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Title: Prehistoric vegetation change and woodland management in central Anatolia : late Pleistocene-mid Holocene anthracological remains from the Konya Plain
Author: Kabukcu, Ceren
ISNI:       0000 0004 5363 543X
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis presents the results of the analysis of the anthracological remains (charred fuel wood waste debris) retrieved from the archaeological sites of Pınarbaşı, Boncuklu, Can Hasan III, Çatalhöyük East and Çatalhöyük West, located in the Konya plain of south-central Anatolia, Turkey. Together, these sites span the time period between ~15-7.5 ka cal. BP. The main aims of the present study are: (a) to characterise the use of prehistoric woodlands in south-central Anatolia and its changes through time during this critical period for the development of settled life and early agricultural economies, (b) to investigate the nature and scale of woodland management activities and anthropogenic impacts on prehistoric woodland vegetation, and (c) to assess the representativeness of the anthracological assemblages for reconstructing the composition, structure, form and distribution of late Pleistocene and early to mid-Holocene woodland vegetation in south-central Anatolia, and its changing ecologies in relation to climate, woodland growth conditions and human impacts. Anthracological analyses focused on charcoal macro-remains retrieved from a range of primary (fire features) and secondary (middens, building infill, and general dispersed contexts) fuel wood waste deposits. The methodologies applied included the taphonomic assessment of charcoal densities, standard taxon frequency and ubiquity quantitative analyses, and the quantitative and qualitative analysis of wood calibre and the dendroecological features preserved in archaeological charcoal specimens. The results of these analyses were further explored through the application of a range of multivariate quantitative techniques. The same techniques were also used to integrate the results of anthracological analyses with dung fuel seed archaeobotanical and select hunted and herded faunal datasets, in order to evaluate their co-variation, and thus reconstruct the co-evolution of landscape practices and anthropogenic impacts across space and time. This thesis demonstrates the unique potential of anthracology to provide novel and highly original insights in the palaeoecology and palaeoeconomy of Southwest Asia, particularly with regard to the investigation of vegetation history, the origin and developments of early anthropogenic landscapes and the nature of people-environment interactions during the transition from foraging to farming.
Supervisor: Asouti, E. ; Baird, D. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: CC Archaeology ; GE Environmental Sciences