Benjamin Arbuckle

As an anthropological archaeologist and zooarchaeologist focusing on Near Eastern prehistory, my field research takes places within the framework of the The Central Anatolian Pastoralism Project (CAPP). At its core, this long term (20 year) project seeks to document changes in the human animal relationship from the Late Pleistocene through the Holocene in central Anatolia, modern Turkey, through the multidisciplinary analysis of faunal remains from sites including Direkli Cave, Suberde, Erbaba Höyük, Köşk Höyük, Çadır Höyük, Acemhöyük, and Hattusa/Bogazköy (with Sarah Adcock). With a focus on how animal economies change through time in response to climatic, environmental, social, and political changes in the region and with approaches ranging from zooarchaeology to isotopes to ancient DNA, this project is creating a detailed understanding of the subsistence and social roles of hunting and herding practices in ancient Anatolia from hunter-gatherers to the rise of early civilizations. Within the larger scope of CAPP, I address a series of specific topics, including: 1) Epipaleolithic hunter adaptations in central Taurus mountains; 2) the transition from hunting to herding in Neolithic SW Asia; 3) the nature of pastoralism in prehistoric and proto-historic Anatolia, 4) the evolution of woolly sheep in the rise of early civilizations, 5) the origins of domestic horses in the ancient Near East, 6) donkey caravans in ancient Anatolian; 7) elite hunting practices in the ancient Near East; and 8) the nature of Byzantine animal economies on the central Anatolian plateau. A list of publication can found at