Adaptions in subsistence strategy to environment changes across the Younger Dryas-Early Holocene boundary at Kortiktepe, Southeastern Turkey
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CitationEmra, S., Benz, M., Siddiq, A. B., & Özkaya, V. (2022). Adaptions in subsistence strategy to environment changes across the Younger Dryas - Early Holocene boundary at Körtiktepe, Southeastern Turkey. The Holocene, 32(5), 390–413. https://doi.org/10.1177/09596836221074030
The site of Körtiktepe in southeastern Turkey is one of few sites in the Upper Mesopotamia basin that attests continuous, permanent occupation across the boundary from end of the colder, drier Younger Dryas (YD) into the comparatively wetter and warmer Early Holocene (EH). This allows for the study of the degree of environmental change experienced on a local level over this boundary as well as for the study of the adaptations that the occupants of the site undertook in response to these changes. The mammal assemblage of Körtiktepe remains relatively stable across the YD – EH transition with the main contributors to diet being mouflon (Ovis orientalis) and red deer (Cervus elaphus) in approximately the same quantities, although the contribution of aurochs (Bos primigenius) increases in the EH. The most significant changes can be seen in the shift in avifauna remains, with a sharp increase of waterbirds during the EH. It is proposed that these shifts reflect changes in the local environment with an increase in woodland cover as well as expansion of local waterways, which is generally consistent with previously published archaeobotanical studies. In terms of species exploited, mortality profiles as well as size distribution of mammals, a great deal of continuity is observed. This suggests that over this particular period the local impact of the beginning of the Early Holocene was not overly dramatic, allowing for cultural continuity of previously established subsistence strategies.