Animal exploitation at the Olympos, southwestern Anatolia: Zooarchaeological analysis

ONAR V., Olcay-Uckan B. Y., ÖZTAŞKIN M., Siddiq A. B., Oncu O. E., ÖZTAŞKIN G. K., ...More

JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE-REPORTS, vol.43, 2022 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 43
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2022.103487
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Index Islamicus
  • Keywords: Olympos, Animal exploitation, The Roman Empire, Early Byzantine, Anatolia, NECROPOLIS, HEIGHT
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


This study presents analysis of animal remains unearthed from 2006 to 2021 excavations at Olympos, an important city of ancient Lycia, southwestern Turkey. Seven faunal assemblages were unearthed from seven distinct areas of the city. Each of them was studied according to their distinct archaeological contexts. The zooarchaeological observation was based on taxonomic identification, species diversity, kill-off patterns, nature of bone modification, including taphonomic and anthropogenic marks, and type of species exploitation at the site. The results demonstrated that the majority of the specimens were consumption residues, comprising mainly of ungulate and carnivore mammals, birds and marine fish and mollusks. Goat remains were the most common in all the assemblages, which is consistent with common animal exploitation patterns in Anatolia. Fish bones mostly represented bonito (Sarda sarda), tuna (Thunnus thynnus) and shark (Carcharhinidae sp.). Among the mollusks, the shells of Triton trumpet, rarely found in the Roman-Byzantine Anatolia, were clearly used as trumpets. As Olympos was an important harbour with a strategic location by the Mediterranean Sea, its faunal remains shed new light on the coastal dietary habbit, animal economy, and cultural contacts in the Roman and Early Byzantine periods in Anatolia.