Cooperation and Feasting at Late Neolithic Domuztepe: Assessing Emergent Political Complexity through Faunal Remains

Author(s): Hannah Lau

Year: 2015


Cooperation occurs at all scales of social life: among individuals, among households, and among groups that supersede the household level. In some cases, such cooperation precipitates the formation of complex social structures and institutions and perpetuates their endurance. The variability of forms such cooperation can take at all scales of social complexity is broad, but an increasing degree of scalar cooperation correlates with increasing social complexity. This study uses zooarchaeological data from the Late Neolithic site of Domuztepe (ca. 6000-5450 cal. BCE) in Southeastern Turkey as a proxy for assessing increasing scales of cooperative behavior at the site over time. Faunal data from the site’s three feasting assemblages, when compared to the quotidian subsistence system, provide a means to assessing resource and labor coordination among inhabitants by elucidating the different animal management strategies employed by Neolithic agropastoralists in these different consumption settings. Such coordination has implications for reconstructing the political economy and emerging political complexity of the wider region during the Late Neolithic. While cooperation in resource exploitation and labor in any context elucidates socioeconomic and political organization, this study focuses specifically on feasts because feasting by its nature entails explicit cooperation among participants.

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Cooperation and Feasting at Late Neolithic Domuztepe: Assessing Emergent Political Complexity through Faunal Remains. Hannah Lau. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398063)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;