Tracing the Impact of 4.2 ka and 3.2 ka BP Climatic Events on the Agriculture of Tell Atchana and Toprakhisar Sites in the Hatay Region through Multidisciplinary Examination of Archaeobotanical Assemblages

Sinmez, Ebrar
This thesis investigates the impacts of 4.2 ka and 3.2 ka BP climatic changes on the agricultural practices in Toprakhisar Höyük and Tell Atchana, located in the Hatay region of southern Turkey. The fundamental inquiry in this thesis is if or to what extent the aforementioned climatic changes affected the agricultural practices of the communities. To answer this question, a descriptive analysis of cereals and wild seeds of archaeobotanical assemblages of these two sites has been assessed. Besides, morphometric measurements and stable carbon isotope analysis on wheat and barley grains have been carried out to examine if there was water stress due to climate change. The findings demonstrate that Toprakhisar Höyük and Tell Atchana switched their preferred grains to drought-tolerant varieties in the time periods that coincide with climate changes. Grain size reduction and water stress were only visible in the hulled wheat grains. Overall, the data generated for this thesis demonstrates that, although agricultural systems did not drastically change or completely collapse, the societies of Atchana and Toprakhisar appeared to have adapted to the increasingly arid conditions by changing the types of cereals they cultivated. By combining different methodologies, results were obtained that enabled the widening of climate change studies and provided a better understanding of climatic impacts, especially on the local scale. This study also shows that archaeobotanical studies could be very appropriate not only for understanding the culinary activities and consumption habits of past societies but also for determining environmental conditions when integrated into these types of environmental studies.


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Citation Formats
E. Sinmez, “Tracing the Impact of 4.2 ka and 3.2 ka BP Climatic Events on the Agriculture of Tell Atchana and Toprakhisar Sites in the Hatay Region through Multidisciplinary Examination of Archaeobotanical Assemblages,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2022.