The Neolithic in Turkey, vol.40, no.5, pp.860-867, 2013 (SCI-Expanded)
This paper presents the results of stable isotope (carbon and nitrogen) analysis of human and faunal remains from the site of Aktopraklik, one of the earliest farming sites in the Eastern Marmara region of Northwest Anatolia. Excavations at this site have shown that occupation occurs from the middle of the 7th millennium BC through to the middle of the 6th millennium BC. The earliest Neolithic activity at this location occurs at the settlement site of Aktopraklik C. Since 2004 a number of Neolithic and Early Chalcolithic burials have been recovered from the settlement areas and an Early Chalcolithic cemetery (Aktopraklik B and A respectively). To date a total of 60 individuals have been recovered from Aktopraklik, 23 of which (20 adults [10 males, 8 females and 2 indet adults] and 3 children below ca. 12 years of age) form the basis of the current isotope study. In addition, 14 faunal samples from cattle, pig, sheep/goat and fallow deer are included in the analysis in order to facilitate a consideration of trophic level shifts and to interpret the C-13 data. The data represents the first isotopic study of a farming community from this region of Anatolia. This region is important to our understanding of the north-westwards transmission of farming into Europe from the Near East, and as such Aktopraklik represents a key site for studying the diet of farmers at the transition to agriculture. The close clustering of isotope values overall indicates homogeneity in subsistence practices for this farming population. Interestingly, the isotope values indicate a general focus on C-3 terrestrial resources at Aktopraklik, despite the close proximity of both freshwater and marine environments where alternative resources could have been procured. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.