Mice, scats and burials: unusual concentrations of microfauna found in human burials at the Neolithic site of Catalhoyuk, Central Anatolia.

Jenkins, E. L., 2012. Mice, scats and burials: unusual concentrations of microfauna found in human burials at the Neolithic site of Catalhoyuk, Central Anatolia. Journal of Social Archaeology, 12 (3), 380 - 403 .

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DOI: 10.1177/1469605312455765

Abstract

Three human burials were found at Çatalhöyük that contained large microfaunal assemblages. Taphonomic analysis demonstrated that many of these elements had passed through the digestive tract of a small carnivore, indicating that the microfauna entered the burials in carnivore scats rather than as carcasses. One of the burials in particular (F. 513) contained an enormous quantity of microfauna which was concentrated over the torso of the body. It is concluded that the scats were deliberately placed in the burials by the human inhabitants of the site as part of ritualistic practice. Furthermore, it is suggested that small carnivores were encouraged to enter Çatalhöyük in order to control house mice, and other small mammal, numbers.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:1469-6053
Uncontrolled Keywords:burials; carnivores; Çatalhöyük; microfauna; Neolithic; ritual; scats; taphonomy
Subjects:History > Archaeology
Group:Faculty of Science and Technology
ID Code:20813
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:10 Apr 2013 07:48
Last Modified:10 Sep 2014 14:56

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