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# Urinal salts clarify early neolithic animal management in Aşıklı Höyük, Turkey

## Abstract

The sheep and goat breeding process started from 9000 to 8000 BC in southwestern Asia. The site of the early Neolithic in Aşıklı Höyüku in central Turkey retains early archaeological evidence of this transformation, such as age and sex removal and the use of fenced spaces within the settlement. Human caprine management strategies have developed at this site over a period of 1000 years, but changes in the scale of practice are difficult to measure. The fertilizer and the hidden layers in Aşıklı Höyüku are highly enriched by the values ​​of soluble sodium, chlorine, nitrate and nitrate nitrogen isotopes, a pattern that humans and animals mostly attribute to urination. Here we present an innovative mass balance approach in the interpretation of these unusual geochemical patterns that allow us to quantify the increase in the management of goat hair over a period of 1000 years, which should be applicable to other arid countries.

## INTRODUCTION

It is believed that the conversion from hunting and harvesting to breeding and breeding occurred between 9000 and 6500 BC in southwestern Asia, during the neolithic period before pottery. Human caprine management (sheep and goats), together with pigs and finally stock, is one of the first manifestations of socioeconomic change in southwestern Asia (13), with the addition of grain and legumes. Aşıklı Höyük (46) in Eastern Central Anatolia (Fig. 1, insert) keeps early evidence for manipulation of sheep and goats in humans according to 8450 BCE7. 8) and local evolution of these practices over the next 1000 years (about 8450 to 7450 BC).

Aşıklı Höyük is located on the extended part of the Melendiz River, where in the late Pleistocene swamps deposits developed a rich soils suitable for plant breeding (9). The settlement has become permanent in just a few generations (6). Local process of wheat domesticization (10), and residents have experimented with the propagation of honey from earlier (7). The first human occupations in Aşıklı Höyüku (Level 5) were located directly on the natural main stream of alluvium (6). Until the last period (Level 2), the area covered an area of ​​approximately 57,000 m2 and rose to ~ 16 m above the floodplain of the Melendiz River. Erosion by river meandrage and 30 years of archaeological excavations (4. 5) created exceptional vertical and lateral exposures of deep archaeological layers and natural algae (Figure 1). Levels 5 and 4 range ca. 10.400 to 10.000 calibrated years before the present time (cal BP) (mid to late 9th millennium BC), level 3 extends from 10,000 to 9700 cal BP (late 9th to early 8th millennium BC), and level 2 extends from 9700 to 9300 cal BP (early) by the middle of the 8th millennium BC) (8). From the originally wide and varied diet in Level 5, reliance on people on caprines and cultivated grains and legumes has gradually increased from Level 4 to 2 (7. 10. 11).

The oldest occupation at Aşıklı Höyüku at Level 5 may not have been completely over, and buildings and other buildings were relatively fragile. The residences were oval semi-underground structures built of wicker and pile and separated from one another on the outside surfaces where there were layers of waste called middens, small enclosures and working areas (6). Level 4 contains buildings of a similar design, but the walls are made of sunny sands and are more massive. Architectural transition from oval semi-urban buildings to overhead quadrilateral buildings takes place within level 3, with significant growth of discovered deposits and surrounding areas. Level 2 shows a marked consolidation and filling up the architectural space on the hummingbird, when the animal houses disappear from the top of the hill, but the overall dependence on goat's meat has continued to grow. The internal and external space within the settlement was approximately the same in Levels 5 and 4, but moved to a larger internal space during Level 2 when multiple works were done in indoor or high flat roofs of residential buildings. The building grouping also became present during Level 2, with narrow streets that separated the dense architecture. Construction clusters created neighborhoods, and almost every neighborhood had its own hidden area (12).

Most of the landfill consists of buildings and construction residues, predominantly muddy and plaster, and middens (6. 8). Middens and small dumps contain a variety of sediments with animal bones, primary and burned plant material, carrots and mortar, pus, wood ash and a rich assortment of opiates and other artifacts. Middens at level 2 appear as (and) well-limited, heavy waste concentrations, called "communal middens," where a wide range of activities such as meat, animal and work burial, and (ii) dispersed waste disposal areas existed. Landfills and hidden sites are at least concentrated in levels 4 and 5, where they are mostly located in the depressions of abandoned half-timbered buildings (13). The rate of waste accumulation rose to the younger levels as the community increased in size and scope of building mudbrick stone.

