongst which
2409 are determined to taxonomic level ((45,4% of the total number of
specimens; 73 % of the total weight). Nearly twenty taxa have been identified:
mammals (15), bird (1), reptile (1) and fish (2). At Aratashen, more than
7400 mammalian specimens, coming from the 1999-2004 excavations, have
been analysed, amongst which more than 2983 have been identified to taxonomic
level (40% of the remains), but only 1937 proved to be from well stratified
contexts and were included in the quantification here.
The archaeozoological study of the fauna from Aknashen shows that the
inhabitants principally raised domestic animals, in particular caprines
and cattle. Analysis of the relative weight of remains shows that in the
last levels of occupation (from level 3), they started to exploit more
cattle than caprines. A similar phenomenon was found at Artashen where
an economy dominated by the raising of caprines in level 2 then witnesses
an increase in the frequency of cattle in level 1.
Caprines generally occurred in all levels at Aknashen and Aratashen, with
a preference for the consumption of young meat, as more than 50% od individuals
were killed between 6 to 24 months. At Aknashen a change in the slaughter
pattern of caprines was visible in the last level 2 which could be quantified.
It was observed that there was a marked increase in the percentage of
individuals between 2 to 4 years (class EF), which could be interpreted
as being the beginning of the more intensive exploitation of secondary
products, especially milk. It cannot be excluded that this exploitation
strategy was conducted together with cattle.
The importance of hunting to the palaeconomy of these two sites appears
to have been secondary. At Aknashen it was observed that there was an
intensification of such activities at the beiginning of level 3. It was
notable that hunting primarily concerned large sized animals, like aurochs,
wild horse and deer. This type of hunting involves certain risks that
were no doubt compensated for by the large quantities of meat and other
products procured (antler, horn, bones, skins, etc.). There is only little
evidence for other activities like gathering and fishing. At Aratashen,
horse was not present. At the site deer was the most frequent game to
be hunted. In addition, the remains of a bear was found.
Comparison between Aknashen
and Aratashen shows a large number of similarities. Both sites had a predominance
of caprines, exploited for their meat, followed by cattle. At the beginning
of their cultural evolution, in both cases, the number of cattle increased
in relation to the proportion of caprines; the frequencies of wild species
exploited from the plain and mountains remained relatively small.
La caractérisation archéozoologique des communautés
néolithiques dans la plaine d'Ararat (Arménie)
Cette contribution présente les données archéozoologiques
de deux sites voisins, Aknashen et Aratashen, datés du 6e millénaire
qui se trouvent en Arménie dans la plaine de l'Ararat. Les niveaux
inférieurs V et IV d'Aknashen sont globalement contemporains du
niveau inférieur II d'Aratashen tandis que les niveaux supérieurs
II et III peuvent mis en parallèle avec le niveau I d'Aratashen.
A Aknashen, plus de 5400 restes de faune, issus des fouilles de 2004-2007,
ont été analysés parmi lesquels 2409 sont déterminés
au niveau taxinomique (45,4% du total des restes ; 73 % du poids total).
Une vingtaine de taxons ont été identifiés : mammifères
(15), oiseau (1), reptile (1) et poissons (2). A Aratashen, plus de 7400
restes de mammifères, issus des fouilles 1999-2004, ont été
analysés parmi lesquels près de 2983 ont été
identifiés au niveau taxinomique (40% des restes), mais seulement
1937 provenant de contextes bien stratifiés sont pris en compte
L'étude archéozoologique de la faune d'Aknashen montre que
ses habitants élevaient principalement des animaux domestiques,
en particulier des caprinés et des bovins. D'après les données
fournies par le poids de restes, dans les derniers niveaux d'occupations
(à partir du niveau III), ils commencent à exploiter davantage
les bovins que les caprinés. On trouve également à
Aratashen une économie dominée par l'élevage des
caprinés dans le niveau II avec une augmentation des fréquences
des bovins dans le niveau I.
Les caprinés étaient en général à Aknashen
et à Aratashen, à tous les niveaux, des fournisseurs de
viande tendre : plus de 50 % des individus sont des animaux sacrifiés
entre 6 et 24 mois. A Aknashen, un changement de la stratégie d'abattage
des caprinés est visible dans le dernier horizon II qui a pu être
quantifié. Nous observons, en effet, une forte augmentation du
pourcentage des individus entre 2 et 4 ans (classe EF) qui peut être
interprétée comme un début d'exploitation plus intensive
des produits secondaires, et surtout du lait. Une exploitation mixte des
bovins n'est pas exclue.
L'apport de la chasse dans le cadre de la paléoéconomie
animalière reste secondaire sur les deux sites. A Aknashen, on
observe une intensification de cette activité au commencement de
l'horizon III. Fait intéressant, la chasse concerne des animaux
de grande taille, comme l'aurochs, le cheval sauvage et le cerf. Une telle
chasse implique des risques certains, récompensés au final
par une grande quantité de viande ainsi que d'autres produits (bois
et cornes, ossements, peaux, etc). Les autres activités, comme
la cueillette et la pêche, sont peu attestées. A Aratashen,
le cheval n'apparaît pas. Sur ce site, le cerf est le gibier le
plus chassé. Un reste d'ours a été trouvé.
La comparaison entre Aknashen et Aratashen montre de grandes similitudes.
Ainsi, dans les deux sites, prédominent les caprinés, exploités
pour la viande, suivis par les bovins. Au cours de l'évolution
culturelle, dans les deux cas, le nombre de bovins augmente au détriment
de celui des caprinés ; les fréquences d'exploitation des
espèces sauvages, provenant de la plaine et de la montagne, restent
Carsten Niebuhr Section, Copenhagen University, Denmark
Ritual Deposits or just
another Flock of Goats?
In 1961-64 The Scandinavian
Joint Expedition to Sudanese Nubia, working under the auspices of UNESCO,
excavated numerous sites in Northern Sudan along a 60 kilometre stretch
of the Nile. The large collection of faunal material from the expedition
has not been studied in the intervening years.
In this paper I will present the findings from an analysis of a single
large Pangrave cemetery, SJE 47, dated by ceramic and small finds to the
2nd intermediary period and early New Kingdom. The site contains several
interesting deposits of faunal remains, the majority of which consist
of sculls from goat and sheep, with a few cattle sculls included. The
most significant characteristic of these is the distinct section of the
scull present and the painted geometric decoration.
An analysis of the sculls, their decoration and subsequent depositing
will be attempted here with the aim to shed some light on the rituals
and cultural behaviour of the Pangrave culture, as it can be studied in
a burial context.
Mark BEECH (1), Marjan MASHKOUR
(2), Antoine ZAZZO (3) and Matthias HUELS (4)
(1) Historic Environment Department, Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture
and Heritage (ADACH), Abu Dhabi, UAE.
(2) CNRS, UMR 5197- Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle MNHN -
(3) CNRS, UMR 5197- Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle MNHN -
(4) Leibniz Labor für Altersbestimmung und Isotopenforschung, Christian-Albrechts-Universität,
Prehistoric camels in Abu Dhabi's Western Region
A remarkable new site consisting of a concentration of as many as
60+ camel skeletons has been discovered in Abu Dhabi's Western Region
in the United Arab Emirates. Three camel bone samples from the site have
been AMS radiocarbon dated by the Kiel Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory in
Germany revealing that they date from the late 5th millennium BC. The
site is located in an interdunal area located to the south-east of the
Baynunah Plantation, not far from the Ruwais-Habshan pipeline. The spread
of camel bones extends over an area of about 100 square metres. Preliminary
analysis of the bones suggests that they are from wild camels. Other archaeological
finds associated with the camel bones include a finely made flint arrowhead.
This important newly discovered site will provide a valuable opportunity
to examine a large sample of wild camel bones during the later prehistory
of south-eastern Arabia. Future detailed investigations at the site will
throw fresh light on the early interactions between the communities inhabiting
late prehistoric Arabia and the camel.
Mark BEECH (1), Tatsuo and
Hanae SASAKI (2), Mohammed Amer AL NEYADI, Jaber AL MERRI, Ahmed
EL-HAJ, Dia'eddin TAWALBEH, Mohammed Mater
AL DHAHERI, Hamdan AL RASHIDI and Ali EL MEQBALI (all 3).
(1) Historic Environment Department, Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture
and Heritage (ADACH), Abu Dhabi, UAE.
(2) Department of Archaeology, University of Kanazawa, Japan.
(3) Historic Environment
Department, Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), Al Ain,
Fish in the Desert - Late Islamic period Bedouin camp sites in Abu Dhabi
Whilst a limited number
of photographs provide brief glimpses into the life of the Bedouin of Abu
Dhabi and south-east Arabia our knowledge of their lifestyle and economy
is largely based on the textual accounts of early travellers through the
region. Whilst studies of cultural artefacts have been carried out by anthropologists,
ethnographers and ethnologists, who have also in some cases compiled oral
history information, in most cases we do not have direct data on the precise
types of food consumed by these peoples on their journeys across the desert.
