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Title: Changing patterns of animal exploitation in the prehistoric Eurasian steppe : an integrated molecular, stable isotopic and archaeological approach
Author: Stear, Natalie Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 2671 8256
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2008
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The main aim of this thesis was to use a multi-proxy approach to establish a detailed chronology of animal exploitation in the Kazakh Steppe from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. Particular attention was paid to the changing role of the horse throughout prehistory with the aim of directly detecting the earliest domestic horses in Kazakhstan, Total lipid extracts were obtained from 534 potsherds from 24 archaeological sites located across northern and central Kazakhstan, Lipid preservation was found to be excellent with 74% of vessels exhibiting appreciable lipid concentrations (> 5 μg g¹) with a mean concentration of 220 μg g¹. All residues were characteristic of degraded animal fats dominated by the C₁₆:₀ and C₁₈:₀ saturated fatty acids. Plant inputs were not detected in any of the potsherds, indicating that plants were not an important component of the diet in the prehistoric Kazakh steppe. A major aim of this thesis was to develop a reliable proxy for the detection of equine milk fats within archaeological pottery, with the anticipation that this would provide a direct method for the detection of ancient domestic horse populations. Modern reference animal fats (ruminant adipose, ruminant milk, equine adipose, equine milk, porcine adipose and freshwater fish fats) were collected from Kazakhstan and analysed via compound-specific Stable carbon and hydrogen isotope analysis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available