You are on page 1of 24

Kill-off Patterns in Sheep and Goats: The Mandibles from Avan Kale Author(s): Sebastian Payne Source: Anatolian

Studies, Vol. 23, Avan 1968-1972: An Interim Report (1973), pp. 281-303 Published by: British Institute at Ankara Stable URL: Accessed: 16/06/2010 13:07
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

British Institute at Ankara is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Anatolian Studies.

KILL-OFF PATTERNS IN SHEEP AND GOATS: THE MANDIBLES FROM A?VAN KALE PAYNE By SEBASTIAN Reports on animal bones from archaeological sites often include information about the "kill-off pattern" for each species - i.e. the relative representation of different age-groups in the sample. Osteologists believe that this information can be used as evidence for whether an animal was wild or domesticated, and, if domesticated, about the way in which man managed the animal. In this paper a method is described for recording such data for sheep and goat using mandibles and mandibular teeth; the analysis and interpretation of such data is discussed using excavated samples from A?van Kale. When people keep sheep or goats, the age at which the animals are slaughtered depends on a range of factors: on the relative value placed on the different products, on the characteristics of the stock, and on a range of environmental factors -- in particular, seasonal variation in the availability of grazing and feed. If meat production is the aim, most of the young males are killed when they reach the optimum point in weight-gain, only a few being kept for breeding. The optimum point in weight gain is determined by a number of factors. Under most conditions most meat will be got for the feed given (to the lamb and to its mother) if the animal is killed in the second or third year. Lamb meat often commands a higher price, however, and thus gives the farmer a better financial return. Again, although the production cost of meat is probably at its lowest towards the end of the best grazing season, when the animals are in fine condition, if there is demand for meat throughout the year the selling price may vary seasonally to compensate; this may be further affected by the available storage technology. Young females may or may not be killed: in harsh conditions, or with poor stock, or if the owner wants to increase the size of his flock, young females may not be killed at all; but in many conditions there will be more young females than are needed to maintain the breeding stock. Usually more young animals are kept on than are absolutely necessary to replace losses in the breeding stock, first as insurance against unusual loss, and secondly to allow scope for breeding selection: this second consideration applies particularly to males. Animals that are injured, fall sick or start losing condition rapidly are also killed in most situations for meat, as also are young ewes that are found to be barren. These add further components to the kill-off pattern. An example of the type of kill-off pattern that might result from meat production alone is shown in Fig. 1 (Model A). If milk production is the sole aim, the lambs surplus to breeding stock requirements are killed as soon as the yield of milk is not endangered;a possible kill-off pattern is shown in Fig. 2 (Model B). If wool production is the aim, the strategy is again different, and emphasis shifts to the adult animal. Lamb production is limited to the replacement needs of the flock; males not needed for breeding are castrated, and run as a wether flock. As the quality of wool given by older animals falls off, adults may be killed rather younger. A possible kill-off pattern is shown in Fig. 3 (Model C).



Needless to say, flocks are not usually kept for a single product, particularly in subsistence economies; the balance drawn between the conflicting requirements of the approaches described above depends on the relative importance of the different products, which is determined in a subsistence economy by the needs of the family or group, or in a cash economy by market forces. Thus when sheep are kept for both milk and meat, if milk is more important and winter feed is scarce or expensive most of the surplus lambs will be killed at 6-9 months, while if meat is relatively more important and winter feeding presents no difficulty killing at 100 80

100 100


- cand infant mortality

and selection breeding

e mainly


oldage, main46lll 9lYlR



FIG. 1. Model A: meat production - a possible kill-off pattern. The optimum point for killing surplus animals for meat is taken to be between 18 and 30 months.

2-3 years will probably be the rule. An extreme example is given by the production of the best astrakhan; this is the skin of an unborn lamb, and its production is profitable because of the very high price that astrakhan commands. Religious factors may also be involved - both taboos against killing or consuming certain animals, or festivals celebrated by the killing of an animal, often of closely specified type, as for instance at the Passover. In a hunting situation, the kill-off pattern is not easy to predict. Studies of wild sheep suggest that mortality is highest at birth and soon after, and high also



in old age, but is rather low otherwise. One might therefore expect that hunters, like other predators, would find it easiest to kill the very young and the old: there is, however, very little data available. ARCHAEOLOGICAL DATAFROM SITES KILL-OFF Two age-related sequences have been used to provide data about the kill-off pattern in sheep and goat samples from archaeological sites; the sequence of epiphysial fusions, and the sequence of tooth eruption, replacement, and wear. There are two reasons why I have not used data on epiphysial fusion in this
100 80 60

