The impact of the transition from broad-spectrum hunting to sheep herding on human meat consumption: Multi-isotopic analyses of human bone collagen at Aşıklı Höyük, Turkey

Yu Itahashi, Mary C. Stiner, Omur Dilek Erdal, Güneş Duru, Yilmaz Selim Erdal, Yutaka Miyake, Demet Güral, Minoru Yoneda, Mihriban Özbaşaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

At Aşıklı Höyük, one of the earliest Pre-pottery Neolithic mound sites in Central Anatolia, a shift in animal utilization from broad-spectrum exploitation of diverse animal species to a concentration on managed caprines has been observed. Changes in the balance of meat to plant foods over the same time frame remain an open question. In this study, carbon and nitrogen isotopic analyses of bulk collagen and compound-specific nitrogen isotopic analysis of amino acids were undertaken for the human remains to elucidate the dietary impact of the hunting to herding transition over a span of about 1000 years. The results showed that animal protein consumption did not change very much as managed sheep became the main source of meat. The contribution of animal protein to the total human diet at Aşıklı Höyük is similar to comparison data on later Neolithic farmers in Anatolia measured in previous studies. The early development of ungulate management and the increasing focus on just a few prey species do not appear to have forced drastic changes in the extent human carnivory from the early Pre-pottery Neolithic to the early Pottery Neolithic. However, human individuals showed similar isotopic compositions within the same buildings at Aşıklı, suggesting variation in food consumption by household.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105505
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume136
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Amino acid
  • Anatolia
  • Caprine management
  • Domestication
  • Neolithic period
  • Paleodiet
  • Stable isotopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

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