New surveys and excavations carried out in May 2008 by a joint team from
Kanazawa University in Japan and the Historic Environment Department from
the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage have uncovered a series
of Late Islamic period campsites in the deserts of Abu Dhabi. A series of
sites at Tawi Beduwa Shwaiba, located about 34 km due south of Al Wathba,
and Mari, located just over 40km south of Al Wathba, have been so far examined.
These represent temporary campsites occupied when the Bedouin moved on their
annual seasonal journeys between Abu Dhabi and the coastal region on a well
known route along which they could find water sources en route to and from
the desert oasis area of Liwa.
The recent fieldwork discovered significant quantities of fish, mammal and
bird bones at these campsites, along with other refuse such as pottery,
glass and occasional metal pieces. Analysis of the pottery from these sites
indicates that they mostly date to the 18th to mid 20th centuries AD. This
provides some of the first archaeozoological data to be examined from historical
sites in the region, a period that archaeologists have sadly tended to neglect
and discount. The range and types of fish that were transported and consumed
by the Bedouin will be discussed, and the wider implications of interactions
between coastal areas and the desert interior.
R. BENDREY (1), S. LEPETZ
(1), G.I. ZAITSEVA (2), Antoine ZAZZO (1), K.V. CHUGUNOV (3), N. BOKOVENOK
(2), K. DEBUE (1), J. UGHETTO (1), H-P. FRANCFORT (4) and Jean-Denis VIGNE
(1) CNRS, UMR 5197-
Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle MNHN - Paris, France.
(2) Institute for the History of Material Culture, Russian Academy of
(3) State Hermitage Museum, Russia.
(4) Maison de l'Archéologie et de l'Ethnologie René Ginouvès
- Nanterre, France.
in the nomadic societies of later prehistoric Central Asia: preliminary
results of stable isotope analyses of horse tooth enamel
The centrality of horses within
Scythian life on the steppes of central Asia in the first millennium BC
is evident from some of the rich archaeological finds of this period.
In particular, this is seen in multiple horse burials at princely tombs
in the region, for example at Berel, Kazakhstan and Arzhan 2, Tuva. Although
the elite associations of horses from funerary contexts are highly visible
in the archaeological record, the significance of horses would have permeated
throughout society. Much has been written on the development of nomadism
on the steppe and its association with increased pastoralism. Horses would
have formed an essential component of this mobile lifestyle, as movement
to seasonal pastures would have been essential for the success of subsistence
strategies. Indeed, ethnographic data indicates the key role of horses
in such a system. In this context, this paper presents some preliminary
results of a project to explore the relationship between horses and humans
in the nomadic societies of the later prehistoric steppe. Isotopic analyses
of horse tooth enamel samples from Central Asian kurgans have been undertaken
to explore various aspects of the lives of the horses, in particular diet
(d13C), seasonality of the climate (d18O) and movement (87Sr/86Sr). This
paper will focus on interpretations of the stable isotope data (d13C,
University of Kiel - Germany and UMR 5197- CNRS/MNHN - Paris, France.
Animal exploitation in the
Upper Tigris Valley during the Bronze Age: a first assessment from Hirbemerdon
Tepe and Kavusan Höyük
The knowledge on Bronze and Iron age in the Upper Tigris Valley has dramatically
increased in the last years due to numerous salvage excavations linked
with the Ilisu Dam project. However, most of the animal remains are not
yet analyzed. Therefore, the economical and social patterns inhere in
the exploitation of animal products are missing in the picture we have
from this region during the Bronze and Iron Age. The definition of those
patterns is the aim of the research I am carrying in the frame of my PhD
thesis. The presentation at the 9th ASWA will be focused on the first
bones processed from the sites of Hirbemerdon Tepe and Kavusan Höyük.
It will be also an occasion to present the project in its entirety and
to draw some working hypothesis from the first evidences.
ARC, Groningen, The Netherlands.
Multivariate analysis as
a tool in identifying Sheep (Ovis sp.) and Goat (Capra sp.)
Correctly identifying the remains
of sheep and goat can be particularly important, especially when studying
the early origins of the domestication of these species. Already in 1964
Boessneck, Muller and Teichert published a book describing in detail the
differences in the bones for these species. However, lack of computers
at that time prohibited them from formulating probabilities and clear
boundaries for the observed characters. It therefore depends very much
on the experience of the investigators how reliable the results are. Also
as a result, a number of (measurable) characteristics were not included
in the standard measurements list as published under the aegis of ICAZ
by Von den Driesch.
The study presented here uses the characteristics and extra measurements
already described, and using a canonical discriminant function establishes
for all combinations of variables those that are statistical valid and
acceptable. A further attempt to use these in discriminating for the sexes
is also presented. Presented will the methods used and the results with
the error margins involved.
The results are presented in a form that does not need the basic details
of the reference material but can be used by all in both the laboratory
and in the field. The advantages and disadantages thereof will be made
A case study of material from the Neolithic and Chalcolithic of Central
Anatolia will be presented to show the results of the method of approach.
Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations
Evidence for fish processing
in the Eastern Mediterranean and a new case from Iron Age Kinet Höyük
for fish processing in the Eastern Mediterranean is sparse. A newly excavated
Iron Age deposit at Kinet Höyük presents evidence on systematic
butchering of large Epinephelus, and probably of Balistes carolinensis
and Mugilidae. Cut marks on certain elements of the skull follow a consistent
pattern. Vertebrae remaining between the atlas and the ultimate vertebra
are virtually absent in the assemblage. Other archaeozoological evidence
from contemporary contexts at Kinet Höyük implies a whole new
tradition of aquatic resources exploitation at the settlement. The contemporaneity
of these different lines of evidence raises intriguing questions about
the nature of this processing site and/or waste area. Current lack of
research on ancient fisheries and fishing in the Eastern Mediterranean
prevents us from contextualizing the cultural and environmental meaning
of this deposit within a general historical and archaeological framework.
Jwana CHAHOUD and Emmanuelle
UMR 5133, Archéorient,
Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée, Lyon, France.
Study of the faunal remains
from Ugarit (Maison aux Albâtres) and from Qatna (Palace K): Animal
use during the Late Bronze Age in Syria.
Recent studies have been conducted
on the animal remains from Ugarit and Qatna, the two flourished urban
cities in the last half of the Second Millennium B.C. These sites are
located in Syria: Ugarit on the coast and Qatna on the west inland. This
paper focus on the analysis of faunal remains from two private residences
(Maisons aux Albâtres and Palace K) positioned both near the central
Palace of each city- Ugarit and Qatna. Due to the archaeological data,
architectural and object remains, these two was occupied by privileged
classes of the society. The study of those bones assemblages provides
insight on the food economy hence consumption of animals of the inhabitants.
The data will be discussed in terms of environmental, social and economical
aspects that may have an affect on the behavioural patterns regarding
the diet and the exploitation of animal resources by the inhabitant of
the Levant during the Late Bronze Age.
Alice M. CHOYKE
Medieval Studies Department, Central European University, Budapest,
Bone-working in the
Northern Middle Euphrates : Horum Hüyök and Zeytinli Bahçe
Work on dams in the
northern Middle Euphrates river threatened tell sites in the region. Horum
Hüyök, dated mostly to the Late Uruk but with Bronze Age and
Medieval/Byzantine components, was actually drowned with only the top
sticking out island-like from the river. Excavations are still on-going
at Zeytinli Bahçe, a small conical tell close to the river. Material
is available at this time from the Early Bronze Age I levels at the site
as well as some Roman and Byzantine material from fortifications at the
tip of the mound. The intention here is primarily to directly compare
the assemblages from the Late Uruk levels at Horum with the subsequent
EBAI levels at Zeytinli Bahçe. Manufacturing traditions in bone-working
during this transitonal period between the Late Chalcolithic and beginning
of the Early Bronze Age ( a very poorly researched time period for worked
osseous materials) will be discussed in light of both bone tool assemblages.
This region seems to have been, not surprisingly, equally influenced by
impluses from further to the north (Arslantepe) and south into Syria.
There will also be a brief discussion of changes in bone manufacturing
traditons from later prehistoric and proto-historic times as far as these
are available in these two site materials. The discussion will focus on
bone material selection, manufacturing techniques, functional and stylistic
variability over time and within this region.
Julie DAUJAT and Marjan
CNRS, UMR 5197- Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle MNHN -
Faunal remains from Middle
Neolithic site of Qaleh Rostam, Zagros (Iran)
The site of Qaleh
Rostam, located in the modern Bakhtiari region in western Iran, was excavated
by a German team in 1974 and directed by H. Nissen and A. Zagarell. There
is no clear evidence of architectural building except a probable terrace,
but only two small soundings were excavated.
