The use of oxygen isotopes in sheep molars to investigate past herding practices at the neolithic settlement of Çatalhöyük, central Anatolia

E. Henton, W. Meier-Augenstein, H.F. Kemp

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    Abstract

    This paper presents a pilot study designed to test the use of oxygen isotopes for investigating aspects of early herding practices in the Neolithic of western Asia, using the site of Çatalhöyük in central Anatolia as a case study. Time-sequenced d18O values in dental enamel of archaeological sheep are assessed for post-depositional diagenetic effects and compared with seasonal d18O meteoric water values in the region today. The evidence is used to indicate the environmental conditions in which individual sheep spent their first year, enabling management of breeding and birthing seasons, and movement to seasonal pastures, to be investigated.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)429-449
    Number of pages21
    JournalArchaeometry
    Volume52
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010

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