1 20

1 3



80 infant mortality -d'and9 andlamb killing, mainly

- 60 0


breeding selection-cdand 9


oldage, mainy
1 2 3


FIG. 2. ModelB: milk production- a possiblekill-off pattern.

paper. First, it is a sequence that ends relatively early on in the life of the animal; a sheep will commonly live to 7-10 years, and sometimes older; the last fusion used in bone reports takes place at 3-3-5 years (Silver 1969). Secondly, unfused bones are more fragile than fused ones, and I suspect that differential preservation causes substantial errors whereby the younger age-groupsare underestimated; this error is compounded by poorer recovery of the smaller unfused bones in unsieved samples (Payne, in preparation). If the minimum estimated number of individuals



is calculated for the different parts of the skeleton, the highest figure is normally given by the mandible and mandibular teeth; it is likely, therefore, to be the part of the skeleton least affected by errors due to differential preservation and recovery, but I would stress that it is probably not unaffected by such errors. Unfortunately sheep and goat mandibles cannot at present be reliably distingand Teichert 1964), and so sheep and goat have to be uished (Boessneck, Muiller considered together despite possible differences between man's use of the two animals at the same site. (The same problem exists if data on epiphysial fusion are used, as in most cases unfused sheep and goat bones cannot be reliably separated.)


20 02' 3 1 4., 5 6 7 8 90YEARS


infant 9 mortality-caand
breeding selection-



"' 40 20 oldage,dcand 9


FIG. 3. Model C: wool production - a possible kill-off pattern when a wether flock is run.

The method described here records and takes into consideration both the eruption and replacement of the teeth, and wear. It is described in detail in order that it can be used by other workers - and I have tried to define it as closely as possible so that results produced by this method on different samples by different workers can be truly comparable. A number of arbitrary decisions are taken: in some cases it could doubtless be argued that an alternative treatment would be as



good or better, but I would urge those who consider using this method to use it unaltered if possible, as a factor of prime importance is the comparability of results between sites. THE RECORDING DATA Wherever possible, teeth are mended, and replaced in the mandibles. First, it is important to define what is recorded, and what is not. Any mandibular* tooth is "recordable" only if more than half is present (so that the same tooth is not recorded more than once). Although this is slightly subjective, only a very small proportion of teeth leave one in any doubt; my practice is to exclude when in doubt, e.g. when only marginally more than half the tooth is present. Thus half a premolar with one of the two roots is not recorded. In the case of the third molar, the third lobe is not taken into account: the first lobe and part of the second would be recordable, but the third lobe and part of the second is not - otherwise there would be complications over the first and second molars (Fig. 4). Any mandible fragment with a "recordable" tooth is likewise recordable; any fragment that has not got a "recordable" tooth is not.




FIG. 4. The anterior half of a third molar (M3) is "recordable", the posterior half is not.

Part of a sample record sheet is shown in Fig. 5. Single teeth are recorded in appropriate columns on the right, a square to a tooth; mandibles are recorded on the left, a line to a mandible. Up to three pieces of information are recorded for each tooth: which tooth it is and whether it is complete or not, its state of eruption, and its state of wear. If a tooth is in wear, the state of eruption is not normally recorded unless the tooth is at an early stage. Most of the symbols and conventions used are self-evident, and all are explained on the page opposite Fig. 5. Symbols used for eruption follow those put forward by Ewbank et al. (1964). Wear is systematically recorded for the third milk molar (m3), the fourth pre-molar which replaces it (P4) and the three molars (M1, M2, M3); wear is divided into stages according to the extent to which the enamel has been worn away to expose the dentine. The wear sequence of a typical lower first or second molar is shown in 6. The tooth starts with four unworn cusps of enamel covering a dentine Fig. interior. Wear first exposes the dentine on the anterior cusps, then on the posterior cusps. As the tooth is further worn, these four dentine islands gradually unite, until the tooth reaches stage Cm;this is the mature wear-state of the tooth,
*Maxillae and maxillary teeth are not considered in this paper.



m molar milk


-- premolar

teeth (m),(P), (M)- broken

P, "i

enamelbud injaw only-when e.g.


yaik ~olar

-premolarbudpresent molarnot but milk



wear symbols see textandfigs. 6-10 -

part S- broken ofcrown e.g. - no weardata preserved

A,P anterior, posterior- e.g.