The analysis of faunal remains (NISP = 5818) in 2006-2008 provides evidence
of an ovi-caprid based subsistence economy. It is noteworthy that sheep
is absent in earlier phases of the site. Thus, at the very beginning of
VIIth millennium B.C., Qaleh Rostam seems to be a spatio-temporal continuity
of the process of goat domestication, on the one hand, recognised as an
independent center in the Zagros after M. A. Zeder's and B. Hesse's reanalysis
of Ganj Dareh. On the other hand, the new zooarchaeological data from
Qaleh Rostam, highlight the diffusion of sheep, initially domesticated
in the western Fertile Crescent.
Moreover, demographic data based on a deep analysis of tooth eruption
and wear indicate that ovi-caprids economical husbandry is aimed at a
mixed exploitation of animal products (meat, milk and wool). The evidence
for milk exploitation in such early phase is one of the most interesting
results of the study. Coupled with other factors (palaeoenvironmental,
geographical and archaeological), Qaleh Rostam economy could be defined
as a transhumant pastoralism which sheds a new light on the long history
of this social system, long time before that has been documented archaeologically
for this region : interestingly the Bakhtiari region houses still today
Beatrice DE CUPERE, Anton
ERVYNCK, Mircea UDRESCU and Johnny DE MEULEMEESTER
at the castle of Aqaba (Red Sea coast, Jordan): preliminary results
Excavation at the castle of
Aqaba, located at the Red Sea Coast, has yielded a large amount of animal
remains, dating from the 8th century AD up to post-medieval times. The
archaeozoological analysis of this material has led to a better understanding
of the site's economy, more specifically the organization of the animal
part of its food supply. A diachronic comparison between the consumption
patterns of the different chronological occupation periods of the site
is carried out.
Beatrice DE CUPERE (1), Wim VAN NEER (2), and Hannelore VANHAVERBEKE (3)
(2) Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Leuven, Belgium.
Animal exploitation during
the Early Iron Age at the settlement of Tepe Düzen(SW-Turkey)
About 2 km to the southwest
of Sagalassos, on the other side of a dry-riverbed, the presence of another
settlement was discovered on a wide flat area, called Tepe Düzen
(Burdur province, SW-Turkey). Fragmentary remains of structures extended
over the whole site area of ca. 120 ha and showed to be from an (urban)
centre with a large defensive system. The pottery was preliminary dated
to the 8th to 4th centuries BC (Archaic-Classical period), and the settlement
is considered as the predecessor of Sagalassos, in which the earliest
stratigraphical layers only date back to the 1st century BC.
After three campaigns of excavation, the faunal remains collected at Tepe
Düzen allow to obtain a first glimpse of the animal-man relationship
during the Early Iron Age within the immediate vicinity of Sagalassos.
Further, archaeozoological data of both sites inform about the animal
exploitation from the Early Iron Age onwards, through Imperial, Late Roman
and Early Byzantine times, with some sporadic data from the Mid- and Late
University of Naples 'Federico II', Naples, Italy
New data on domestic and
wild camels (Camelus dromedarius) in Sabaean Yemen
Recently studied faunas from
controlled, dated Sabaean archaeological contexts provide information
on the presence of both domestic and contemporary wild camel in the 9th-7th
century BC time range in Yemen. Although still very limited this evidence
may be of interest. The wild or domestic status was determined on the
basis of both osteometrical data and archaeological context. Domestic
Camelus dromedarius was occasionally butchered for household meat
consumption at Yala (Ad-Durayb), southwest of Marib, in two subsequent
occupations that can be dated within the 8th-7th century BC, if not slightly
earlier (A. de Maigret's excavations). At Baraqish, in the Wadi al-Jawf
region of northeastern Yemen, deep stratigraphic testing outside the walls
in 2005-06 has revealed a long sequence of occupations spanning the whole
first millennium BC (F.G. Fedele's excavations). The domestic camel is
frequent throughout the series, increasing in numbers during the post-Sabaean
phases. Its earliest presence can again be dated to the 8th-7th century
BC, in association with possible evidence of early trading activities.
A unique find of this period, an isolated humerus deriving from an enigmatic
context on the outskirts of the Sabaean town, suggests the existence of
wild C. dromedarius populations in the area.
Eva-Maria GEIGL (1), Mélanie
PRUVOST, Reinhard SCHWARZ, Marie LIOUVILLE, Camille BERTHELOT, Sophie
CHAMPLOT, Thierry GRANGE, Michael HOFREITER, Lamys HACHEM, Hitomi HONGO,
Séverine BRAGUIER and Hans-Peter UERPMANN (2)
(1) Institut Jacques
Monod CNRS UMR 7592, Universités Paris 6 et 7, Tour 43, 2, Place
Jussieu, 75251 Paris cedex 05, France.
Universitaet Tuebingen, Germany.
The palaeogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA from Neolithic and Bronze
Age bones points to Southwest Asia as the center of cattle domestication
The elucidation of
the domestication of animals needs a multidisciplinary approach including
archaeology, archaeozoology, genetics and palaeogenetics since each approach
suffers from inherent limits that can be complemented by the others. A
most powerful approach combines genetic studies of extant animal populations
with palaeogenetic studies of bone remains of animals that had been directly
subjected to the domestication process and of their preceding and contemporaneous
wild ancestors. In the case of cattle, this latter approach is hampered
by technical difficulties due to poor DNA preservation in the majority
of bones and teeth preserved in Neolithic sites in Southwest Asia, the
presumed center of cattle domestication, and in Middle Europe where the
domesticates had been introduced along the Neolithic migration routes.
Indeed, ancient DNA is heavily degraded in bones preserved in open air
sites in both the Loess belt of Middle and Central Europe and in the hot
climatic zones of Southwest Asia. This renders ancient bovine extracts
extremely susceptible to contamination with trace amounts of bovine DNA
that is present in most of enzymatic preparations used to extract and
amplify ancient DNA. We overcame this problem by combining various treatments,
starting at the excavation site, and applying destruction methods for
contaminating DNA. This allowed us to obtain a considerable number of
reliable ancient aurochs and cattle DNA sequences from both Southwest
Asia and Europe and to reconstruct the domestication process of cattle
domestication. Our data characterize Holocene aurochs populations, identify
Southwest Asia as the center of cattle domestication and show that the
mitochondrial diversity of cattle during the Neolithic and Bronze Age
was considerably higher than nowadays.
Natufian settlements are particularly
well known in the southern Levant, centre of birth and expansion of this
culture, but they are relatively scarce in other regions where they correspond
generally to later occupations (Late or Final Natufian), dating to the 11th
millennium BC. In this sense, the recent discovery of Natufian levels at
Dederiyeh Cave, in the Afrin region (north-eastern Syria), gives a chance
to complete our knowledge about the development of this culture in the northern
part of the Near East.
UMR 5133 - Archéorient, Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée,
7 rue Raulin, F-69007 Lyon, France
The Natufian fauna of Dederiyeh Cave (Northern Syria)
If the mountain gazelle and the fallow deer are the main hunted mammals
in the Southern Levant, the subsistence practices are more contrasted within
the Natufian societies of the Northern Levant, in great part because environmental
differences. Thus, in the middle Euphrates (Mureybet, Abu Hureyra), animals
living in the steppes, namely the Persian gazelle and wild equids, composed
the greatest part of the exploited fauna. The animal resources were highly
diversified and included also, beside the aurochs, the wild sheep, the fallow
deer and the wild boar, several species of small game like foxes, hares,
and birds which played a significant role in the subsistence.
On the other hand, the fauna of Dederiyeh Cave shows a quite different whole
picture. According to my preliminary study, hunting focused primarily on
big-sized mammals such as the red deer, the aurochs, and the wild boar.
These animals, as well as the common occurrence of the wild cat in the bone
assemblages, indicate the existence of a surrounding forest which was more
important than today. Thus, the subsistence economy at Dederiyeh represents
an original case of adaptation of the Natufian culture to a relatively different
environment from those where it comes from. The list of the identified small
game comprised foxes, wild cats, hares, hedgehogs and, for the major part,
Mediterranean spur-tighed turtles. The exploitation of small game was therefore
focused on turtles and not on birds, contrary to the sites of the middle
Following the model proposed by N. Munro and M. Stiner, the predominance
of low-moving small game over fast-moving species at Dederiyeh could indicate,
like several sites in the Southern Levant dating to the same period (Younger
Dryas), that the cave was not permanently occupied but by relatively mobile
groups: their subsistence was based on opportunistic strategies requiring
a minimum investment in work and time for the exploitation of the wild resources.
Late and Epipalaeolithic
faunal remains from Syria.
