Open Context

Descriptive Variable Value(s)
Hodder Level Designation(s) TRENCH 5.CHALCOLITHIC
Recording Assessed:2
Year 2010
Description This is a fill unit within space 340, underlying (15137). It should be a secure Chalcolithic room fill, although the presence of six human specimens might raise some doubts - should check whether there was a late burial in the vicinity. The faunal unit is fairly small given that this is a typical-sized fill layer for Trench 5: there are maybe 250 specimens but these are mostly highly fragmented. Sheep-sized material dominates, as ever, contributing virtually all of the scrap (upto 5% may be hare-sized) and all but six diagnostics, leaving aside humans. The sheep-sized diagnostics have no evidence for species other than caprines. Of these, the majority are indeterminate while a couple are clearly goats - surprisingly, there are no definitive sheep specimens. The caprine body part representation seems fairly even, with a couple of scrappy pieces each from most of the major limb elements. An underrepresentation of vertebrae and slight overrepresentation of teeth can probably be attributed to attrition (see below). Fragmentation is very severe by Trench 5 standards: there are only a couple of intact articular ends in the unit, and most of the caprine small bones (especially tarsals and phalanges) are also damaged. Median fragment size is probably in the 25-30mm range. Much of this fragmentation seems to have been caused by gnawing/digestion, evident on 5-10% of specimens. This is much more common on articular ends and small bones than on shaft fragments, however, and cannot account for much breakage of the latter. It is, as ever, hard to say to what extent the fragmentation represents pre-depositional processing. Shaft breakages do typically seem to have a post depositional character, suggesting that disturbance and in situ attrition may have been the major factors. Surface condition is moderate. The majority of specimens are at stage 3 (slight weathering), with maybe 30% at stage 4 (moderate weathering), and a couple of better-preserved pieces at stage 2 (very slight weathering). Appearance is quite varied: most specimens are a mid-brown, but everything from light yellow/orange to almost black staining is also represented. Burning is no more common than usual for Trench 5 room fills though, with at most 5% of specimens carbonized and a couple of calcined pieces. There are no articulations. Overall, this looks like a pretty standard redeposited room fill. It has been put as a fairly high priority not because it is a great context, but because we need to avoid looking exclusively at the fresher room fills. DZ count: Ovis: 1.5 Capra: 1.5 Ovis/Capra: 8.5 Bos: 1 Large equid: 1 Homo: 1.8
Recorded By (initials) DCO
Recorded By (name) David Orton
Date Recorded 2011-08-09
Note
The unique identifier for each contextual unit, matching those used in the central Çatalhöyük excavation database and in publications. The excavation uses single-context recording.

Suggested Citation

David Orton. "Unit 15144 from Turkey/Çatalhöyük/Mound West/Trench 5". (2013) In Çatalhöyük Zooarchaeology. David Orton, Nerissa Russell, Katheryn Twiss, Louise Martin, Sheelagh Frame (Eds.) . Released: 2013-08-16. Open Context. <http://opencontext.org/subjects/17E80516-FB25-40D2-A179-A6324A39B4C4> ARK (Archive): https://n2t.net/ark:/28722/k2319sd25

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Peer-reviewed

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