Archaeozoological study of a unique Late Neolithic pit from Tepecik-Çiftlik, central Turkey

Can Yümni GÜNDEM

en Anthropozoologica 54 (11) - Pages 97-110

Published on 16 August 2019

The absence of written evidence from prehistoric periods makes it difficult to understand the origins of sacrifice or offering ceremonies. Archaeological finds from prehistoric periods are the only solid evidence for these acts and rituals. One probable case of animal sacrifice or offering in the Neolithic period has been found at the site of Tepecik-Çiftlik Höyük in central Turkey. This study is focused on a single unique pit, which contained only animal bones and was found in an open space. The contents clearly indicate that this pit can not be interpreted simply as mixed kitchen garbage since an almost complete cattle skeleton as well as sixteen left front leg remains from sheep were placed in the pit after a social, or more specifically, ritual act. Similar pit with similar content was found neither in the close region to Tepecik-Çiftlik nor within Anatolia. The main aim of this study is to introduce a special archaeological find group, those were left after certain prehistoric activity.


Archaeozoology, Anatolia, Neolithic, ritual, Tepecik-Çiftlik.

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