Bioarchaeology of the Near East, 7:47-75 (2013)

Integration and interpretation of architectural and faunal evidence from Assyrian Tushan, Turkey

Tina Greenfield* (1), Dirk Wicke (2), Timothy Matney (3)

(1) Division of Archaeology, University of Cambridge,
Cambridge CB2 3DZ, United Kingdom;
Department of Anthropology, University of Manitoba,
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 5V5, Canada
email: (corresponding author)
(2) Institut fur Agyptologie und Altorientalistik,
Johannes Gutenberg-Universitat Mainz,
Hegelstr. 59, 55122 Mainz, Germany
(3) Department of Anthropology and Classical Studies,
University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325-1910, USA

Abstract: The integration of architectural and faunal remains increases our understanding of social and economic activities at archaeological sites in the Near East. This paper presents the results of recent analyses from the excavations of the Late Assyrian palace found in the provincial capital of Tushan (Ziyaret Tepe) along the upper Tigris River in Southeast Turkey. From the inception of the excavations, zooarchaeological data have been integrated into conventional methods of analysis. This has contributed to a better understanding of the use of rooms and specific activity areas within the palace. Areas for food processing, consumption, and the disposal of animal remains and their by-products not detected by previous architectural or other evidence can now be identified. The building's open courtyard in particular was used for butchering of domesticated animals, mainly bovids (sheep, goats, and cattle) and to a lesser extent pigs. In contrast, the reception room was devoid of any animal bones, thus kept clean. Surprising is the evidence for wild birds in Room 4/8, the main room of the northern apartment, and Room 1, suggesting a special use of those animals.

Key words: spatial analysis; zooarchaeology; architecture; Assyria; Ziyaret Tepe

Received 25 September 2012; accepted 25 June 2013; published online 7 August 2013.

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