A seedy 30th birthday: the archæobotanical program at Kaman-Kalehöyük (Kırşehir Province, Turkey) in its 30th year of excavation
2015 saw the 30th consecutive excavation season at the central Anatolian site of Kaman-Kalehöyük, about 100 km south-east of Ankara, by the Japanese Institute of Anatolian Archæology (JIAA). Kaman-Kalehöyük is a multi-period mound site; the earliest identified layers date to the Early Bronze Age (c. 2000 BC), followed by a more or less continuous occupation sequence through to the Late Iron Age (c. 400 BC), and later reoccupation during the Ottoman Empire period (c. 1425–1625 AD) with some sparse intervening Byzantine activity (c. 900–1100 AD). The preservation of this occupation sequence, coupled with rich preservation of archæobotanical remains in many parts of the site, led to the commencement of a systematic program of machine flotation at the JIAA in 1992. Since 2001 the program has been overseen by Andrew Fairbairn, now at UQ, and in recent years Kaman-Kalehöyük has become a fertile hub for archæobotanical research of many types, as well as offering an opportunity for archæology students at UQ and elsewhere to learn about archæobotany through the medium of the JIAA Archæobotany Field School. Several striking and important cultural contexts were excavated in the 2015 field season, and the presence of an archæobotany team on site allowed samples from these contexts to be processed and analysed as they were excavated. In this Working Paper, I report on results from the 2015 field season, focusing on charred botanical remains from some especially important contexts from the Iron Age and the Early Bronze Age.
About the Presenter
Dr Rhona Fenwick is an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Social Science at UQ, and also a UQ alumna. Her PhD thesis, which used archæobotanical, historical, ceramic, and radiocarbon evidence to examine sociopolitical and economic dynamics of Ottoman-era Kaman-Kalehöyük (AD 1425 – 1645), was submitted in 2013. She has spent three field seasons at Kaman-Kalehöyük, but has also worked with archæobotanical material from Melanesia and Israel. In addition to her research in archæobotany and Ottoman Anatolia, Rhona also has research interests in Eurasian historical linguistics, and is a world authority in the recently-extinct Ubykh language of Turkey. In her spare time, she is a traveller, a painter, an excessive consumer of movies, and a Grammarian of the Klingon Language Institute.