Investigating the “domestic‐selective” environment in an early Neolithic village

Investigating the “domestic‐selective” environment in an early Neolithic village

Mary C. Stiner, School of Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Ee683edf7b765d56acd6f8ba903607f1?s=128

Insite Project

May 05, 2014
Tweet

Transcript

  1. 1.

    Aşıklı Höyük, Turkey 11,000 – 9,000 y BP Investigating the

    “domestic‐selective” environment in an early Neolithic village Mary C. Stiner, School of Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
  2. 3.

    Emergence of “Neolithic” way of life – Complex adaptive systems

    driven by feedback cycles: between organisms and between organisms and the physical environment. In connection with sedentism, benefits with larger consequences, which in turn generate ever more problems to be solved. Lock-in effects: Interaction dynamics that become directional by virtue of their least-negotiable contingencies sedentism? tragedy of commons? energetic symbioses?
  3. 4.

    SOME BROAD EMPIRICAL OBSERVATIONS: Elements of the “neolithization” process vary

    greatly (e.g. lots of different plant and animal taxa involved) The process was geographically widespread (e.g. Middle East) Common basic stimuli (climate change, loss of mobility, path dependency set by earlier benefits of resource risk management)
  4. 10.

    LABORATORY FOR APPLYING NICHE CONSTRUCTION to examine emergent processes BUT

    TO INTERFACE WITH ARCHAEOLOGY, WE NEED DECISION MODELS (SATISFICING or OPTIMALITY) Allows us to examine decision rules for small repeated actions by agents in relation to constraints such as scheduling conflicts, dominant currencies, etc. Objective is to find out when we have it wrong (not to confirm optimal behavior).
  5. 11.

    20,000 kcal/hr 5000 kcal/hr 500 kcal/hr 5 kilos/acre 40 kilos/acre

    100 kilos/acre TWO WAYS TO MAXIMIZE RETURNS: per hour per unit space NARROW DIET DIVERSIFIED DIET
  6. 12.

    Standardizing food availability / demographic packing Plant cultivation (especially) /

    scheduling conflicts Prey management / tragedy of commons REDUCED MOBILITY? SEDENTISM? BET-HEDGING TO COMPETE?
  7. 13.

    We are interested in the role of emergent phenomena--ground- upward

    processes that develop non- linearly from small repeated interactions among agents, and between agents and the mutable environment. These feedback relationships provoked a host of new challenges and problems within newly sedentary village, including rising parasite and refuse loads and the functionality of domestic spaces.
  8. 18.
  9. 19.

    SOME OF THE BIG QUESTIONS FOR THE PROJECT AS A

    WHOLE ….. Local evolution of the Neolithic socioeconomic “package” Chronology, climate and environmental background Were certain plants and animals domesticated here?
  10. 21.

    Plant macrofossils indicate heavy use of cereals and other seeds

    in all layers. Many grass, pulse and other plant species utilized… Explains the foundation of the settlement and new permanence in land use?
  11. 23.

    AH located are the edge of prime sheep habitat. Sheep

    were important in AH diets throughout the 1000+ years of occupation, but sheep became more and more important with time. Buitenhuis (1997) reports zooarchaeological evidence for sheep and goat management (morphometrics, age and sex data) or “proto-domestication” for Level 2 occupations (after ca. 8100 cal BC).
  12. 24.

    “Management” refers to human ‘control’ of the animals, including mate

    choice and survivorship. A question of interaction. “Domestication” is a potential outcome of management‐‐ a process that changes linked species. An outcome of repeated interactions.
  13. 25.

    Evidence of caprine (sheep and goat) management and conditions of

    the practice? changes in species importance ungulate age and sex structures in situ dung deposits (captivity on site) .... new technologies emerging pest control, space maintenance & redesign, recycling
  14. 26.

    AH faunal transitions from Level 4 through Level 2A Shift

    begins early and appears to develop gradually over 1000+ yrs Trade-off between small game and caprines TIME small game
  15. 27.

    Developmental state Total MNE Females Males Unfused 17 10% 60%

    Fused 35 90% 40% Age-sex distributions for sheep/goat based on pelves (fusion @ 6-7 mo) in Level 4 (Fisher’s exact test p=0.0028).
  16. 28.
  17. 30.

    Taxon NISP fetus NISP neonate Sheep/goat 30 64 Aurochs -

    18 Red deer - - Wild pig - 22 Wild horse/ass - 10 Counts of fetal versus neonate bone specimens
  18. 31.

    Evidence for dung accumulations and in situ trampling by animals

    Compacted, micro-laminated undulating structure, spherulites
  19. 32.

    On site defecation not only in Levels 2 and 3

    but also, on a smaller scale in Level 4. Animals tucked between and within structures in Level 4 Larger corrals later on.
  20. 33.

    Phytoliths are microscopic silica structures that develop within the cells

    of living plants. They usually enter archaeological sediments as fresh or burned plant parts concentrated by humans and by livestock. (1) dicot plants (varied) (2) small-seeded grasses (3) cereals (wheat, barley) (4) riverine sedges-rushes and reeds
  21. 34.

    The large cells of cereal silica skeletons point to cultivated

    plants, especially in the case of wheat. Reeds (especially phragmites) were used extensively in construction. Wild grass phytoliths occur in large quantities. Some may represent food processing debris, but the majority seem to be from dung of grazers (e.g. sheep or cattle).
  22. 35.

    LIVING WITH SHEEP (and goats) New advantages gained, but new

    problems to be solved …changes in space use, waste management, pest control, technology directly related to keeping animals captive … In situ dung accumulation
  23. 36.

    FOLLOW THE INTERACTION PATHS – INNOVATION AND RESPONSES TO UNFORESEEN

    CONSEQUENCIES..AND POSSIBLE ANCHORING PRIORITIES…
  24. 37.

    . . . Unanticipated problems… REFUSE USABLE SPACE PESTS PROTECTING

    INVESTMENTS SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS INTERACTION LOOPS INVOLVING BIOLOGICAL ACTORS AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT ( = INHERITANCE)
  25. 38.

    . . . REFUSE USABLE SPACE FUEL SOCIAL FLOW RECYCLING

    OF MATERIALS AND SPACE FUNCTIONS…
  26. 41.

    Behavioral and structural adjustments to “close living” with animals (pest

    control, space maintenance, weeds) Burning‐over, diatomaceous earth, waste removal, recycling, spatial separation
  27. 42.

    Thank you for your attention! Funded by the National Science

    Foundation. Thanks to all of the members of the AH Project Team!
  28. 43.

    CURRENCIES: RESOURCE INTENSIFICATION CAN TAKE AT LEAST TWO FORMS: Expand

    range of species eaten to include less preferable types. Squeeze more nutrients out of traditional foods