University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology Papers

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MASCA Ethnobotanical Laboratory Report



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The following pages comprise the botanical report for the PPNB-related site of Gritille. The Neolithic excavation was directed by Mary M. Voigt. The Gritille excavations were conducted under the general direction of Richard Ellis, Bryn Mawr College. This report was completed in 1999. It formed the basis of Miller (2002), but the sample data have never been published. Although much more PPNB archaeobotanical information has become available in the intervening years, along with new approaches and interpretations. I have not updated this report, as the Gritille data themselves have not changed.

Until it was inundated by the Atatürk Dam, Gritille was a small (ca. 1 ha) occupation mound on the north (right) bank of the Euphrates river in Adiyaman province, Turkey. It lay in the xerophilous deciduous steppe forest zone, which in antiquity was dominated by oak (Quercus brantii; Zohary 1973). With precipitation of about 470 mm/year, this area is well within the rainfall agriculture zone, though irrigation enhances crop security (Wilkinson 1990). The site was occupied during three major phases: Neolithic, Early Bronze Age, and Medieval. For the history of excavations and other background material see Voigt (1988); preliminary archaeobotanical results from the Neolithic (Miller in press a) and the final report on Medieval samples (Miller in press b) have been completed.

The material reported here comes from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB)-related deposits at Gritille. Voigt (1988) distinguished five stratigraphic phases--a "Basal" level that is not stratigraphically connected to somewhat later levels designated D, C, B, and A. An erosional surface between levels C and B separates the earlier phases (8500-8000 bp) from the later ones (8000-7500 bp). Calibration puts the entire PPNB-related occupation between about 7500 and 6500 calib. B.C. The sites for which plant remains are reported that seem to be most closely related to Gritille are Çayönü and Cafer. Abu Hureyra and a few other sites have also yielded plant remains that may be compared to the Gritille assemblage.

Fifty-two samples have been examined for this report. The earliest materials come from Operation 48/51, primarily from cobble-filled ashy pits. Overall, a variety of deposits was sampled, including pits, hearths, and trash (Table 1). Preservation of charred material in the analyzed samples was generally good, though not all samples had a high density of charred remains.

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Date Posted: 10 November 2016