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      Data Sharing Reveals Complexity in the Westward Spread of Domestic Animals across Neolithic Turkey


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          This study presents the results of a major data integration project bringing together primary archaeozoological data for over 200,000 faunal specimens excavated from seventeen sites in Turkey spanning the Epipaleolithic through Chalcolithic periods, c. 18,000-4,000 cal BC, in order to document the initial westward spread of domestic livestock across Neolithic central and western Turkey. From these shared datasets we demonstrate that the westward expansion of Neolithic subsistence technologies combined multiple routes and pulses but did not involve a set ‘package’ comprising all four livestock species including sheep, goat, cattle and pig. Instead, Neolithic animal economies in the study regions are shown to be more diverse than deduced previously using quantitatively more limited datasets. Moreover, during the transition to agro-pastoral economies interactions between domestic stock and local wild fauna continued. Through publication of datasets with Open Context (opencontext.org), this project emphasizes the benefits of data sharing and web-based dissemination of large primary data sets for exploring major questions in archaeology ( Alternative Language Abstract S1).

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          Most cited references 48

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          Domestication and early agriculture in the Mediterranean Basin: Origins, diffusion, and impact.

           M. A. Zeder (2008)
          The past decade has witnessed a quantum leap in our understanding of the origins, diffusion, and impact of early agriculture in the Mediterranean Basin. In large measure these advances are attributable to new methods for documenting domestication in plants and animals. The initial steps toward plant and animal domestication in the Eastern Mediterranean can now be pushed back to the 12th millennium cal B.P. Evidence for herd management and crop cultivation appears at least 1,000 years earlier than the morphological changes traditionally used to document domestication. Different species seem to have been domesticated in different parts of the Fertile Crescent, with genetic analyses detecting multiple domestic lineages for each species. Recent evidence suggests that the expansion of domesticates and agricultural economies across the Mediterranean was accomplished by several waves of seafaring colonists who established coastal farming enclaves around the Mediterranean Basin. This process also involved the adoption of domesticates and domestic technologies by indigenous populations and the local domestication of some endemic species. Human environmental impacts are seen in the complete replacement of endemic island faunas by imported mainland fauna and in today's anthropogenic, but threatened, Mediterranean landscapes where sustainable agricultural practices have helped maintain high biodiversity since the Neolithic.
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            Earliest date for milk use in the Near East and southeastern Europe linked to cattle herding.

            The domestication of cattle, sheep and goats had already taken place in the Near East by the eighth millennium bc. Although there would have been considerable economic and nutritional gains from using these animals for their milk and other products from living animals-that is, traction and wool-the first clear evidence for these appears much later, from the late fifth and fourth millennia bc. Hence, the timing and region in which milking was first practised remain unknown. Organic residues preserved in archaeological pottery have provided direct evidence for the use of milk in the fourth millennium in Britain, and in the sixth millennium in eastern Europe, based on the delta(13)C values of the major fatty acids of milk fat. Here we apply this approach to more than 2,200 pottery vessels from sites in the Near East and southeastern Europe dating from the fifth to the seventh millennia bc. We show that milk was in use by the seventh millennium; this is the earliest direct evidence to date. Milking was particularly important in northwestern Anatolia, pointing to regional differences linked with conditions more favourable to cattle compared to other regions, where sheep and goats were relatively common and milk use less important. The latter is supported by correlations between the fat type and animal bone evidence.
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              Ancient DNA, pig domestication, and the spread of the Neolithic into Europe.

