Prehistoric molluscan remains from Tell Aqab, northeast Syria

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A small but archaeologically important molluscan assemblage was recovered from Halaf and Ubaid contexts (c. 6th to early 5th millenium BC) at Tell Aqab in Syria. Five distinct taxa were identified; the majority of the molluscs comprise freshwater mussels (unionids) and large terrestrial snails (Helix spp.), both of which were likely collected as foods. By contrast, the remains of two species of marine shells, nassa snail (Nassarius [Plicarcularia] circumcinctus) and painted topshell (Calliostoma zizyphinum) from Middle and Late Halaf period contexts attest to the use of shell as personal adornment or ornament, and moreover point to the existence of long-distance exchange networks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBones and Identity
Subtitle of host publicationZooarchaeological Approaches to Reconstructing Social and Cultural Landscapes in Southwest Asia
EditorsR Yeshuran, L Weissbrod, N Marom, G Bar-Oz
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxbow Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781785701726
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2016


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