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ARCHAEOZOOLOGY OF SOUTHWEST ASIA AND ADJACENT AREAS

9th Meeting of ASWA
15-20 November 2008
Al Ain, Abu Dhabi emirate, United Arab Emirates

organised by:
Marjan Mashkour (Muséum national d'histoire naturelle / CNRS, Paris, France) &
Mark Beech (Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, Abu Dhabi, UAE)

sponsored by the:

Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH)
French Embassy in Abu Dhabi, UAE
Bank of Sharjah
Dassault Aviation
Thales
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
Mercure Hotel - Jebel Hafit


CONFERENCE ABSTRACTS
(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 ]


A


B

Adrian BALASESCU (1), Boris GASPARYAN (2), Jérémie LIAGRE (3) and Christine CHATAIGNER (4)
(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 of species.
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 (couches 4-6).
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, etc…
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 ici.
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 relativement faibles.


Pernille BANGSGAARD
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 - Paris, France.
(3) CNRS, UMR 5197- Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle MNHN - Paris, France.
(4) Leibniz Labor für Altersbestimmung und Isotopenforschung, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel, Germany

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, UAE.

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)
(
1) CNRS, UMR 5197- Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle MNHN - Paris, France.
(2) Institute for the History of Material Culture, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia.
(3) State Hermitage Museum, Russia.
(4) Maison de l'Archéologie et de l'Ethnologie René Ginouvès - Nanterre, France.

Human-horse relationships 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, d18O).


Rémi BERTHON
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.


Hiljke BUITENHUIS
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 clear.
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.


C

Canan CAKIRLAR
Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations

Evidence for fish processing in the Eastern Mediterranean and a new case from Iron Age Kinet Höyük (Hatay, Turkey)

Archaeological evidence 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 VILA.
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, Hungary.

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.


D

Julie DAUJAT and Marjan MASHKOUR
CNRS, UMR 5197- Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle MNHN - Paris, France.

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 nomadic communities.


Beatrice DE CUPERE, Anton ERVYNCK, Mircea UDRESCU and Johnny DE MEULEMEESTER
Belgium.

Archaeozoological research 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.


POSTER:

Beatrice DE CUPERE (1), Wim VAN NEER (2), and Hannelore VANHAVERBEKE (3)
(1) Belgium.
(2) Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Leuven, Belgium.
(3) 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 Byzantine periods.



E


F

Francesco FEDELE
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.


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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.
(2) Eberhard-Karls 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.


Lionnel GOURICHON
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)

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.
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 Euphrates.
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.



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Napierala HANNES
Eberhard-Karls Universitaet Tuebingen, Germany.

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 "Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft".

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.


POSTER:

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.).

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Daniel HELMER (1) and Lionel GOURICHON (2)
(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 levant

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 résultats.
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.



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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.



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Nina MANASERYAN
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.
(3)
Center for Paleolithic Research, National Museum of Iran.

Qaleh Bozi (Isfahan) faunal remains; a Mousterian site of the Iranian central Plateau

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 vestiges.

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 ungulates.


Marjan MASHKOUR and Jean-Denis VIGNE
CNRS, UMR 5197- Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle MNHN - Paris, France.

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 millennium BC.


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

Three excavation 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 MANASERYAN (2)
(1) Institut d'Histoire et Archéologie de l'Orient Ancient, Universite Marc Bloch, Strasbourg II, France.
(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 be discussed.


POSTER:

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, Moyen Empire


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Wim VAN NEER and Veerle LINSEELE
(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.


POSTER:

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 - Paris, France.

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.


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Lubna OMAR
Syria.

Animals Exploitation 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 age.
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.


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Joris PETERS (1) and Gisela GRUPE (2)
(1) Veterinärwissenschaftliches Department, Institut für Paläoanatomie und Geschichte der Tiermedizin, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Kaulbachstr. 37, 80539 München, Germany.
(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 CRABTREE
New York University, U.S.A.

Zooarchaeological Evidence 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 ETC sites.


Francois POPLIN
Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle / CNRS, UMR 5197 - Paris, France.

Ivoires de mer et chevaux et chameaux de lait

Abstract forthcoming.


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Scott RUFOLO
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.


Anna RUSSELL
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.


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POSTER:

Dr. Maria SANA (1 & 2) & Carlos TORNERO (1 & 3)

(1) Laboratory of Archaeozoology, Prehistory Department. Autonomous University of Barcelona.
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). (BES-2005-8158). Carlos.Tornero@uab.cat

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

Archaeozoological analyses 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 it.

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.

References:

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.


Footnote:

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. (Spain). (BES-2005-8158).


POSTER:

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.

New archaeozoological investigation in Fars (Iran): faunal remains of Tepe Mehr Ali, a Middle-Late Chalcolithic site

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 site.


POSTER:

Jessica SPROVIERO
Institution

Wild Faunal Remains of Sos Höyük

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.

 


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Margarethe UERPMANN & Hans-Peter UERPMANN
Eberhard-Karls Universitaet Tuebingen, Germany.

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.


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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
, France.

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, 2003).
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 - Paris, France.

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.


Emmanuelle VILA
UMR 5133, Archéorient, Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée, Lyon, France / UMR 5197- CNRS / UMR 5133, CNRS, Archéorient, Lyon, France

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.


Justine VORENGER
Université Nice-Sophia Antipolis, CEPAM/CNRS, Valbonne, France

L'exploitation des poissons à Qal'at al-Barhaïn, du Dilmun Ancien à l'époque islamique.

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 environment.
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 on.




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Jill WEBER
University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A. / Independent Scholar.

Elite Equids, Part 2: Seeing the Dead

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
Forschungsinstitut fuer Mammalogie und Anthropologie Frankfurt am Main, Germany

An Oriental species in the Orient: The waterbuffalo (Bubalus arnee) in Western Asia and Northern Africa

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.


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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, and donkey.
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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