In a current research programme
of the universities of Munich and Tubingen, the primary animal domestication
in the Upper Euphrates Basin is being studied. The project was initiated
by Prof. Peters, Prof. Uerpmann and Prof. Grupe and it is funded by the
To achieve a better understanding
of the onset of the Neolithic, the directly preceding Palaeolithic periods
are also being studied in the project. The Palaeolithic background gives
us an idea of the variability of faunal accumulations in hunter/gatherer
contexts, before we approach the changes that occur towards the Neolithic.
The three Palaeolithic sites
named Baaz, Ain Dabbour and Kaus Kozah are situated in the Palmyran mountains
North of the Damascus Basin.
The rockshelter of Baaz has an especially well preserved stratigraphic
sequence that begins with an Early to Late Upper Palaeolithic, followed
by Natufian and PN layers. Besides many consistencies with supra-regional
trends, the Natufian faunal assemblage shows also some clear differences
to the Southern Levantine, with higher percentages of sheep and hare.
Shifting relative abundance of these species can be interpreted as a result
of either a changed human subsistence behaviour or as a mere consequence
of environmental parameters.
Worth noting is the identification
of two different species of gazelles in the material. For the osteo-morphological
diffentiation, criteria were developed in the course of the study. The
occurence of both Gazella gazella and Gazella subgutturosa reflects the
location of the site in an ecologically transitional area.
Narges HAHSEMI (1), Marjan MASHKOUR (2), Jamshid DARVISH (1) and Jean
Denis VIGNE (2)
(1) Department for
Rodent studies, Ferdowsi University, Mashad-Iran
(2) UMR 5197 CNRS_ National
Museum of National History, Paris_France
Documenting small mammal
commensalism in Ulugh Depe (Turkmenistan) during the Bronze and Iron Ages
Ulugh Depe is a stratified
tell site, located in south-east Turkmenistan, North of Kopet Dagh, very
close to the Iranian borders of Khorassan. It is a flat region with steppe
vegetation. An important microvertebrate assemblage has been recovered
from the Bronze and Iron Age levels (4th -1st millennia cal. BC) at the
site during the last seasons of excavation by the French-Turkmen archaeological
mission. A total of 2366 remains of microvertebrates (654 teeth and cranial
and 1712 postcranial) were recovered, most of them coming from the fillings
of two partially buried jars dating to the 7th Century before Christ.
Taphonomic analyses indicated
that the isolated rodent bones came from undated rodent holes while the
largest sets of the bones found in the jars resulted from animals which
had been trapped and died in them. Consequently, these faunal assemblages
are very good indicators of the species which frequented the human dwellings
at that time.
The morphometric study of these remains led to the identification of four
rodent taxa. The assemblage is dominated by mice (Mus sp. Jar 1,
MNI=34, 39% and Jar 2, MNI=3, 17%) and by the Cricetidae (Jar 1, MNI=31,
35 % and Jar 2, MNI= 12, 66%).
Tatera indica is also abundant (Jar 1, MNI=12, 14%) and Jar 2,
MNI=1, 6%) while Meriones sp. is rare (Jar 1, MNI=1, 1%). There
were also a small proportion of carnivores (Mustela sp.), insectivores
(Crocidura sp., Suncus sp.) and bats (Myotis sp.).
Daniel HELMER (1) and Lionel
(1) UMR 5133 - Archéorient, Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée,
Antenne de Jalès, F-07460 Berrias, France
(2) UMR 5133 - Archéorient, Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée,
7 rue Raulin, F-69007 Lyon, France
La faune d'Qswad (Damas
- Syrie), niveaux anciens. Relations avec les sites du nord et du sud
Les niveaux anciens
de Tell Aswad sont datés se la fin de l'horizon PPNB ancien. Bien
que ce soient des niveaux architecturaux assez pauvres en faune, leur
position chronologique et la situation géographique entre le Levant
Nord et le Levant sud rend leur étude indispensable. Le matériel
archéologique montre à la fois des affinités avec
le nord et le sud: pour principal témoin, l'outillage lithique
est typologiquement méridional mais il est taillé sur des
supports de type septentrionaux. L'étude de la faune, quant à
elle, montre aussi des affinités avec les deux régions :
forte chasse au petit gibier, mais présence dès la couche
la plus ancienne d'ovins.
L'étude est menée selon deux directions: Ovis, Capra, Sus
et Bos sont-ils domestiques ? et comment ces taxons s'insèrent
dans les dynamiques des deux régions ? Les méthodes utilisées
sont statistiques avec étude juxtaposée pour les mêmes
restes i) de la taille par Analyse factorielle en composantes principales
(ACP) et ii) de la forme selon la méthode de Mosiman et ACP des
Globalement, les ovins et les porcins sont domestiques dans ces niveaux
anciens, les probabilités pour que les caprins le soient aussi
sont fortes (il y a probablement deux caprins) mais pour les bovins il
n'y a rien à dire par absence de mesures. L'étude concomitante
des deux régions montre des évolutions différentes
des cheptels. S'il y a eu acculturation à partir du Nord (apport
de certaines techniques), l'acceptation de ces techniques s'est faite
selon des modalités particulières au Sud : si des hommes
se sont déplacés, il ne devaient pas être suffisamment
nombreux pour imposer leur culture et seuls quelques aspects l'ont été.
The fauna of Tell Aswad (Damascus, Syria), early Neolithic levels.
Relations with the northern and southern Levant sites
The first occupation levels of Tell Aswad, a Neolithic site located in
the central Levant near Damascus (Syria), date to the end of the Early
PPNB period. The archaeological material found in these architectural
levels shows affinities with both northern and southern Levant sites:
for main example, the flint tools are rather southern-related in a typological
point of view but the knapping technology was based on northern-typed
supports. The study of the faunal remains indicates also some similarities
with both regions: importance of the small game hunting but presence of
caprines since the oldest level.
The present study addresses two issues: 1) Ovis, Capra, Sus and Bos were
they domesticated at the beginning of the occupation of Tell Aswad? 2)
How these taxa took part in the respective dynamics of the northern and
southern areas regarding the animal domestication? Different statistical
methods, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Mosimann's method are
here applied on the same biometric data in order to study the variations
of the bone size as well as those of the shape.
According to the results obtained, sheep and pigs were domestic in the
early levels and the status of the goats is also probably domestic (but
there were likely two populations). Nevertheless, nothing can be asserted
for the bovines because of the lack of measurements. The comparison with
the other regions shows different evolutions of the livestock. If it seems
to have been acculturation from the North, the acceptation of certain
techniques was made in a way specific to the South.
Veerle LINSEELE (1), Wim
VAN NEER (2), Harco WILLEMS (3) and Bart VANTHUYNE (4)
(1) Center for Archaeological Sciences, Leuven, Belgium
(2) Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Leuven, Belgium.
(3) Center for Archaeological Sciences, Leuven, Belgium
(4) Center for Archaeological Sciences, Leuven, Belgium
An unusual cattle burial
at Dayr el-Barsha (Middle Egypt, New Kingdom - 3rd Intermediate Period)
Recent excavations in burial
grounds on the flood plain of Dayr el-Barsh in Middle Egypt have yielded
an unexpected and enigmatic find. A circular pit with a diameter of about
1.5 meter yielded numerous cattle bones that are dated by associated pottery
to the Late New Kingdom - beginning of the Third Intermediate Period.
The bone remains represent the complete, but disarticulated skeletons
of 15 individuals of Ancient Egyptian Longhorn cattle. The material is
in an excellent state of preservation, with hoofs, hair, and horns often
still present. In addition, there are also bone remains of at least 3
incomplete individuals, which are less well preserved. The age and sex
of the animals was established and human modifications and pathological
traces were recorded. It is not clear yet what kind of (cultural or ritual)
activity the buried animals represent. Under the pit with cattle bones,
a human burial was found dating to the Early Middle Kingdom, and containing
several body parts of a young calf as funerary gift.
Laboratory of Vertebrates,
Institute of Zoology, Yerevan, Armenia
Carnivora Mammals of Holocene in Armenia
Taking into consideration
the idea that current area of species is a centre of the ancient settlement
or its neighborhood developed in the Quaternary period, there has been
made an attempt to observe the scattering of a number of carnivora mammals
as well as the factors influencing their area and number during the Holocene.
The remains of the carnivora are met in "kitchen garbage" of
Palaeolithic man and in inhabited layers of later periods. The oldest
bone remains of carnivora mammals in Armenia refer to the monuments of
Stone Age (Yerevan and Lusakert cave layers of the "Mousterian"
era). The analysis of bone remains of the above mentioned monuments defined
the presence of representatives from Canidae, Mustelidae and Felidae families
(S.Mejlumyan, N.Manaseryan, 1973). In the chronologically later Holocene
fauna of Armenia there are 12 species: Canis lupus, Canis aureus,
Vulpes vulpes, Ursus arctos, Martes foina, Mustela
nivallis, Vormela peregusna, Meles meles, Lutra lutra,
Pantera pardus, Acinonyx jubatus, and Felis libyca.
