Christine Anna Mikeska
Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationNorth Carolina, Chapel Hill, U. of
Grant numberGr. 10328
Approve DateApril 13, 2022
Project TitleMikeska, Christine (North Carolina, Chapel Hill, U. of) "Feeding the City, Feeding the Gods: Animal Economy and Mobility at Bronze Age Hattuša"
This project investigates ancient urban animal economies at one of the earliest urban centers in Anatolia, the Bronze Age city of Hattuša (modern Boğazköy), located near the modern city of Çorum, Turkey. Despite the central roles of animals and animal products to a wide variety of urban communities and institutions in urban centers around the world, the significance and geographic scale of ancient animal economies has been minimally studied. As a result, our understanding of the earliest urban provisioning systems, which included complex agropastoral programs and geographically expansive economic networks, remains limited. Addressing this lacuna, my research seeks to provide a new understanding of urban animal economies through the targeted analysis of archaeological animal bones from the Middle (MBA) and Late Bronze Age (LBA) occupations of Hattuša. Using the methods of zooarchaeology (i.e. the study of archaeological animal bones) and isotope analysis (i.e. analysis of the isotopic composition of animal remains), along with comparisons to historical and iconographic records, I investigate Hattuša’s 1) specialized animal economies, 2) the geographic scale of provisioning, and 3) the development of the city’s economies as Hattuša developed from an independent kingdom into the imperial capital of Anatolia’s first empire.