THE POPULATION REPLACEMENT AT ARSLANTEPE: REFLECTIONS ON THE HUMAN REMAINS


ERDAL Y. S.

Conference on Fifty Years of Excavations and Researches at Arslantepe-Malatya (Turkey) - The Contribution of La Sapienza University to the Study of the Earliest Centralised Societies, Rome, Italy, 5 - 07 December 2011, vol.34, pp.301-316 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 34
  • City: Rome
  • Country: Italy
  • Page Numbers: pp.301-316
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

With the help of archaeological data, cultural and/or population replacement has been well documented in Arslantepe at the beginning of third millennium. This study aims to examine the reflections of population replacement in human skeletal remains. Differences in sex and age distributions were determined between Late Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age samples which indicate that the cultural changes dated to the beginning of the third millennium reflected to the demographic structure and burial customs. Moreover, that the early state system was destroyed by a violent fire and then replaced by a Transcaucasia influenced agropastoralist population demonstrates that the relationship between the local and the new settlers was hostile. Such that, perimortem traumas caused by blunt forced weapons were detected on eight adult skulls out of 16 in Sepulture 216 which is a secondary burial. The demographic data and the traumas points to a massacre. It is a well-known fact that the Royal Tomb is associated with the new settlers connected to the Transcaucasian populations. Therefore, it is suggested that these individuals killed and thrown into a pit after the decomposition process might be from the local population belonging to the centralized authority. However, the problem concerning who was local or non-local can only be sorted out via isotope analyses to be performed on bones.