              The Neolithic Revolution began 11,000 years ago in the Near East and preceded a westward migration into Europe of distinctive cultural groups and their agricultural economies, including domesticated animals and plants. Despite decades of research, no consensus has emerged about the extent of admixture between the indigenous and exotic populations or the degree to which the appearance of specific components of the "Neolithic cultural package" in Europe reflects truly independent development. Here, through the use of mitochondrial DNA from 323 modern and 221 ancient pig specimens sampled across western Eurasia, we demonstrate that domestic pigs of Near Eastern ancestry were definitely introduced into Europe during the Neolithic (potentially along two separate routes), reaching the Paris Basin by at least the early 4th millennium B.C. Local European wild boar were also domesticated by this time, possibly as a direct consequence of the introduction of Near Eastern domestic pigs. Once domesticated, European pigs rapidly replaced the introduced domestic pigs of Near Eastern origin throughout Europe. Domestic pigs formed a key component of the Neolithic Revolution, and this detailed genetic record of their origins reveals a complex set of interactions and processes during the spread of early farmers into Europe.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                13 June 2014
                : 9
                : 6
                [1 ]Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States of America
                [2 ]Alexandria Archive Institute, Open Context, San Francisco, California, United States of America
                [3 ]D-Lab, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States of America
                [4 ]Institute of Archaeology, University College London, London, United Kingdom
                [5 ]University of Groningen, Institute of Archaeology, Groningen, Netherlands
                [6 ]Cultures et Environnements Préhistoire, Antiquité, Moyen Âge, Université Nice Sophia-Antipolis, Nice, France
                [7 ]Department of Anthropology, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America
                [8 ]Institute for Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria
                [9 ]Institute for Prehistory, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland
                [10 ]School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom
                [11 ]Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
                [12 ]Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Bruxelles, Belgium
                [13 ]Department of Anthropology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, United States of America
                [14 ]Kingston, Ontario, Canada
                [15 ]Archéorient, Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée, Antenne de Jalès, Berrias-et-Casteljau, France
                [16 ]Department of Veterinary Sciences, Institute of Palaeoanatomy, Domestication and the History of Veterinary Medicine, Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, Munich, Germany
                [17 ]Institute of Geology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland
                [18 ]Department of Anthropology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, United States of America
                [19 ]Institute of Prehistoric and Historical Archaeology, Vienna University, Vienna, Austria
                [20 ]Bavarian State Collection of Anthropology and Palaeoanatomy, Munich, Germany
                University College London, United Kingdom
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: BSA SWK EK. Performed the experiments: BSA SWK EK. Analyzed the data: BSA DO CÇ LG LA AG AM JM DH. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: BSA SWK DO CÇ LG LA AG AM HB DC BDC AD SF DH LM JP NP KP NR KT DW. Contributed to the writing of the manuscript: BSA SWK EK DO CÇ LG AG AM JM BDC JP NR KT.


                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Pages: 11
                This project was supported by the Alexandria Archive Institute through a 2012 Computable Data Challenge grant from the Encyclopedia of Life ( http://eol.org/info/323) (to SWK, EK, BSA), with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities ( http://www.neh.gov/)(award #HK-50037-12)(EK, SWK) and Baylor University ( http://www.baylor.edu/)(BSA). Financial support for the archaeological and zooarchaeological work described in this project was provided by the Institute of Aegean Prehistory ( http://www.aegeanprehistory.net/)(CÇ), Belgian Science Policy ( http://www.belspo.be/belspo/index_en.stm)(IUAP VII/09)(BDC), the American Research Institute in Turkey ( http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/ARIT/index.html)(BSA), National Geographic Society ( http://www.nationalgeographic.com/)(BSA), National Science Foundation ( http://www.nsf.gov/)(BCS-0530699 [BSA]; BCS-0647131[KT]), European Research Council ( http://erc.europa.eu/)(ERC-263339)(AG), Austrian Science Fund ( http://www.fwf.ac.at/en/)(FWF P19859-G02 and Y 528-G19)(AG), German Research Foundation ( http://www.dfg.de/en/)(DFG 424/9-1,2 and 424/10,1-2)(JP, NP), Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan ( http://amu.edu.pl/)(AM), University of Gdánsk ( http://ug.edu.pl/)(AM), and the Polish National Science Foundation ( http://www.fnp.org.pl/en/)(AM). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Research Article
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Animal Management
                Animal Products
                Social Sciences
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