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Investigating the diet and health of Neolithic boar in Central Turkey: A pilot study from Boncuklu Höyük

Author(s): Quan Zhang

Year: 2017

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Boncuklu Höyük (the 9th millennium to the 8th millennium cal. BC) is an Early Neolithic settlement found in the Konya Plain, Central Anatolia. At this site, wild boar (Sus scrofa) is the most common species found in the mammal remains. This pilot study tries to explore the relationship between Boncuklu boar and the community that inhabited this area.

Samples of archaeological boar’s teeth from Boncuklu Höyük are analysed using three methods: (1) dental morphometrics, (2) dental microwear analysis and (3) Linear Enamel Hypoplasia, of which dental micro-wear analysis is the focus in this initial study. These methods allow insights into the diet and health condition of Boncuklu boar.

As omnivores, boar have potential to compete with humans for food. Especially, the initial cultivation of crops in Boncuklu probably aggravated this competitive relationship. It is likely that intensive boar hunting aimed to control their population, while no evidence shows they were closely managed by humans. The study of Boncuklu boar potentially reveals the subsistence strategy of the Boncuklu community and the early pig domestication in Central Anatolia.

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Investigating the diet and health of Neolithic boar in Central Turkey: A pilot study from Boncuklu Höyük. Quan Zhang. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 432127)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17518

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America