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Early FarmersThe View from Archaeology and Science$
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Alasdair Whittle and Penny Bickle

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265758

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265758.001.0001

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Biographical Bodies

Biographical Bodies

Flesh and Food at Çatalhöyük

(p.233) 13 Biographical Bodies
Early Farmers

Jessica Pearson

Lynn Meskell

British Academy

The authors attempt a reconciliation of apparently disparate evidence types relating to the body at Çatalhöyük, Turkey (7400–6000 cal BC): palaeodietary reconstruction through stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis, and body imagery as represented in the figurines, buildings and burials. Approaches to the body tend to focus upon evidence confined to specific areas of expertise or by specialisation in archaeological practice. While some of these aspects have been socialised through the consideration of human remains as material culture, for example, very little attempt has been made to do so with non-visual skeletal evidence. This is especially true for stable isotopes, which are used to reconstruct diet from food signatures that are imprinted into the skeleton. The authors show that new studies of the anthropomorphic figurines, which now suggest an importance given to ageing and maturity are corroborated by data from stable isotope evidence of diet and the burial assemblage.

Keywords:   Çatalhöyük, palaeodiet, stable isotope analysis, body image, figurines, ageing, maturity

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