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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Community Development and Culture Negotiation During the Early Bronze Age in Western Anatolia
by Adams, Donovan M., Ph.D., University of Nevada, Reno, 2020, 474; 27963460
Abstract (Summary)

Although extensive archaeological research has investigated the socioeconomic changes associated with the Early Bronze Age in Anatolia, especially in the southeastern region, demographic and sociocultural bioarchaeological investigations are lacking. Given this lack of information, this dissertation has two primary objectives: 1) to investigate the demographic changes that occurred in southwestern Anatolia, and 2) to investigate the social practices of southwestern Anatolian communities during this transformative period.

Dental morphological and metric data were collected on both the permanent and deciduous dentitions of the Early Bronze Age site of Karataş-Semayük, located in the Elmalı Plain. These data were used to explore the biological diversity of the site in comparison to other settlements in the Eastern Mediterranean, the relatedness of Karataş to other settlements in the Eastern Mediterranean, the construction of kinship as expressed through mortuary practices, and postmarital residence.

Results indicate significant biological diversity at Karataş compared to other Eastern Mediterranean settlements spanning the Neolithic to the Middle Bronze Age. Furthermore, evidence suggest this diversity at Karataş increased as occupation at the site progressed. Biological distance statistical analyses indicate Anatolian sites are more phenotypically similar to each other than to other sites in the Eastern Mediterranean, indicating significant biological continuity from the Neolithic to the EBA. Karataş exhibits some phenotypic similarity to Cyprus, suggesting a possible shared biological history between these two regions, and potentially supporting the hypothesis of southwestern Anatolian migration onto Cyprus during the EBA.

There is little evidence of biologically patterned mortuary practice, with individuals in the same pithoi or in closely associated pithoi generally showing little phenotypic similarity to each other. Furthermore, there is considerable heterogeneity within burial locations and homogeneity between burial locations. Identified differences between burial locations are based on temporal variation, with Period V areas pooling together and locations used in early periods of occupation exhibiting morphological distinction. Metric and morphological analyses also strongly suggest a patrilocal residence system at Karataş, with females exhibiting significant phenotypic variation. Additional analyses suggest these females are largely from a local region (i.e., Elmalı plain); however, there are a cluster of females that, although likely Anatolian, may have come from elsewhere in the peninsula.

These results contribute to the understanding of community formation processes during the EBA in western Anatolia. While EBA populations in southwestern Anatolia are directly descended from Neolithic Anatolian populations, phenotypic diversity increased over time, suggesting migration and affiliated gene flow increased through time as well. Additionally, the lack of biologically patterned multiple interments and burial locations, in conjunction with a significant influx of females from outside Karataş indicate a mortuary practice that facilitated community bonding. In the face of increasing cultural contact, rapidly increasing population size and density, and increasing migration and diversity, the inhabitants of Karataş engaged in a variety of social practices (e.g., architectural construction, mortuary practice, socially-fluid kinship construction, incorporation of outsiders) that served to facilitate cohesive, community bonds.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pilloud, Marin A.
Commitee: Scott, G. R., Morgan, Christopher, Cowie, Sarah E., Simmons, Alan H., Alvarez-Ponce, David
School: University of Nevada, Reno
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- Nevada
Source: DAI-A 81/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Physical anthropology, Archaeology, Near Eastern Studies
Keywords: Anatolia, Bioarchaeology, Biological distance, Community identity, Dental anthropology, Early Bronze Age
Publication Number: 27963460
ISBN: 9798641344126
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