First Advisor

Virginia Butler

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Anthropology and University Honors




Wild boar -- Turkey -- History, Prehistoric agriculture -- Turkey, Animal culture -- Turkey, Domestication




Hallan Çemi presents itself as a unique site to study the transitional period before the onset of agriculture in the Near East. The site fails to fit nicely into demographic or environmental models that have widely been accepted for the region. Hallan Çemi thus represents the potential to study innovative human strategies for subsistence, and to provide insight into the processes that led to the eventual adoption of agriculture only a few millennia later. Richard Redding and Michael Rosenberg presented one such innovative strategy for pig exploitation at this site with their New Guinean model (Redding and Rosenberg 1998; Rosenberg et. al. 1998; Rosenberg and Redding 1998, 2000). My study utilizes a sample from a distinct, more quotidian context, as well as previously unstudied fetal/neonatal remains, to re-­‐evaluate Redding and Rosenberg’s claims of pig husbandry at this site. Additionally, I propose and test an alternative model, the Cradle Robbing model, which proposes a novel hunting strategy focusing on farrowing females. In order to do so I introduce a new method, synthesizing previous work, to reconstruct age demographics using pig tooth eruption and wear. My results, as well an evaluation of the likely environmental situation and wild boar ecology, indicate that a New Guinean model for husbandry is unlikely, and support the Cradle Robbing model as more parsimonious. Finally, the Cradle Robbing model represents a departure from the tendency to create domestication practices where none may have existed, and examines the possibilities of diverse and novel hunting strategies employed by early sedentary societies.


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