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First introduction and early exploitation of the Persian fallow deer in Cyprus (8,000-6,000 cal. BC)
Vigne Jean-Denis, Daujat Julie and Monchot Hervé
Appendix S1: Brief summary of Cyprus Prehistory – Shillourokambos and Khirokitia
The earliest evidence for the presence of humans on Cyprus comes from the upper layer of the small rock shelter of Akrotiri-Aetokremnos. This site, dated to c. 10,500 cal. BC, is contemporaneous with the Late Natufian or the Khiamian in the Levant. It is characterized by a rough lithic industry, associated with fish and shellfish remains, bird bones and a small wild boar (Sus scrofa ssp.) (Simmons, 1999; Vigne et al., 2009). There are no data for the 10th millennium. The open-air sites at Aya Varvara-Asprokremnos and Ayios Tychonas-Klimonas indicate that human groups belonging to the PPNA koine were living on Cyprus during the first half of the 9th millennium cal. BC (Guilaine & Briois, 2007; Manning et al., 2010; Vigne et al., 2011b ). They exploited small wild boar, the only large mammal present on the island at that time, as well as a dog (Vigne et al., 2011a,b). Archaeological and archaeozoological data become more frequent from 8,400-8,300 cal. BC onwards, with the two wells of Kissonerga-Mylouthkia (Peltenburgh, 2003) and, especially, the large open-air site of Parekklisha-Shillourokambos, where an area of over 5,000 m2 was excavated.
The long lasting occupation of Area 1 of Shillourokambos can be divided into four main phases, for which archaeological and archaeozoological analyses have recently been published in detail (Guilaine, 2003; Guilaine & Briois, 2007; Guilaine et al., 2011; Vigne et al., 2011a ), and can be summarized as follows:
Numerous 7th and early 6th millennium Cypriot villages were contemporaneous with the PPNC/pre-Halaf/Halaf cultures on the continental mainland. They belong to the Aceramic culture of Khirokitia (Le Brun & Daune-Le Brun, 2003, 2009). The latter is a large village containing hundreds of thousands of animal bones, dominated by domestic sheep, goat and pig, as well as Pfd; cattle were absent and dogs remained very rare (Davis, 1984, 1994, 2003). The following periods (Pottery Neolithic of the Sotira period, Chalcolithic and Bronze Age) are not taken into consideration in this paper; research by one of the authors (JD) into the study of the Pfd during these periods is ongoing.
Method S1: Geographic distribution of the Pfd during the PPN (material and methods)
The geographic distribution of Dama in the northeast Mediterranean area and the Near East during the Early Holocene presented in this paper (Figure 1) and supporting information (see below Figure S1 and Tables S1 & S2), is based on fallow deer remains from sites listed in Conolly et al. (2011). These data were extracted from the OSSK database, to which 14 sites were added (n. 20, 23, 27, 29, 35, 66, 97, 98, 123 to 129). This represents a total of 129 sites, 198 contexts and more than 16,796 Dama remains NISP. B. Stopp extracted Dama data from the database, which are listed according to three categories of identification: D. d. dama, D. d. mesopotamica and D. d. ssp. D. dama ssp. was attributed to one of the two subspecies according to location. Attributions to one subspecies or another were corrected for several sites as follows: D. d. dama into D. d. mesopotamica for sites n. 20, 25, 43, 48, 99, 101 and 102; D. d. mesopotamica into D. d. dama for sites n. 10, 24, 35 and 123.
According to the cultural (after Aurenche & Kozlowski, 1999) and geographic regions, 11 areas were delimitated: 1, Greece; 2, Western and Central Anatolia; 3, Zagros; 4, Djezireh; 5, Middle Euphrates and “High valleys”; 6, Northern Levant and Adana Plain; 7, Central Levant; 8, Southern Levant; 9, Sinai; 10, Syro-Jordanian desert; 11, Cyprus. On Cyprus, contexts prior to the introduction of Dama, i.e., Akrotiri, Klimonas, Asprokremnos, Mylouthkia well 116 and Shillourokambos Early A phase, were taken into consideration.
Method S2: Protocol for the analysis of the morphology, sex ratios, evolution of size and comparisons
Mixture analysis in PAST© version 2.12 (Hammer et al., 2001) were used in this study. It is based on the Expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm of Dempster et al. (1977). The procedure is automatically run 20 times, each time with new, random starting positions for the mean. The Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) is calculated with a small sample correction (Akaike, 1974). The minimum value of the AIC is often obtained for a high number of groups. Mixture analyses with the lowest AIC values – or at least close to the lowest values, were considered in this study.