Four of them are on the verge of extinction (Transcaucasian brown bear
- Ursus arctos, South-Russian marbled polecat - Vormela peregusna,
Caucasian otter - Lutra lutra, Pre-Asian leopard - Pantera pardus),
while cheetah has perished since the Medieval period.
Marjan MASHKOUR (1), William
RENDU (2) and Fereydoun BIGLARI (3)
(1) CNRS, UMR 5197-
Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle MNHN-Paris.
(2) PACEA UMR 5199
- Université Bordeaux 1, France.
for Paleolithic Research, National Museum of Iran.
Qaleh Bozi (Isfahan) faunal remains; a Mousterian site of the Iranian
The recent discovery of
a cluster of Middle Paleolithic cave and rockshelter sites located about
25 km to S-SW of Isfahan provided a unique opportunity to study Mousterian
faunal assemblages in a stratified context. Qaleh Bozi, a complex of 3
Rock Shelters (QB1 to 3), was discovered by a team of geologists from
the University of Isfahan in 2004. In 2005, QB2 and QB3 (recently dated
to ~ 40 Ky BP) were investigated through test excavations by a joint team
from the Department of Geology of the University of Isfahan and the Iranian
Centre for Cultural Heritage Organisation. In 2008, QB2 was excavated
for a short period by a joint Iranian-French expedition. A large sample
of animal bones and lithics were recovered in these shelters, the largest
assemblages belonging to QB2 with abundant, well-preserved macro and micro-vertebrates
The Macro mammalian remains
belong in majority to large and medium sized herbivores. Besides the Caprini
(Ovis, Capra) the gazelles (Gazella) are abundant in the
assemblage. Among the large herbivores, the dominant species are the Equids.
The identified specimens are allocated to Equus hemionus, E.
caballus and E. hydruntinus on the basis of tooth enamel patterns
and measurements; Aurochs (Bos primigenius) was also identified
with remains of horn cores and the presence of Rhinoceros (cf Rhinoceros
unicornis) is attested by 6 bones and teeth fragments.
The very difficult access to
Qaleh Bozi caves addresses direct questions on hunting /scavenging and
transport strategies. The Qaleh Bozi lithic and faunal assemblages document
for the first time Mousterian subsistence strategies in a totally undocumented
region of South-West Asia. Also, the faunal assemblages of Qaleh Bozi
open a window into the unknown zoogeography of the Iranian Central Plateau
during the Pleistocene, despite the human prey selection, targeting mostly
Marjan MASHKOUR and Jean-Denis
CNRS, UMR 5197- Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle MNHN -
Neolithic of southwest Iran
viewed through the animal remains
Recent investigations in Southwest
Iran in the region of Fars bring a new light to the understanding of the
Neolithic process on the Iranian Plateau and the adjacent regions. Tal
i Mushki and Jari are the sites under investigation for a better understanding
of the Neolithic in the region.
The mains issues are the status of sheep and cattle during the seventh
Sophie MERY (1), Mark BEECH
(2) and Vincent CHARPENTIER (3)
(1) CNRS UMR 7041, Paris, France.
(2) Historic Environment Department, Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and
Heritage (ADACH), Abu Dhabi, UAE.
(3) INRAP, Paris, France.
New evidence for deep sea
fishing: the Neolithic settlement at Akab, Umm al-Qaiwain
seasons directed by the French Archaeological Mission on the island of
Akab in the lagoon of Umm al-Qaiwain in the UAE have revealed traces of
a large Neolithic settlement dating to between 4750 to 3600 cal BC. Structures
built on posts were revealed. The material culture of Akab includes Mesopotamian
pottery (Ubaid) and several types of characteristic beads. In particular
the occupants of Akab produced discoid beads in Spondylus sp. to
the extent that the site may be termed one of specialized production.
The Neolithic populations largely
exploited the resources of the surrounding lagoon but also fished for
tuna in the open ocean. Although the site has been better known until
now for its abundant dugong remains, here the main emphasis is on discussing
the fish remains retrieved from the site. An important archaeological
discovery at the site was the presence of shell fish hooks which may have
been used in the capture of large pelagic fish like tuna.
Lilit MIRZOYAN (1) and Nina
(1) Institut d'Histoire
et Archéologie de l'Orient Ancient, Universite Marc Bloch, Strasbourg
(2) Research Center of Zoology and Hydroecology, Yerevan, Armenia.
New excavated bone remains
and representations of animals from Urartian site Erebuni
Erebuni citadel with
its royal palace, temple, storerooms and surrounding buildings represents
a very important site located on the south-eastern part of modern Yerevan
city. As the excavations of last ten years have shown it is a multilayer
site founded by the Urartian king Argishti I on 782 BC. Started from early
sixties excavations held in the site revealed many interesting points
of the life of Urartian people. Today excavations continue and osteological
material is part of the most interesting finds from the site. This paper
reports the results from the analyses of bone remains from Erebuni excavated
in 2000-2007 which have never been published before, including the list
of identified species, measurements of skeletal elements, taphonomy marks
and use of animal bones as raw material by Urartians for different purposes.
In addition, the representations of animals in the art of Urartu will
Azadeh MOHASEB, Jean-Denis VIGNE and Marjan MASHKOUR
CNRS, UMR 5197- Muséum
national d'Histoire naturelle MNHN - Paris
Bronze Iron Age faunal assemblage
from Haftavan Tappeh (Azerbaijan- Iran)
The faunal assemblage of Haftavan
Tepe has been literally rediscovered in the basement of the British Council
in Tehran 43 years after their excavation by Charles Burney. Part of the
assemblage was also housed at the University of Manchester and now at
the Natural History Museum of Paris. A preliminary reconsideration of
the archaeological data was necessary to be able to select the well documented
contexts prior to the faunal analysis. In order to have a better chronological
control of the assemblage a program of direct AMS dating of animal bones
was developed, building on the established relative chronology of the
site. The Fauna of Haftavan Tepe located in the Iranian Azerbaijan is
one of the largest assemblages for the Bronze and Iron Age of this region
of the Iranian Plateau. The assemblage provides a rich documentation on
the subsistence economy of this site. Cattle and Pig are very well represented
at the site besides the Caprines and the presence of large amounts of
mandibles and teeth provides the opportunity to investigate demographic
aspects of herd management.
A regional comparative approach between the Bronze/Iron Age sites of Anatolia
and this part of Iran will give a large scale picture of the characteristics
of subsistence economy between the relatively well documented Anatolia
and the less well known Iranian Plateau.
Hervé MONCHOT (1)
and Guillaume CHARLOUX (2)
(1) Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle - IPH - CNRS, UMR
5198 - Paris, France.
(2) CNRS - UMR 8167- France.
The Opet Temple Courtyard Excavations: A Zooarchaeological Reference Study
for Karnak (Egypt
The archaeological excavations
undertaken in 2006 and 2007 in the courtyard of the Opet Temple at Karnak
(Luxor, Egypt) revealed, through twelve soundings, nine phases of occupation
and/or going construction dating from the Middle Kingdom to the present.
In addition to an abundance of artifacts (ceramics, stone tools, seal
impressions, shells, etc.) there were listed more than 5000 faunal remains
belonging for the most part to the classic triad of three of domestic
animals (sheep / goat, cattle and pig) and Nile fishes. Zooarchaeological
study shows that the majority of bones are burned and that the Egyptians
preferentially consumed of young animals, lambs / kids, calves and piglets.
This new study constitutes the first one on Karnak, and will allows us
to better understand the way of life and the behaviour of Thebans, at
the same time as the emergence of the Amon cult.
Key words: zooarchaeology,
cattle, caprini, pig, Nile fishes, Opet temple, Karnak, Middle Kingdom
Résumé : Les
fouilles du parvis du temple d'Opet : une étude archéozoologique
de référence pour Karnak (Egypte). Les fouilles archéologiques
entreprises en 2006 et 2007 sur le parvis de Temple d'Opet à Karnak
(Louxor, Egypte) ont mis au jour, à travers douze sondages, neuf
phases d'occupations et/ou de construction allant du Moyen Empire à
l'époque actuelle. Parmi l'abondant mobilier récolté
(céramique, outils en silex, empreintes de sceaux, coquilles, etc.)
ont été recensés plus de 5000 restes fauniques appartenant
en très grande majorité à la triade classique des
animaux domestiques (mouton/chèvre, boeuf et cochon) et à
des poissons du Nil. L'examen archéozoologique montre que la majorité
des ossements sont brûlés et que les Egyptiens ont consommés
préférentiellement de jeunes animaux, agneaux/chevreaux,
veaux et porcelets. Cette étude inédite constitue une première
sur Karnak, et permettra de mieux comprendre le mode de vie et le comportement
des Thébains, parallèlement à l'émergence
du culte amonien.