Place Aşıklı Höyük provides a rare opportunity to examine the developmental subtlety of the first stages of the homemade process in one place[([([([(14) but look at and (7. 8. 15. 16)], Human caprine management is marked by architectural remains of floats and coral fences (6); micromorphological evidence of concentrated primary fertilizer that the animals are gazelle13), often within recognizable enclosures; Zooarheological evidence of selective removal of young male goats before the age of 6 to 7 months (7); and phytolithic, macrobotan and isotopic evidence of on-farm animal feed (10. 17. 18). The practice of keeping sheep and goats in captivity has started at a very small extent at level 5, and archaeological evidence shows that it has grown over time. The economic dependence of caprine population in relation to other sources of meat has increased from about 26% of all animal remains at levels 5 to 92% in later stages of level 2 (7. 16). Pathology of joints suggests that animals were excessively closed during periods that represent levels 5 to 3, and less during time 2 (17). Increased rates of joint pathology suggest that animals are in most cases written. Outer citizenship did not begin in the later series (Level 2), but mostly from April to November, as the region experiences heavy snow in the winter months. Night penning was probably practiced at all times due to the prevalence of leopards, bears and wolves in that area (7) and near or completely absent dog guard.

Zooarheological, palaeobotanical and architectural data from Aşıklı Höyüka therefore show that human management strategies for capers have experienced significant evolution over the 1000-year period. However, from these conventional archaeological data, it is very difficult to measure the scale of practice. In this study, we have developed a new and independent test for the initial reconstruction and changes in the time-scale storage bases based on the chemical composition of soluble salts in archeological sediments, especially urine salts as substitutes for the field of human metabolic activity. Micromorphological examination and Fourier's infrared spectroscopy of medium and structural materials revealed the presence of numerous salts, including nitrile crystals (NaNO).3), an odd mineral that is usually found in extremely dry, salty environments (19) Rich Na+ and NO3 (Fig. 2 and Fig. S1). This mineralistic strangeness first encouraged us to investigate the soluble salt (Na+Cl, NE3, SO42-, K+, Ca2+and Mg2+) and isotopic nitrogen composition that could explain the presence of nitrates.

Here, we describe the above-described approach to the interpretation of the geochemical composition of the archaeological description and its implications for the early domestication of animals. The soluble salt composition weighs more than 100 samples as a function of material type, position in humans and ages (Table S1). For the purpose of this paper, we mainly focus on the patterns it displays[On[On[Na[Na+].[Cl[Cl[Cl[Cl], i[NOT[NO[NE[NO3]which in archeological layers achieve unusually high levels which are only partially explained by sources such as precipitation, wood ash and natural sediments built into building materials. In addition, we analyze nitrogen isotopes to identify the source of soluble nitrogen.

Our key finding is that the urine – from equidae and humans in combination – gives the best explanation for the unusual mineralogical composition and composition of salt. We present a simple mass balance model that provides limitations on the scale of change in the number of caps and people who have lived for more than 1000 years of uninterrupted occupation.

## THE RESULTS

### Soluble salt concentrations

We analyzed the soluble salts of 113 samples (see Methods) from three excavated areas: 4GH or "deep probe" on the north side of the slope, area 2JK (or "west wall") toward the Melendiz River, and, finally, the "Southern Transet" side (Fig. 1). generally,[On[On[Na[Na+].[Cl[Cl[Cl[Cl], i[NOT[NO[NE[NO3](expressed as mean value [] in moles × 1000 kg-1 ± 1σ SD) vary greatly in sediments in Aşıklı Höyüku, from very low levels in natural, nearheologic alluvium below place to size (on average over time) in overhead archaeological layers. Of all the examined material types, general hidden samples (n = 51) contains the most[On[On[Na[Na+](4.44 ± 4.80),[Cl[Cl[Cl[Cl](6.86 ± 9.58), i[NOT[NO[NE[NO3](3.73 ± 8.32) (Figure S2 and Table S2). Samples rich in dung and compacted dungn = 9) also show an elevated[On[On[Na[Na+](1.47 ± 2.08) i[Cl[Cl[Cl[Cl](1.61 ± 2.51) but much lower[NOT[NO[NE[NO3](0.105 ± 0.280) compared to the average in general. Samples from the alley between buildings at level 2 (n = 9) contain relatively high levels of all three ions. Building waste consisting of brick, gypsum and floor materials (n = 9) contain concentrations of soluble salts ranging from ~ 2 to 50 x less than the samples with general and scanned specimens (Table S2). Finally, the samples inside and below the hearth can not be chemically distinct from wild wild species. Hidden patterns, which consist of material from the general hidden, wild species, and the alley, also show significant spatial heterogeneity [1σ relative SD (RSD) of >200% of the mean in some cases] across horizontal units (here as example uses level 2) in[On[On[Na[Na+].[Cl[Cl[Cl[Cl], i[NOT[NO[NE[NO3]content (table S2 and image S3).