-used onlywhenneeded

when the is necessary tooth drawn,'i comments be added may e.g.

followEwbank Eruption symbols etaL.(1964) C V

E "

in visible perforationcrypt tooth visible crypt, below ofbone in but head

tootherupting bone through toothhalfup-abouthalfway bone between andfull height

U 3

almost fullheight, unworn but tooth at toothjust into yet coming wear(nodentine exposed.)
FIG. 5




M M12 M MM

m P3_P4 M3 P2


2 MP23 3



M Mi M






S p


[ x




alC CI~~





. Q rI,





FIG. 5. A sample record sheet; the symbols used are explained opposite.

', -





FIG. 6. A typical wear sequence for the lower first or second molar (M1 or M2 ), together w



and lasts for a relatively long time. At this point the wear-surface is largely dentine surrounded by enamel, with two islands of enamel and cementum. Then towards the end of the life of the tooth, first the anterior and then the posterior island disappears,each usually first dividing into two smaller islands. The diagrammatic symbols adopted for each of the stages, based on the dentine pattern, are also shown in Fig. 6. The sequence is of course not invariable, but is usually fairly closely followed: the symbols appropriate to any variation are usually easy to deduce; if not, the tooth is drawn. The exact definition of each stage is determined by the pattern formed by the dentine: Fig. 7 shows three examples to make this clear. The only real problem is the distinction between U and 0, particularly on the first lobe of m3: if the length of the island (including the enamel) is less than 50% of the length of the lobe, it is recorded as E, but as 0 if more than 50%. Wear sequences for M3, m3 and P4 are shown in Figs. 8-10. M3 resembles a first or second molar with an additional posterior cusp, lacking an internal island; again there are variations; CI- is the mature wear-state. m3 is a 3-cusped tooth; the early sequence is variable and takes place very rapidly; OIJ and CIEUare longer-lasting stages. P4, which replaces m3, has one larger and one smaller lobe: the island in the smaller (posterior) lobe disappears rapidly; EJ is the mature wear-state of the tooth.

cases:the stageis definedby the patternformedby the dentine. FIG. 7. Marginal

OF ANALYSIS THEDATA one is trying to build up a picture of the relative From the recorded data, numbers of animals killed at each age. However, the analysis of the data presents a number of problems. As the relationship between the stage of eruption or wear and the age of the animal is not precisely known (see below p. 297), we work initially in terms of defined stages instead of age-groups.If all the mandibles were complete, there would be little difficulty in defining a series of stages, and then counting the number of mandibles which fall into each stage. But in sieved samples broken mandibles and single teeth predominate, and clearly should not be ignored. If, for instance, mandibles of a particular age-group are more fragile this age-group will be under-representedif only the complete mandibles are taken into account. If, however, all the broken mandibles and single teeth are counted, this age-group may be over-represented,as several pieces from the same mandible may be counted. Many broken mandibles and single teeth cannot be placed in a single stage, but can be placed within a group of stages; the more stages that are used, the worse this problem becomes.

FIG. 8. A typical wear sequence for the lower third molar (M3); the earlier part of the sequence

FIG. 9. Stages in a typical wear sequence for the lower third milk molar (m3); the earlier part of the

FIG. 10. Stages in a typical wear sequence for the lower fourth premolar (P4); the earlier part of the seq



Thus for the overall analysis, a relatively small number of stages are used, defined as follows: A: m3 still unworn. B: m3 in wear, MI unworn. C: M, in wear, M2 unworn. D: M2 in wear, M3 unworn. E: M3 in wear, posterior cusp unworn. F: Posterior cusp of M3 in wear, M3 pre- CIG: M3 DI-, M2CD H: M3CD-, M2 post- CmI: M3 post- EDA tooth or a cusp is defined as being in wear as soon as any dentine has been exposed by wear on the enamel. Table I shows the results for the sample produced from A?van Kale in 1972, covering the timespan Hellenistic to Medieval. Most of the units were unsieved; some were dry-sieved. The counts are based on the recordable mandibles and mandible fragments; single teeth are not included.* The column headed RAW
STAGE SUGGESTED RAWCOUNT: All directly AGE: stagedmandiblesand mandible fragments. No. A B C D E F G H I 0-2 2-6 6-12 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-6 6-8 8-10 months months months years years years years years years 0 3 15 14 11 20 19 10 7 99 % 0 3 15 14 11 20 19 10 7 CORRECTED COUNT: attriIncluding butionsas well; excludingall lackingrecordable m3 or P4. No. 0 4 20 25 9 10 14 10 6 98 % 0 4 20 26 9 10 14 10 6 No. 612 1 6 12 1 7 1 3 FINALCORRECTED COUNT: Including groupattributables proportionally allocated. No. 0 60 30-4 302 17-9 21.1 21-5 124 7-5 147-0 % 0 4 21 21 12 14 15 8 5

