Once Upon a Höyük

Author(s): Stacia Yoakam; Kathyrn Marklein

Year: 2016


Oymaağaç Höyűk, the putative Hittite religious center of Nerik, was occupied as early as the second millennium B.C.E. .Nearly three thousand years later, the site was reclaimed as a burial ground for the local populace. Within the upper stratigraphic, tile (tegula) graves and the associated burials, relatively and radiocarbon dated to the Byzantine (i.e., Late Roman) period (A.D. 250-450), provide an informative look into the lives of the rural population. Employing archaeological context in conjunction with human osteological data, this study aims to enhance our understanding of this understudied region and time period. Data presented in this study represent nine Byzantine graves and individuals. Consistencies in burial orientation and placement were observed between all individuals, regardless of age or sex, alluding to the living population’s awareness and adherence to local burial traditions. Initial analyses of human skeletal remains reveal high frequencies of osteoarthritis throughout the body, notably among thoracic and lumbar vertebrae. Although this sample size is too small for statistical significance, similarities in burial and physiological stress between male and female adults (ages 25-50) suggest high daily labor for both sexes within this population, indicating comparable workloads and responsibilities between genders in this Northern Turkish community.

Cite this Record

Once Upon a Höyük. Stacia Yoakam, Kathyrn Marklein. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405272)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;