Evidence for the impact of the 8.2-kyBP climate event on Near Eastern early farmers

by M. Roffet-Salque et al., August 13, 2018

This study reveals that animal fats preserved in pottery vessels from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site of Çatalhöyük recorded the abrupt 8.2-thousand years B.P. climatic event in their hydrogen isotopic compositions. In addition, significant changes are observed in the archaeology and faunal assemblage of the site, showing how the early farming community at Çatalhöyük had to adapt to climate change. Significantly, this contribution shows that individual biomolecules preserved in ancient animal fats can be used to reconstruct paleoclimate records and thus, provides a powerful tool for the detection of climatic events at well-dated onsite terrestrial locations (i.e., at the very settlements where human populations lived).