from AlvanKale. of TABLE1. Stage-distribution sheep/goatmandibles

COUNT gives the number of specimens that can certainly be identified as belonging to each stage on the basis of the stated criteria. Using these specimens, wear data can be used to provide a basis for attributing the other mandible fragments more closely. Thus Figs. 11, 12 and 13 show the relationship of stage to wear-state for m3, P4, M1 and M2 in the mandibles which can be definitely staged. On this basis, the other mandible fragments have been attributed to stage as indicated by Figs. 11-13. One point needs a note of explanation: it will be noted that, for instance, there is a stage C mandible with M1r D , but that nevertheless I have attributed unstaged mandible fragments with M, E to stages
*The use of data on single teeth is not discussedin this paper;as in most unsievedsamples,thereare relativelyfew single teeth. I hope to examinethis point in moredetailusingthe largesievedsamplefrom Can Hasan.


UUU uuu


C 0



in but wear, with cusps some unworn allcuspswear in

[ butearUierthan

-u - or-..

*.* *

later 111or

.'. .





v some unworn cusps

in wear aRtcusps butearlierthan [I in but wear, with

. "


m*.. Ioo


?of --

FIG. 11. The relationshipof the state of wear of m3 and P4 to the stages A to I defined above, in the definitely stagedmandiblesfrom Aqvan Kale. This is used as a basis for attributing the mandibleswhich could not previouslybe definitelystaged;the heavylines show the limits adopted.

FIG. 12. The relationshipof the defined above, in the definitely s used as a basis for attributing the definitelystaged;the heavylines s



D-F. The reason for this is that less than 10% of the stage C mandibles have an M1 at ED or later, and less than 10%of the mandibles with M1 EDIare at stage C or earlier. Some criterion has to be used to exclude abnormal wear states - this 10% level is the criterion that is proposed. In the same way, there is a stage F mandible with M m , but mandibles with M1 m are attributed to G-I. STAGE



-u u






OOO i,

.....Z .



--1 -??-]


__ . ..


? i

I?? ME]i

.. .



? ()(

FIG. 13. The relationship of the state of wear of M2 to the stages A to I defined above, in the definitely staged mandibles from A?van Kale. This is used as a basis for attributing the mandibles Which could not previously be definitely staged; the heavy lines show the limits adopted.

The results after attribution on this basis are shown in Table 1 in the column headed CORRECTED COUNT; in order to make sure that the same mandible cannot be counted more than once, only mandible fragments with a recordable m3 or P4 are counted. In this corrected count, the column on the left gives the number of specimens belonging to each stage; the pyramid to the right gives the specimens that cannot be placed more closely than to within a group of stages. Thus the 5 specimens attributable to the range E-I are entered in the cell at the top of the sub-pyramid whose base is formed by the cells E to I. The percentages



for each stage are also shown; on the left based on the specimens attributable to a single stage, and on the right based on the group attributable specimens as well (FINAL CORRECTED COUNT). The group-attributable specimens have been proportionally allocated; this is best explained by an example (Table 2). If there

3 : allocated on

B 6
14 : allocated on


... + 2 1= + 12.2 20

now used to

allocate ABCs
on basisof 4A: 20B: 3C

basisof 6B:1C C 1


+ 2=

TABLE2. Proportional allocation- an example.

are 3As, 6Bs and 1C, one of the 3ABs is allocated to A and 2 to B according to the ratio 3A:6B; similarly the 14BCs are allocated 12 to B and 2 to C according to the ratio 6B: 1C, giving 4As, 20Bs and 3Cs. ABCs are now allocated not according to the original 3A:6B:IC ratio, but according to the new ratio 4A:20B:3C. Although this is a little complicated, it seems the most justifiable way of treating the figures.
STAGE Suggested
Age Count

