Re-contextualizing the Dead: A Geospatial Approach to Synthesizing Bioarchaeological Data at Çatalhöyük

Author(s): Barbara Betz; Jessica Pearson

Year: 2017


Two decades of excavation at Çatalhöyük have produced a skeletal assemblage of approximately 555 individuals from primary, secondary, and primary-disturbed Neolithic (7100-6000 cal. BCE) deposition contexts. As personnel and digital technology have changed, integration of the large body of legacy bioarchaeological data with current research has posed many challenges. Often, analyses of osteological data patterns have relied on broad comparisons of temporal and spatial categories drawn from nominal data in the site database, such as comparisons between individuals buried within different types of houses, or groupings of earlier and later stratigraphic layers. However, as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software has been incorporated into site-wide research methodologies, new opportunities have arisen to explore more fine-grained geospatial patterns in the skeletal record at Çatalhöyük and provide new insights into diet, nutrition, disease, growth, development, and other aspects of life and death at this complex Neolithic settlement. This study explores the benefits and challenges of using GIS to integrate legacy data from the site database, (i.e., age, sex, and long bone measurements), with recently collected data, such as dietary isotope results and dental stress indicators, to develop new understandings of demographic and osteological patterns based on spatial visualization and tools of geospatial analysis.

Cite this Record

Re-contextualizing the Dead: A Geospatial Approach to Synthesizing Bioarchaeological Data at Çatalhöyük. Barbara Betz, Jessica Pearson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431487)


Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16286