Mots-clés : archéozoologie,
capriné, boeuf, cochon, poissons du Ni, Temple d'Opet temple, Karnak,
Wim VAN NEER and Veerle
(1) Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Leuven, Belgium.
(2) Center for Archaeological Sciences, Leuven, Belgium.
Burials of wild and domestic
animals at the Predynastic elite cemetery of Hierakonpolis (Upper Egypt)
The HK6 cemetery at Hierakonpolis
is unique in the archaeological record of the Predynastic period for the
number and variety of animal taxa present in graves both in conjunction
with human burials and without human occupant. The faunal remains include
animals buried whole, as well as some represented by butchered body parts
only. The date of some of the tombs still remains problematic; however
two phases of cemetery use are clear. The cemetery was in use for elite
burials of the Naqada IC-IIB period (3800-3650 BC) and then used again
in the Naqada III period (3300-3050 BC). Excavations in this cemetery
have been carried out between 1979 and 1985, and again since 1999. An
overview is given of the wild species (anubis baboon, aurochs, hartebeest,
wild donkey, young hippo, elephant, jungle cat) and domestic animals (cattle,
sheep, goat, dog, donkey) encountered thus far with special emphasis on
the latest finds.
Massoud NEZAMABADI (1), Youssef HASSANZADEH (2) and Marjan MASHKOUR (3)
(1 & 2) National Museum of Iran, Tehran, Iran.
(3) CNRS, UMR 5197- Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle MNHN -
Bovids of Boukan; Faunal
Remains of a Mannaean Site (9th- 7th c. BC), Northwestern Iran
The site of Qalaichi in the
city of Boukan (West Azerbaijan- Iran) was excavated in 1985 and again
between 1999 and 2006. Excavations at the site have revealed architectural
structural remains comparable to columned temples in this area. During
the excavation in 2003, a pit was uncovered filled with faunal and archaeological
material. The terminus ante quem of this pit is 8th c. BC because
it was sealed with large stones during the 7th c. BC.
5259 fragments of animal bones
have been collected even if the whole assemblage of the pit could not
be collected systematically. The remains belong to Sheep/Goat and Cattle.
A single bone of Gazelle has been also identified. The very good preservation
of bones allows a detailed morphometric analysis of the material. Demographic
data are very abundant and provide detailed kill-off patterns for Sheep,
Goat and Cattle. Another aspect of the work was to contribute to the understanding
of the origin of this assemblage, a progressive deposit related to domestic
activities or sacrifice refuse, since the context of the site could probably
suggest its use as a well, as witnessed by the complete state of most
of the bones.
The following topics are discussed
in this paper: 1) the relative proportion of species in the collection
and the probable contribution of each to the ancient diet or sacrifice,
2) interpretations of secondary economic uses of animals based on age
criteria, 3) frequency of recovered skeletal parts as an indication of
butchering procedures, 4) osteometry and comparison with fauna from the
nearby site of Zendan-e-Soleiman.
at Tell Bderi ( Jazira, NE Syria ) During the Early Bronze Age
The rescue excavation which
has been conducted at Tell Bderi site during the late 80's until the Early
90's , revealed an early Bronze Age town in the khabur valley North-Eastern
the Syrian Jazira Region.
This town is one of the biggest among the group of settlements situated
in the valley area, and it was continuously inhabited throughout the Early
Bronze age until the hiatus of occupation at the onset of the Middle Bronze
The natural settings of the settlement in a transitional area between
the dry-framing and irrigation areas played a major role in determining
the economical activities at the site.
Examining the bone materials from the different levels, and the dwelling
structures; would provide us with an insight on the patterns of wild and
domestic resources exploitation in Khabur Valley during the Early Bronze.
At the same time we aim to demonstrate the affect of the environmental
surroundings on the local diet, the economical and cultural aspects of
the daily life. The study of the subsistence base which depended substantially
on the herding strategies, would help us to enhance our interpretation
of the socio-economical changes which occurred towards the last stages
of the Early Bronze period and ended the occupation at the site.
Joris PETERS (1) and Gisela
Department, Institut für Paläoanatomie und Geschichte der Tiermedizin,
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Kaulbachstr. 37, 80539
(2) Dept. I der Fakultät für Biologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität
München, Biozentrum, Grosshaderner Str. 2, 82152 Martinsried, Germany.
Reconstructing hunting and
farming practices in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic Upper Euphrates region
using stable isotopes in human and animal bone structural carbonate
About 500 individual human
and animal bones of various vertebrate species from three Anatolian sites
covering the Neolithic transition in this area have been analyzed in terms
of stable carbon and oxygen isotopes in the structural carbonate. The
sites comprise the supra-regional cult centre of early PPN Göbekli
Tepe, early PPN Nevali Çori, and late PPN Gürcütepe,
which are located in close proximity to each other. As many individuals
per species as possible were included into the analysis, permitting for
a statistical evaluation of the data. d18O-values served as climate proxies
and proved to be useful in the reconstruction of vertebrate habitat preferences,
mobility patterns and human hunting grounds. The dietary signal preserved
in the 13C-values revealed a considerable, statistically significant contribution
of C4-plants in the diet of fully domesticated animals and their human
consumers opposed to free ranging species, early PPN humans and early
domesticates, revealing details about plant resource management. The results
highlight the complexity of the fundamental changes in human subsistence
strategies in the Fertile Crescent and may even indicate landscape degradation
soon after agriculture became the mainstay of the economy.
Jennifer J. PIRO and Pam
New York University, U.S.A.
for Pastoralism in the Early Transcaucasian Culture
Mobile pastoralism is commonly
viewed as a fundamental aspect of the Early Transcaucasian Culture (ETC),
which emerged in eastern Anatolia and the southern Caucasus around 3500
BCE and spread rapidly throughout portions of the Near East during the
following millennium. Until recently, the connection between mobile pastoralism
and the dispersal of ETC populations was inferred from their distinctive
ceramic and architectural forms, which have ethnographic parallels with
nomadic groups. New zooarchaeological research into the question of ETC
mobility focuses on faunal evidence as a way of gaining insight into the
nature and extent of pastoralism during this period. This paper discusses
the zooarchaeological evidence for pastoralism from the ETC levels at
Sos Höyük in eastern Anatolia and Godin Tepe in west-central
Iran. Additional faunal data from ETC sites in Armenia are also used to
compare herding economies across the region. Research findings indicate
that settled agro
-pastoralism served as the economic base of some ETC communities, where
inhabitants adopted risk-averse strategies, such as herd security and
resource diversification. While not fully resolving the role of mobile
pastoralism in the ETC, the zooarchaeological evidence thus far suggests
that agro-pastoralism was the dominant subsistence practice at certain
d'Histoire naturelle / CNRS, UMR 5197 - Paris, France.
Ivoires de mer et
chevaux et chameaux de lait
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.
New Insights into the "Second
Urban Revolution" of Northern Mesopotamia from Five Early Bronze
Age Faunal Assemblages of the Khabur Basin, Syria
Generally regarded as the birthplace of the world's first cities, ancient
Mesopotamia has long been studied in terms of the emergence of urban life
and state formation. Historically, research has focused upon the Sumerian
city-states of southern Mesopotamia. Academic discourse has expanded to
include consideration of events in northern Mesopotamia as archaeological
work in northeastern Syria and surrounding areas has revealed a similar
socio-economic trajectory towards more complex, urban-centered modes of
interaction. These developments occurred soon after the rise of the southern
cities, comprising what has been termed the "second urban revolution."
Employing faunal data from Early Bronze Age sites of the Syrian Jezirah,
this paper will examine the function of pastoral production in the establishment
of the core economic and political structures that developed in Mesopotamia's
earliest large-scale, urban civilizations.
Faculty of Archaeology,
Leiden University , The Netherlands.
Changing patterns of animal
exploitation and the 8.2k BP climate event: preliminary findings from
the faunal remains of Tell Sabi Abyad, Syria c. 6800 - 5800 BC
The abrupt climate change of
8.2k BP has caught the attention of natural scientists who see this climate
event as a model for future climate change. The archaeological implications
of this event however remain widely unexplored and this period of distinct
change has been widely overlooked in Near Eastern archaeology until recently.
Tell Sabi Abyad is located in the upper Balikh region of northern Syria,
approximately 30 kilometres from the Syro-Turkish border, and is one of
the few sites that has occupation levels spanning this climate event.
Previous research at Tell Sabi Abyad has indicated substantial cultural
change around 8.2k years ago with strong evidence of a fundamental, rapid
transformation of society at this time, including changes in the arrangement
of the pattern of settlement, architecture, social organisation and material
culture. The research presented here is part of a PhD research project
which hopes to shed further light on this phenomenon, with particular
attention paid to changes in economy and shifts from a primarily sedentary,
agrarian lifestyle to a more differentiated, pastoral form of existence.
The preliminary findings of this research will be presented.