MEDIEVAL Corrected 0 2 14 14 1 4 5 2 6 48 FinalCorrected




Final Corrected


0-2 months 2-6 months 6-12 months 1-2 years years years years years 8-10 years 2-3 3-4 4-6 6-8

0 2-6 18-4 14-9 1.9 8-4 7-3 2-4 7-1 63-0

0% 4% 29% 24% 3% 13% 12% 4% 11%

0 2 6 11 8 6 9 8 0 50

0 3-8 11-6 14-8 16-6 12-9 14-2 10-4 0 84-3

0% 5% 14% 18% 20% 15% 17% 12% 0%

of TABLE3. Stage-distribution sheep/goatmandibles from A?vanKale.

As already mentioned, the A?van Kale sample used here is taken from Medieval, Late Roman and Hellenistic contexts. In Table 3 the sample is subdivided; there is a clear difference between the Medieval and Hellenistic/Late Roman samples. C-D and I are relatively more abundant in the Medieval, and E-H in the earlier sample. (There may be a slight difference between the Hellenistic and Late Roman samples, but with further sub-division the samples become rather small, so they are treated together here.)



OF TO RELATIONSHIP STAGE AGE The first question to be answered is how the stages in fact relate to ages. The available information about the ages at which the teeth erupt and are replaced in sheep and goat is summarized in Table 4, taken from Silver (1969). Silver comments that the teeth come into wear 3-5 months after they erupt. But most of this information is taken from Western European breeds in WesternEurope; we know very little about Turkish breeds in Turkish conditions. About wear even less is known. Most of the available information deals with the incisors, as these are more readily examined in the living animal, and are thus of more practical value to the vet or shepherd. The incisors are usually lost from the jaw in archaeological material because they are less tightly socketed in the jaw; also unless the sample has been recovered by careful sieving, few incisors are generally found. So in archaeological samples we are forced to use the premolars and molars instead - about whose wear little is known.
SHEEP teeth Permanent Tooth Deciduous teeth Modemfigures breeds) (Improved Semi-wild hill sheep: Old figures


Deciduous teeth

Permanent teeth * 15 mo 21-27 mo 27-36 mo 36-40 mo 17-20 mo -30 mo 17-20 mo -30 mo 17-20 mo -30 mo 5-6 mo 8-10 mo -12 mo 18-24 mo
-30 mo

i /1,

i3/13 m, /P,

0-1 0-1 0-2 0-3 0-6

wk wk wks wks wks

12-18 18-24 27-36 33-48 21-24

mo mo mo mo mo

18 mo 30 mo 42 mo 50 mo 30 mo 30 mo 40 mo 6 mo 18 mo 36-48 mo

Birth Birth Birth 1-3 wks 3 mo 3 mo 3 mo

0-6 wks 0-6 wks

21-24 mo 21-24 mo 3 mo 9-12 mo 18-24 mo

m3/P4 M, M,


4. TABLE Tooth eruptionagesin sheepandgoat, takenfrom Silver(1969). breeds,laterdates roughgoats. *Earlydatesimproved

One way to collect this information would be to tag animals at birth, then kill them at selected time intervals to get a known-age sequence. This is, however, expensive, time-consuming, and would in many situations be very difficult to set up. An alternative approach is to take a large sample of mandibles of animals killed in the same month, from an area where virtually all births happen within a limited season. The mandibles should be able to be sorted into groups, separated by a year. This can then be repeated month by month through the year. Data are given in Fig. 14 on a pilot sample, collected to see whether the method will work.



C KAR3 -.
MA L 3



M5 I
Mott.12. I MA,,. 1 Po
L1 13
. I

cm WKw .. . . . . EDm13ED-2 (ID E_-


9- 2-




KAF.a KA,,,,1


ED EJ mm rD KJ



AL 5

1 I I I




foK 3








FIG. 14. Wear data for a sample of mandibles of modern sheep killed in February 1972 Karaman (KAR) and Malatya (MAL). Two groups emerge clearly in the younger stages, an 9-12 months and 21-24 months.



