Zooarchaeology of Neolithic Anatolia: Research Outcomes from Large-Scale Data Integration with Open Context

We are happy to report the publication of a paper synthesizing several integrated datasets documenting zooarchaeological specimens from Neolithic Anatolia. The open access journal PLOS ONE published the paper on Friday.

The paper presents results of a large-scale data sharing and integration study funded by a “Computable Data Challenge” award from the Encyclopedia of Life and by the National Endowment for the Humanities (see project description). Ben Arbuckle led the collaboration which involved over 30 zooarchaeologists who contributed data describing some 200,000 specimens from 15 archaeological sites.

The paper explored the spread of Neolithic economies westward across Anatolia toward Europe. It illustrated a great deal of complexity in how animal husbandry economies moved westward from the Near East. Instead of spreading as a single cohesive package, analysis of the aggregated data showed a great deal of regional variation and selectivity in how Neolithic communities adopted elements of animal husbandry economies.

The PLOS ONE article represents the second major research outcome for this EOL / NEH funded study. Earlier this year, we presented a paper describing data management, integration and publication methods that won the “Best Paper Award” at the IDCC Conference in San Francisco. That methods-focused paper will be published (open access) shortly in the International Journal of Digital Curation. A pre-print version is available here.

For convenient bulk download and for clear version control, this GitHub repository has all the data with links to related content and documentation in Open Context.