Nerissa RUSSELL (1) and
Katheryn TWISS (2)
(1) Cornell, U.S.A.
(2) Stony Brook, U.S.A.
Digesting the Data: Dogs
as Taphonomic Agents at Neolithic Catalhoyuk, Turkey
Dogs have long been shown to
be a significant taphonomic factor wherever they are present. Often this
is approached in terms of density-mediated attrition, with dogs as a key
attritional agent. Here we focus not on what is missing, but on what is
present: digested bone derived from dog feces, in particular its spatial
distribution. We discuss remains from Neolithic Çatalhöyük,
where digestion affects a substantial proportion of some skeletal elements
(e.g., sheep/goat phalanges) and not others.
By their nature, dog feces generally form secondary deposits, away from
the bones' original places of discard. Moreover, at Çatalhöyük
dog feces are often gathered and dumped in concentrated areas, placing
them in tertiary context. Dog consumption and excretion thus have a substantial
effect on the spatial distribution of body parts.
We use dog fecal remains to explore human and canine behavior at Çatalhöyük.
The contents and placement of dog feces reflect both the access of dogs
to various locations and activities around the settlement, and human attitudes
toward dogs and their waste.
Dr. Maria SANA (1 & 2) & Carlos TORNERO (1 & 3)
(1) Laboratory of Archaeozoology, Prehistory Department. Autonomous University
Edifici B, Campus UAB - 08193, Barcelona. Spain.
(2) Titular Prof. Prehistory Department. Autonomous University of Barcelona.
Edifici B, Campus UAB - 08193, Barcelona. Spain. Maria.Sana@uab.cat
(3) PhD-grant student. FPI Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia. (Spain).
Focusing on the dynamic and the rhythm of cattle domestication: Evaluating
differences, by season of birth, between aurochs and the first domestic
cattle from tell Halula by isotopic data
carried out in Tell Halula (including morphological and biometrical analyses,
slaughtering and butchery patterns, skeletal part representation,
show significant changes on cattle management during middle to late PPNB
levels (7800 to 7000 cal BC), some of which could be related with the
process domestication (Saña 1997; 2001). Moreover these changes
in the intrinsic characteristics of faunal remains, domestication engendered
changes on social organization and social relationships in between human
groups and caused changes on the ethological and biological patterns from
wild to domestic animals (Saña 2005). Following this last point,
one of these changes is related with the reproduction patterns on different
populations. The control of animal reproduction patterns was one of the
more important factors involved in the process of domestication. Without
enough knowledge from this aspect it seems difficult to understand the
dynamic and rhythm of the process, as well as the social magnitude of
In this work , season of birth
is evaluated by isotopic analyses on cattle remains recovered from archaeological
levels with presence of first domestic cattle (PPNB-late) and archaeological
levels with only the wild form (PPNB-middle). ?13C and ?18O values were
obtained from dental enamel on third lower molar of Bos sp. remains. Results
were recounted in a sequential order on enamel from neck to occlusive
superficies from similar teeth of different individuals.
Our results are as follows.
Firstly, differences between the ?13C and ?18O values recounted on wild
animals from the earliest levels, and those from recent occupations where
processes of domestication took place, were evident. Secondly, all of
the individuals show a similar seasonal dynamic in their ?18O values.
Data suggest that although isotopic differences exist between aurochs
and first herds of domestic cattle, the same season of birth is represented
between the two groups. This last point supposes appreciate considerations
to the study of animal domestication, attending to the dynamic and rhythm
of the process.
Finally, this work empathize
that this methodological approach is a valid and original contribution
to the study of changes due to animal domestication where stable isotopic
analysis is added to the morphological and biometric analysis on the study
of faunal remains, in a integrated form.
Saña, M. (1997). Recursos animals i societat del 8800 BP al 7000
BP a la vall mitjana de l'Eufrates: dinàmica del procés
de domesticació animal., Departament d'Antropologia Social i Prehistòria,
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain., Umpublished title.
Saña, M. (2001). Dynamique de processus de domestication animale
d'après le site neolithique de tell Halula (Vallée de l'Euphrate,
Syrie)., IVª ASWAD, Paris, 1998. Univ, Paris I.
Saña M. (2005). Animal domestication: subject of study and subject
of historical knowledge, Revue de Paleobiologie, Geneve 10, p.149-154.
This work has been carried out as part of different Archaeological Research
Projects: Project (HUM200766237-/HIST) directed by Dr.Miquel Molist, and
Projects (EME2006-17) and (HUM2007-65016/HIST) directed by Dra.Maria Saña.
Moreover, it is registered within the framework of papers carried out
by recognized research teams from the UAB: SAPPO: Seminari d'Arqueologia
del Pròxim Orient (2005 GR 00241) and GRLA: Grup de Recerca del
Laboratori d'Arqueozoologia (code1792). Finally, Carles Tornero is a FPI
- PreDoctoral grant student by Ministerio de Educación y Ciéncia.
Shiva SHEIKHI (1), Alireza SARDARI (2) and Marjan MASHKOUR (3)
(1) Tehran University - Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Iran.
(2) ICAR / ICHTO - Iranian Centre for Archaeological Research/ Ir. Cnt.
Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization.
(3) CNRS - UMR 5197- Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle MNHN
- Paris, France.
investigation in Fars (Iran): faunal remains of Tepe Mehr Ali, a Middle-Late
In the framework
of dam construction projects in Iran the province of Fars near Eghlid
was surveyed and Mehr Ali Tepe chosen for excavation. This is one of the
rare sites of the region which is typical of the Lapui period. The site
is dated from the mid fifth to third millennium B.C. Eight trenches were
excavated and until now 16120 animal bone fragments of the collected assemblage
have been studied. During the pre-modern and modern periods the area has
been used by nomadic tribes for their summer pastures. Pastoralism is
also important in the past since Sheep and Goat have an important role
in the economy of the site. The kill-off patterns show different exploitation
of sheep and goat. After the Caprini, Cattle is the most abundant domesticated
species and its contribution to the diet seems to be as important as Caprini.
Besides the domesticates, a variety of hunted animals have been indentified
in the fauna of Mehr Ali. Red deer (Cervus elaphus), Wild boar
(Sus scrofa), Brown Bear (Ursus arctos), Lion (Felis
leo) and Leopard (Panthera pardus) are among the wild mammals
identified in the fauna of Mehra Ali. Equids are also present in this
site and were attributed to hemiones (Equus hemionus). This fauna
reflects a luscious environment and also the exploitation of different
ecological niches. After a season of rescue excavations the site sank
under the waters of the dam, however after a harsh summer and drought
the Tepe reappeared and a new excavation is currently underway at the
Wild Faunal Remains of Sos
This poster discusses the exploitation
of wild animals from the Early Transcaucasian Culture (ETC) levels (ca.
3500 - 1500 BCE) at Sos Höyük in northeastern Anatolia. Until
recently, zooarchaeological research at the site has centered on domestic
livestock and the nature of the herding economy at the site. In contrast,
wild animal remains (less than 8% of the ETC faunal assemblage) have received
relatively little attention, and their presence in the assemblage is not
yet clearly understood. This study provides a systematic analysis of the
wild animal remains from the site, including species identification, seasonal
availability, taphonomic impact, human modification, and archaeological
context. Findings from this investigation complement the zooarchaeological
evidence from domestic livestock in the assemblage, which suggests that
the Sos inhabitants were primarily settled agro-pastoralists, whose main
concern was minimizing subsistence risk and uncertainty.
Margarethe UERPMANN &
Muweilah and the problems
of dromedary domestication
Muweilah is one of
the few archaeological sites in SE-Arabia where animal remains are preserved
in larger quantities. It is a small fortified town of the Iron-Age-II
period situated in the outskirts of Sharjah City. Of some 34,000 identified
animal bones almost half are from fish. Among the 16,500 bones of domesticates
there are more than 700 bones of dromedaries. In terms of find numbers
only sheep and goat are more frequent. According to bone weights dromedaries
are second in importance after sheep. Cattle amount to one third of the
camel bones in terms of numbers and to only one fifth in terms of weight.
They are the only other domesticates of any importance for Muweilah's
subsistence. Assuming that dromedaries were not only kept for meat, but
also for labour and milk, they were probably the most important living
resource for the inhabitants of the township.
There is no commonly accepted evidence for the occurrence of the domestic
dromedary prior to the Iron Age II period. Thus, the observation on the
economic importance of this animal at Muweilah raises interesting questions
with regard to the origins of the domestic dromedary and its early history.
The wild dromedary, well known from several Bronze Age and Neolithic sites
in SE-Arabia, is also represented at Muweilah together with a number of
other wild animals.
Jean-Denis VIGNE (1), Isabelle
CARRÈRE (2) and Jean GUILAINE (3)
(1) CNRS, Muséum
national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris, France.
(2) EHESS, TRACES, Toulouse, France.
