MapDung focuses on Pre Pottery Neolithic sites from the core area of early animal domestication- the Near East. The diversity of the three sites will allow comparison of the depositional and post-depositional processes of dung remains in three different climatic regimes, and will also provide a wider regional and temporal view on dung utilization during the Neolithic Period.
Çatalhöyük (c. 9.4–8 ka), is a multilayered PPNB mound located in Central Anatolia. The presence of domesticated animals and the use of their dung for fuel as well as for construction are well attested from the many studies performed there in the last three decades.
This will be the project’s core site, which will serve to test and develop the different methodologies and determine their usefulness.
Sharara is a Pre Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) site located at Wadi el-Hasa, Jordan. The site is being excavated since 2016 by a team from Kiel University led by Cheryl Makarewicz and Bill Finlayson. This site provides an opportunity to investigate how geological site formation processes affect dung preservation in an arid environment. The work at Sharara is done in collaboration with Dr. Sarah Elliott from Bournemouth University.
Motza is a PPNC rural site located at the western edge of Jerusalem in the Judean hills. Recent excavations of the Israel Antiquities Authority led by Jacob Vardi uncovered evidence for the presence of domesticated caprine animals.