Got Milk? Pioneer Farmers in Western Turkey: Excavations at Neolithic Barcin Höyük.

Thursday, October 19th 6:00pm

Gearhart Auditorium, GEAR 0026, University of Arkansas

Fokke A. Gerritsen, Director, Netherlands Institute, Turkey; Professor, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

FokkeExcavations at the seventh millennium site of Barcin Höyük show how a Neolithic community in northwestern Turkey developed from a pioneer settlement to a node in a well-established regional culture.  Dr. Gerritsen will address the origins of farming in the Near East and southwestern Turkey and its subsequent rise to become the dominant subsistence economy of Europe and beyond.  New aDNA evidence provides strong clues that migration was a major factor in the dispersal of farming.  This lecture traces this saga, highlighting the innovations that contributed to the successful colonization of Anatolia and Europe by Neolithic farmers.




Coping with Conflict: Warfare, Drought, and Food Insecurity in the Mississippian-period Central Illinois River Valley

Thursday, February 22, 2018 6:00pm

Gearhart Auditorium, GEAR 0026, University of Arkansas

Amber M. VanDerwarker, PhD, Professor at University of California, Santa Barbara

 Stigler VanDerwarkerOften, studies of ancient warfare focus on the causes of violence.  More rarely do they investigate the everyday effects that violence can have.  This presentation explores the impacts of chronic warfare and sustained drought on the everyday lives of people in the Central Illinois River Valley, from A.D. 1200 to 1425, when settlement nucleation and declining health occurred in a context of escalating violence.

I examine plant remains from multiple sites and use isotopic data and species abundance to reconstruct changing agricultural strategies.  This approach reveals that intensified violence and sustained drought led to food shortages and nutritional insufficiencies, which farmers attempted to offset through key changes in agricultural practices.