Akkașdağı is certainly the richest vertebrate locality ever found in Turkey. After my 38 years of experience of field work, I can affirm that I have never seen so many remains of mammals piled up in the same layer, neither in the localities I excavated nor in those that I visited. Such an accumulation is exceptional and must mean that a catastrophic event caused the death of thousands of individuals in a very short time. Our results indicate that a volcanic eruption produced the rhyolitic flow whose tuffs and perhaps gas caused this mass death, Indeed, the fossils of Akkașdağı are concentrated in pockets formed by erosion on the top of the flow which functioned as traps to catch mammal carcasses. These pockets are aligned in a chain, often touching or separated a few meters one from the other, the whole in the same horizon for more than 1 km. We excavated 10 of these pockets during three field campaigns in 1997, 2000 and 2001, totaling less than one month. Nevertheless, we collected and catalogued 3276 identifiable specimens of large mammals, Akkașdağı is a typical name in the tradition of the Anatolian peasant, It means “mountain with white eyebrows” because the tuff layer forms curved reliefs at the middle slope which appear from far as the eyebrows of a mountain with round profile... The Akkașdağı project was a beautiful experiment for all the participants. This volume resulted from the competence of all the contributors and was illustrated with the beautiful photographs of Denis Serrette.
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Pierre-Olivier ANTOINE & Gerçek SARAÇ601-632, Published on 31 December 2005, art. 27 (21)
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