Implications of age structures for Epipaleolithic hunting strategies in the western Taurus Mountains, Southwest Turkey

Levent ATICI

en Anthropozoologica 44 (1) - Pages 13-39

Published on 06 July 2009

This article is a part of the thematic issue Zooarchaeology and the reconstruction of cultural systems: Case studies from the Old World

This paper investigates hunter-gatherer behavioral strategies during the Epipaleolithic period in the western Taurus Mountains of Mediterranean Turkey. Seven archaeofaunal assemblages excavated from Karain B and Öküzini caves were analyzed and interpreted with a special emphasis on age structures and their implications for general hunting strategies, site function and use, and seasonality. A detailed analysis of age structures based on dental wear and epiphyseal fusion data combined with other zooarchaeological evidence has revealed that hunter-gatherers in the Western Taurus Mountains intensively hunted wild sheep and goat, mostly targeted prime-age animals, shifted from seasonally restricted site use and hunting to unrestricted multiseasonal site use and hunting pattern, and progressively hunted larger number of juvenile caprines throughout the Epipaleolithic.

Keywords :

Karain, Öküzini, Turkey, Epipaleolithic, Seasonality, Mortality Profiles, Discrete Age Cohorts, Synchronized Killing.

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