(3) Collège de France, Toulouse,
Evolution of the use of
sheep and goat during the early preceramic Neolithic at Shillourokambos
(8300-7000 cal. BC)
Shillourokambos (Perekklisha, Limasol, Cyprus) is an open field site
inhabited by early preceramic Neolithic people between 8400-8300 and 7000
cal. B.C. The final study of the first section of the site, which was
excavated between 1991 and 2003, has provided an improved and refined
chronology of the occupations. This new chronological framework permitted
the completion of the final archaeozoological study, which has added numerous
original data to that of the preliminary studies (Vigne et al., 2000,
Here we will present the results obtained for sheep and goat. Goat is
attested as early as the beginning of the occupation of the site, in the
form of animals which were significantly smaller than its wild ancestor
(Capra aegagrus) from Southeastern Anatolia. The evidence, including sexes
and ages at death, indicates that goat populations lived in the wild and
were exploited by hunting throughout the early phases, i.e. until ca.
7500 cal. BC. Conversely, sheep appeared only during the course of the
early phases, in the form of a domestic animal (modified horncores and
small size) that was intensively bred for milk and meat. Sheep significantly
decreased in size towards the end of the early phases. Subsequently, at
the turn of the mid 8th millennium (middle phases), several strands of
evidence suggest that the local Cyprus goats have been domesticated, and
then bred for the production of milk. At the same time, much larger sheep
were introduced to the site and bred for meat, and then for meat and hair.
This scenario gives a good illustration of both a process of domestication
(goat) and of the early techno-economic complementarities of sheep and
goat during the 8th millennium.
Vigne J.-D., Carrère
I., Saliège J.-F., Person A., Bocherens H., Guilaine J. & Briois
F., 2000.- Predomestic cattle, sheep, goat and pig during the late 9th
and the 8th millenniun cal. BC on Cyprus: preliminary results of Shillourokambos
(Perkklisha, Limassol). in : M. Mashkour, A.M. Choyke, H. Buitenhuis &
F. Poplin éds., Archaeozoology of the Near East IV, Proc. 4th int.
Symp. Archaeozoology of Southwestern Asia and adjacent areas (ASWA; Paris,
Juin 1998). Groningen : Archaeological Research and Consultancy (Publicaties
32), p. 52-75.
Vigne J.-D., Carrère I. & Guilaine J., 2003.- Unstable status
of early domestic ungulates in the near east : the example of Shillourokambos
(Cyprus, IX-VIIIth millennia cal. B.C.). In : J. Guilaine & A. Le
Brun éds., Le Néolithique de Chypre (Actes Coll. Int. Nicosie,
17-19 mai 2001). Bull. Corr. Héllenique, suppl. 43, p. 239-251.
Emmanuelle VILA (1) and
Marjan MASHKOUR (2)
(1) UMR 5133, Archéorient, Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée,
Lyon / UMR 5197- CNRS / UMR 5133, CNRS, Archéorient, Lyon
(2) CNRS, UMR 5197- Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle MNHN -
Thoughts about Ass domestication
The present paper
investigates the origins of the domestic Ass and thedispersal of this
animal from an archaeozoological point. A review of osteological evidences
in archaeological sites from Syria, Iraq, Iran, as well as other adjacent
countries during the IVth/IIIrd millennium BC, considered as being the
domestication time for this animal, will be presented. The paper aims
to investigate different hypotheses for the chronological and geographic
dispersal of this domesticate throughout South Western Asia.
UMR 5133, Archéorient, Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée,
Lyon, France / UMR 5197- CNRS / UMR 5133, CNRS, Archéorient, Lyon,
Preliminary comments about the discovery of elephant bones at Mishrife/Qatna
in Late Bronze Age Syria
During the 2008 excavations
season at Tell Mishrifé, elephant bones were discovered in a Late
Bronze Age context. The seven bones, found in two different rooms belonging
to the Royal Palace of Qatna, are mostly well preserved: a scapula, humerus,
tibia, three vertebrae or parts of vertebrae and a pelvis fragment. The
excavation of the whole context has not yet been completed, thus it is
difficult to interpret at the moment. The discovery of elephant bones
is not usual in Syria. They belong to the infrequently occurring mammals
species and their bones seems to appear in contexts dated up to the Middle
Bronze Age. The questions arising here are about the species identification
and the occurrence of the elephant in Ancient Syria.
Université Nice-Sophia Antipolis, CEPAM/CNRS, Valbonne, France
L'exploitation des poissons
à Qal'at al-Barhaïn, du Dilmun Ancien à l'époque
Le site de Qal'at al Bahreïn
(Royaume de Barhaïn), fouillé par la mission archéologique
française depuis 1977, a fourni une grande quantité de restes
osseux de poissons. La stratigraphie, qui s'étend du Dilmun ancien
(IIIème millénaire av J-C) à l'époque islamique
(16éme siècle) offre la possibilité d'une étude
et d'une compréhension continue de l'occupation du site.
Au delà de la mise en évidence du paléo-environnement
et de la paléo-économie des sociétés insulaires
de Bahreïn, des relations commerciales avec les pays voisins et les
régions géographiques proches (qui sont partie intégrante
du projet de recherche), le poster aborde plutôt l'exploitation
du milieu marin.
Sont effet présentés les premiers résultats issus
de l'étude des os de poissons, qui mettent en évidence les
espèces les plus représentées selon la période
d'occupation. L'alimentation, la pêche et la préparation
du poisson sont aussi abordés.
Fish exploitation at Qal'at
al-Barhaïn, from Ancient Dilmun to the Islamic era.
The site of Qal'at al Bahraïn
(Barhaïn Kingdom), excavated by the French archaeological mission
since 1977, has provided a great number of fish bone. The stratigraphy,
covers the Ancient Dilmun (3rd millennium BC) to the Islamic period (16th
century) and offers a unique possibility of a sequential study and understanding
of the occupation of the site.
Besides stressing on the paleoenvironment and paleoeconomy of the island
societies of Bahraïn, and the commercial relationships with the neighbouring
countries and adjacent regions (also part of this research project), the
present presentation will mainly focus on the exploitation of the marine
In fact, the first results from the study of fish bones are presented.
These results underscore the most present species in each occupation period.
Feeding, fishing and fish preparation are subjects that are also touched
University of Pennsylvania,
U.S.A. / Independent Scholar.
Elite Equids, Part 2: Seeing
Further research on the 26+
skeletons found in an elite burial complex at Umm el-Marra, Northern Syria,
dating to the mid- to late- 3rd millennium has strengthened their identification
as equid hybrids. I will present these new data, as well as an initial
program to preserve the entire skeletal collection via electronic 3D data.
Thomas W. WYRWOLL
fuer Mammalogie und Anthropologie Frankfurt am Main, Germany
An Oriental species in the
Orient: The waterbuffalo (Bubalus arnee) in Western Asia and Northern
Despite the fact that waterbuffalo
as a species is commonly associated with the Oriental zoogeographical
region, i.e. Southern Asia, there is palaeontological and archaeological
proof of Pleistocene and Holocene westward movements of waterbuffaloes
deeply into the Palaearctic zoogeographic region. The paper presents archaeological
evidence for a Holocene existence of wild waterbuffaloes from the Arabian
peninsula to Northern Africa, and investigates the role attributed to
the species in ancient cults.
Mohammad AL ZAWAHRA
Ministry of Tourism
and Antiquities, Palestine.
The Faunal Remains from Mar-Nicola, a Byzantine & Islamic site, Beit
Jala - Palestine.
Mar-Nicola site is located
in the center of Beit Jala city 2 km North West of Bethlehem, 825 m above
sea level, in Palestine. The animal bone assemblage from Mar Nicola site
represents two taphonomic groups; "Food consumption refuse"
as well as the "artistic group". Food group is as a result of
the supply of meat for the inhabitants. It was achieved by utilizing both
domestic as well as wild animals. It was primarily provided by the domestic
animals (ovicaprines, pigs, and cattle), while wild animals, gazelles
did not represent a significant contribution to the diet of the inhabitants,
sheep and goat dominated food animals.
Camels represented by certain specimen fragments, almost the Metapodial
bones, that found having sawing marks, "tool making waste",
with their ends, the proximal & distal are fused. Other animals also
found, have sawn marks on their elements, like sheep/goat, pearl shell,
Due to the presence of Byzantine church remains nearby, Mar Nicola, the
presence of bone workshop there could give a religious function. The strong
camel bones have strongly recommended imported as raw materials for manufacturing
religious tools like beads and necklaces. Other animal bones, donkeys,
could sometimes used but to a lower extent.
No finished tools/objects found on site, and only fragments of unfinished
tool and the tool-making waste like the joints. This evidence Mar Nicola
site during Byzantine and Early Islam was a specialized workshop center
for bone handicrafts, manufacturing and exporting finished bone objects.
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