Reconstructing feast provisioning at Halaf Domuztepe: Evidence from radiogenic strontium analyses

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Abstract

The role of animal economies, and particularly the provisioning of feasts, in supporting the rise and maintenance of social complexity are topics of global interest in anthropology. This study investigates how people chose to provision feasts during the late Neolithic Halaf Period in Northern Mesopotamia (ca. 6000-5300 cal. BCE). Zooarcheological assemblages from the Halaf site of Domuztepe (ca. 6000-5450 cal. BCE), located in southeastern Turkey, offer an opportunity to investigate these phenomena. Radiogenic strontium isotope data derived from teeth from livestock (sheep, goats, cattle, and pigs) recovered from both domestic trash and the refuse from large-scale feasting events provide important proxy evidence for ancient peoples’ provisioning of feasts and their coordination in animal resource production. Results indicate that animals consumed at feasts were drawn from the same herded population that fed inhabitants at the site daily. This has important social implications for feast organizers, whose choices would affect the community beyond the individual feast event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105408
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume131
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Animal management
  • Neolithic period
  • Strontium isotopes
  • Turkey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

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