Fossil Hunting in the Neolithic: Shells from the Taurus Mountains at Catalhoyuk, Turkey

Mayer D. E. B., GÜMÜŞ B. A., Islamoglu Y.

GEOARCHAEOLOGY-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL, vol.25, no.3, pp.375-392, 2010 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/gea.20311
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.375-392
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


The Neolithic site of catalhoyuk in Turkey contains thousands of mollusk shells, among them about 200 fossils. About 25 fossil gastropods and bivalves originate in a Miocene fauna from the Mediterranean Tethys province, and are known from several localities in the Taurus Mountains, dating to the Miocene. The rest are scaphopods belonging to two species of Dentalium and dating to the Pliocene. The gastropods and bivalves were likely collected in the Karaman-Mut Basin at a distance of about 50 km from Catalhoyuk, while the scaphopods were brought from the Hatay Basin. Most of the fossil mollusks at the site were discovered in the upper phases, that is, late in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B sequence, and are associated with feasting activities. They may have been collected and brought to the site by the inhabitants as part of transhumance activities, or by visitors. (C) 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.