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The impacts of the younger dryas period on plant and animal food resources of the ancient natufian culture and the economy

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2009
Ferah, Egemen
This masters thesis investigates the environmental/climatic change that is thought to have brought about the economic shift and transition from Palaeolithic economic system of hunting gathering to Neolithic economic system of agriculture and domestication period around 11.000-10.000 years ago. This study uses the collected animal and plant data of the Natufian culture in the Levant region from the previous zooarchaeological and archaeobotanical literature anlyses. It shows a significant mathematical difference in the zooarchaeological assemblage measures between the Early and Late Natufian sites by calculating Economic value parameters of the Early and the Late Natufian sites, a comparison analysis was made in terms of percentage frequencies of animals site by site and between early-late periods. The result shows a significant animal food supply decrease and change-shift shown during the Younger Dryas climatic crisis times of the whole Late Natufian period sites total and early to late site by site individually, compared to whole Early Natufian period sites. It shows there is a possibility that some big-base camp Late Natufian occupation sites were better able to create coping mechanisms against food crisis/food shortage and more successfully than other Late Natufian sites during the climatic food crisis period. It shows supporting with the animal-plant data and changes in the human bones, burial practices, human teeth, diet changes and anthropological studies evidence, a big social-economic-cultural change and a huge food crisis was highly possible and humans highly possibly lived an economic crisis and an highly connected-related social-cultural crisis during the Younger Dryas in the Late Natufian times human societies.