Each measurement with sufficient data was analysed as follows – slightly improved protocol with reference to Vigne (2011a):
Method S3: Age profiles and slaughtering strategies (method & detail profiles by phase)
Lower cheek teeth are mostly used for the construction and statistical processing of mortality profiles. Upper molars are only exceptionally used if it was not possible to match them with any mandibles – in terms of minimal individuals. Isolated first and second molars are separated based on their measurements – breadth and length. Slaughter profiles are estimated based either on the dental MNI (Early B and C, Middle B phases) or the total number of teeth (isolated or in cheek row; Middle A phase). Unlike in Vigne (2011: 992-998), frequencies were not corrected, except for the construction of density histograms, following Brochier (2013). Survival profiles are deduced from non-corrected age frequencies starting at a 100% population, and postulating that humans were the only cause of mortality – in the absence of any other large predator on Cyprus, apart from dogs. Survival profiles obtained for Shillourokambos are compared with the survival profile of small red deer from the Scottish Isle of Rùm, in the Inner Hebrides (Clutton-Brock et al., 1982).
Age profiles of the Early B phase at Shillourokambos (Figure S4A)
Age profiles of the Early B phase are based on 51 dental data representing 13 individuals, and on 417 epiphyseal fusion data. The latter also include the Early C phase. Individuals less than two years old are nearly absent from dental records. This may be partly due to the bad preservation of young teeth, since 14% of animals were culled at less than two years old according to the epiphyseal fusion profile. Slaughtering targeted mostly young 2-3-year-old adults (28 and 14% from dental and epiphyseal fusion data, respectively), and secondarily adults between 3 and 9 years old (53% of dental ages). Apart from the relative deficit in young animals, these profiles are similar to those for the population living on the Isle of Rùm. Combined with the well-balanced sex ratio evidenced above, this indicates a low level of selection by the Shillourokambos inhabitants.
Age profiles of the Middle A2 phase at Shillourokambos (Figure S4B)
Bone preservation is far better than for the Early B phase, especially for young teeth. The sample comes from a large pit filled over a short period of time c. 7,500 cal. BC. This makes this profile more reliable than the previous one, with 196 teeth representing 27 MNI.
The dental age profile indicates that more than 27% of individuals were slaughtered between 6 and 12 months old. The remaining animals were killed without any clear selection between 1 and 9 years of age. This cannot correspond to any sustainable exploitation of a deer population. Such a strategy would not only yield a very low return – each 6-12 month animal would have supplied less than 20kg of meat, based on the weight growth of the Rùm deer (after Clutton-Brock et al., 1982) and adapted to Pfd weights (after Tajbaksh & Jamali, 1995; Vigne, 2011a: 992, figure 16), but would also have rapidly entailed the collapse of the population. This profile is obviously truncated, i.e., most of the sub-adult and adult teeth are missing. This is probably due to the fact that heads were left at the kill site. Indeed, the age profile based on epiphyseal fusion data (n=571) is drastically different, and is probably more representative of the culling strategy. Fawns represent only 5%. Most of the slaughtering focused on young adults (28% between 1-3 years), and adults (67%). The discrepancy between dental and epiphyseal fusion profiles demonstrates that animals between 6-12 months old (and less than 40kg) were brought to the village whole. Conversely, older animals were butchered outside the dwelling area, and their heads were often left there. On the other hand, the epiphyseal fusion profile does not differ from the Early phase profile nor from the survival profile of modern red deer on the Isle of Rùm – apart from the bias in class [3-4 years], which can mostly be considered as artefactual (Vigne, 1984, 2011a). Again, combined with the well-balanced sex ratio evidenced earlier for this phase, it suggests a poor selective slaughtering strategy.
References cited only in supporting information (Appendix S1, Methods S1-3)
NB: for references present in the main text and also cited in supporting information (excluding references for Method S1), refer to main text references.
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Brochier JE. 2013. The use and abuse of culling profiles in recent zooarchaeological studies: some methodological comments on “frequency correction” and its consequences. Journal of Archaeological Science 40: 1416-1420.
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Guilaine J. 2003. Parekklisha-Shillourokambos. Périodisation et aménagements domestiques In Le Néolithique de Chypre. Actes du Colloque organisé par l’École Framçaise d’Athènes et le Département des Antiquités de Chypre, Nicosie, 17-19 mai 2011, Guilaine J, Le Brun A (eds). BCH Suppl. 43, École Française d'Athènes: Athènes; 3-14.
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