Month: November 2022

Voices From the Field (2020-03-07)

A Visit with a View to the Region’s Byzantine and Ottoman Histories

Gygaia Projects

Before the storm it was… Little did we know that our visit to the region in early March 2020 would be one of our last “free” outings. On the eve of COVID-19, we were lucky enough to spend a lovely few days with local partners in Gölmarmara to see a few sites of interest, especially those mentioned in Ottoman archival documentation on water management and pious foundations. Looking back now, the glorious days of sun over the green fields and snow-capped mountains seem like a dream.

Look forward to more posts from Gygaia Projects soon!

Voices From the Field (2020-05-07)

A New Publication on Late Bronze Age Pig Husbandry in the Journal of Field Archaeology

Gygaia Projects

Good news! There is a new publication on pig husbandries at Kaymakçı and in the Aegean and Anatolia in the Journal of Field Archaeology. See below for details!

Pigs in Sight: Late Bronze Age Pig Husbandries in the Aegean and Anatolia

Francesca G. Slim, Canan Çakırlar, and Christopher H. Roosevelt

Abstract: This paper explores pig husbandry across the Aegean and Anatolia based on zooarchaeological data and ancient texts. The western Anatolian citadel of Kaymakçı is the departure point for discussion, as it sits in the Mycenaean-Hittite interaction zone and provides a uniquely large assemblage of pig bones. NISP, mortality, and biometric data from 38 additional sites across Greece and Anatolia allows observation of intra- and interregional variation in the role of pigs in subsistence economies, pig management, and pig size characteristics. Results show that, first, pig abundance at Kaymakçı matches Mycenaean and northern Aegean sites more closely than central, southern, and southeastern Anatolian sites; second, pig mortality data and biometry suggest multiple husbandry strategies and pig populations at Kaymakçı, but other explanations cannot yet be excluded; and, third, for the Aegean and Anatolia during the Late Bronze Age more generally, pig data suggests pluriformity, which challenges the use of “pig principles” in this region.

Look forward to more posts from Gygaia Projects soon!

Voices From the Field (2020-08-15)

The 2020 Study Season

Gygaia Projects

The Kaymakçı Archaeological Project fit in a study season during the height of COVID-19 in 2020. We arrived with masks on and, after a period of quarantine, enjoyed the benefits of a small research group sealed off from the outside world. The season was spent well on processing of archaeobotanical and ceramic samples, re-inventorying and reorganizing zooarchaeological collections, and consulting GIS and excavation databases concerning ongoing analyses of fortification architecture and evidence for metallurgical activities at Kaymakçı. Additionally there was a lot of publication and conference preparation (see what came out… in the following posts!).

Look forward to more posts from Gygaia Projects soon!

Voices From the Field (2020-08-30)

A New Publication on Archaeological Sediment Chemistry in the Journal of Field Archaeology

Gygaia Projects

We are pleased to share that a new publication on sediment chemistry at Kaymakçı has just appeared in the Journal of Field Archaeology. See below for details!

Integrating Multi-Scalar Sampling Strategies for Archaeological Sediment Chemistry

Catherine B. Scott

Abstract: Archaeological sediment chemistry is a method for using the distribution of chemical elements across a site or landscape to elucidate site boundaries, site structures, and use of space. Archaeologists have sought to implement it at a number of scales, from the analysis of single excavated features to site prospection in regional survey. This article presents a model for an ongoing, multi-scalar collection strategy that builds on previous global work in sediment chemistry. Analyzed data derive from the Bronze Age (2nd millennium B.C.) citadel of Kaymakçı, Turkey. The article presents the results of laboratory x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis of both surface and sub-surface samples associated with one excavation area to test the effectiveness of different sample collection strategies by analyzing relationships between sample chemical signatures. The results suggest that a multi-scalar geochemical dataset aids in intra-site feature prospection, site stratigraphy, and nuanced interpretations of the use of space.

Look forward to more posts from Gygaia Projects soon!

Voices From the Field (2020-09-15)

Bird Watching and Lake Desiccation

Gygaia Projects

We were happy to partake in a collaborative effort with the Manisa Museum Directorate and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks in managing excavations associated with the construction of a bird watching tower built overlooking the shore of Lake Marmara.

Owing to prolonged drought, unfortunately, the shorelines of the extremely shallow lake have retreated significantly, with threat of full desiccation. As the lake’s area shrinks, some bird populations seemingly become denser, but this impression will not persist if the lake dries up further!

The fieldwork team in preparation
A view to the north mid-construction (September) and finished (later in October)
A view to the east mid-construction (September) and finished (later in October)
Some members of the diverse Lake Marmara bird population in flight above the desiccated shore

Look forward to more posts from Gygaia Projects soon!