By contrast, natural aluvium below level 5 in the western part (area 2JK, n = 8) and 4GH (n = 13) (Figures 1 and 3) contain the lowest salt concentrations in relation to all classes of archaeological material.[On[On[Na[Na+]from the podarheological aluvium in the 4GH area (0.459 ± 0.167) and the area of ​​2JK (0.198 ± 0.125) is about 3 to 10 × smaller than the ones found in the fireplaces, the fertilizing and construction residues and ~ 15 to 20 × less than the alley generally concealed samples.[Cl[Cl[Cl[Cl]and[NOT[NO[NE[NO3]they are still lower compared to the archeological material for the factor of 2 to 60 × or from 3 to 400 × (Table S2). Salt concentrations in the natural alluvium below the embankment are also much more homogeneous than those in archaeological layers (1σ RSD <150% mean) (Table S2).

[On[On[Na[Na+].[Cl[Cl[Cl[Cl], i[NOT[NO[NE[NO3]broadly, vertically and sideways, within archaeological levels, in accordance with the spatial division of activities in the settlement. For example, in 3rd degree refuse[On[On[Na[Na+].[Cl[Cl[Cl[Cl], i[NOT[NO[NE[NO3]vertically vary by about 5 times between fine vertical layers in the 4GH area (Figure 3). Side by side, variability in[On[On[Na[Na+].[Cl[Cl[Cl[Cl], i[NOT[NO[NE[NO3]within Stage 2 may also differ in order of magnitude from generally much lower values ​​in 2JK samples dominated by residential buildings to higher levels in areas where garbage is dominated by 4GH and southern transits (Fig. S3). As an example,[NOT[NO[NE[NO3]in the 4GH area shows a mean value of 9.77 ± 6.85, ~ 20 to 45 × greater than that of 2JK (0.522 ± 1.04) and south transsex (0.204 ± 0.316).

On a rough scale, the averages of[On[On[Na[Na+].[Cl[Cl[Cl[Cl], i[NOT[NO[NE[NO3]Increase vertically through time from level 5 to 2 (figure 4). There is an increase of 5 to 10x[On[On[Na[Na+].[Cl[Cl[Cl[Cl], i[NOT[NO[NE[NO3]from Levels 5 to 4 and 10 to 1000x increases from Levels 5 to 3 (Figure 4).

### Nitrogen isotopes

We have solubilized NO3 out of 51 midden samples for δ15N analysis (Table S1). Twenty-one hidden sample and all except one basal natural alluvial pattern [table S1, AHJQ-818-2 (IIIB)] there was not enough material (table S1) for the analysis of the isotopes after the curing. All hidden samples returned δ15Nsoluble value [expressed as the population mean (μ), followed by the range] +13.2 per mil (,), + 5.8 to + 17.7. Among them, samples of general concealed (n = 41), the hidden divisions with the domination of manure (n = 3) and alleys (n = 7) returned the most δ15Nsoluble (+ 13.2 ‰, +5.8 to +17.7 +, + 14.2 ‰, +9.5 to +17.1 and, and + 12.4 ‰, +9.1 to +17, 2 ‰, respectively). Building waste (n = 4) shows a narrower and lower range than δ15Nsoluble (+9.0, +7.0 to + 11.2 ‰), as well as fires (n = 8; +8.2, +5.5 to +12.0 ‰). Nearheological Modern / Pleistocene Flood Sediments (n 3) outside the humus, which was sampled to represent natural aluvium, gave a significantly lower value δ15Nsoluble values ​​(+5.4, +2.3 to +7.8 ‰).

Acknowledgments: We thank M. K. Amistadi for assistance in running element composition analyses, D. Dettman and Z. Zhang for assistance with δ15N analyses, colleagues and students at Istanbul University for research support at Aşıklı Höyük, M. Potthoff for assistance with sample preparation, A. Hudson for laboratory assistance and many useful discussions, M. Walvoord for discussion of nitrogen isotopes, L. McGuire and E. Morin for discussion of runoff coefficients, and M. Kohn and two anonymous reviewers for constructive review comments. Funding: This project was funded by an Archaeology Program grant from the NSF to M.C.S. (BCS-1354138). Author contributions: All authors designed and directed the study, including the sampling strategy and sample collection, contributed to interpretations of the data, and provided comments and revisions on the manuscript. S.M.M. provided preliminary datasets. J.T.A. and J.Q. performed experiments and developed the computational framework and mass balance model. J.T.A., J.Q. and M.C.S. wrote the manuscript. Competing interests: This manuscript and its contents have not been published and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. All authors declare that they have no competing interests. Data and materials availability: All data needed to evaluate the conclusions in the paper are present in the paper and/or the Supplementary Materials. Additional data related to this paper may be requested from the authors.