The mandibles are all of sheep, collected in February from Polatli, Karamanand Malatya, where nearly all lambs and kids are born between February and May. Even on this pilot scale, two early groups separate out clearly and can be aged as 9-12 months and 21-24 months. In 1973 I plan to collect largersamples both of sheep and of goat, and to try to confirm the results obtained by tooth-sectioning. On the basis of these results and of Silver's figures, the following ages are suggested for the eruption and wear stages into which the A?vanKale mandibles have been divided. It is emphasized that these are tentative, and in the case of the older groups are little more than guesses. There may well be significant differences between sheep and goat, but there is very little data available for goat. (In the sample from A?van Kale both sheep and goat are present; sheep appear to be rather commoner than goats). 0-2 months A: m3 still unworn. B: m3 in wear, M, unworn. 2-6 months C: M1 in wear, M2 unworn. 6-12 months D: M2 in wear, M3 unworn. 1-2 years. E: M3 in wear, posterior cusp unworn. 2-3 years F: Posterior cusp of M3 in wear, M3 pre- EO-. 3-4 years G: M3 ?D-, M2 C 4--6 years -. H: M3 DI3-, post-ED. 6-8 years M2 8-10 years I: M3 post-ED-. These age estimates are rather younger than have been used previously, as osteologists have preferred to use the figures for rough breeds given by Silver. I have used these younger figures mainly because of the data presented in Fig. 14; the difference may be attributable to the grazing conditions in this area as compared with those in WesternEurope. It is hoped that these figures will be able to be tested directly by sectioning teeth from Agvan Kale, though tooth-sectioning in archaeological samples is still only at an experimental stage. INTERPRETATION Using these estimates, the kill-off patterns for Medievaland Hellenistic/Late Roman Aqvan Kale are shown in Fig. 15 and 16. In trying to interpret these, a brief description of sheep and goat husbandry in modern A?van is of interest. Both sheep and goats are kept; numbers are relatively low now, as the village is slowly breaking up, but the villagers say that 10 years ago there were 1,000-1,500 sheep and about 500 goats. Before the expansion of dry-farming on to the hills either side of the Kuru (ay, mainly in Balhkcaand Karamanlar,also in Engicik and Boztoprak, there may well have been more sheep and goats. The sheep kept are of the White Karaman breed, a hardy fat-tailed all-purpose sheep, with coarse wool. The goats are kl kegi (hair goat), the usual hardy Turkish goat; Angora goats are not kept. All products are used or sold - wool, hair, milk, milk products, meat and skins; milk and meat are considered by the villagers to be the most important products. Sheep products, especially milk, are more highly valued than goat products. Both sheep and goats are kept not only because their grazing habits and requirements are to some extent complementary, but also because goats are less of a risk



100 80



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 YEARS H 1 I STAGE 8C0 E F " G

FIG. 15. The kill-off pattern for sheep/goat in Medieval A?van, based on the figures given in Table 3.



FIG. 16. in Table 3.

7 STAGE ..... A?van, based on the figures given . . The kill-off pattern for sheep/goat in Hellenistic and Late Roman

0 I IJBIC ...E 'F I G I H o1

9" 10VEARS



than sheep as they are hardier; goats are particularly kept by the poorer families. Sheep, and particularly lambs, are described as nazik (fragile) - a word that constantly recurs when talking to shepherds; lamb losses in a bad year can be as high as 50%, summer being the dangerous time, not winter. Many of the male lambs are killed in the first year, particularly at occasions like weddings, most of which happen in the summer and autumn, and at the kurban bayrami, a holiday at which the killing of a sheep is customary, the date of which moves through the year. Of the males that are not killed as lambs, most are killed in the second year. A few are kept on for breeding; rams are finally chosen at 3-4 years, and the rest are killed at that age. The adult sex ratio is given as I ram to 50-60 ewes. Males are often castrated a few months before slaughter, to improve weight gain. Female lambs are rarely killed, because of the replacement needs of the flock; if not needed for breeding they are more commonly killed in the second year. Ewes breed first usually at 2 years; a good ewe will give 5 lambs, of which the fourth is said to be the best; some give six or seven lambs, but the quality usually declines rapidly. Twinning is uncommon. Few ewes live beyond 8-10 years; a ewe that fails to give a lamb two years running is killed. Killing is strongly seasonal, peaked in the summer and autumn, when the animals are in best condition. Old ewes in particular are often killed in the autumn to make kavurma, meat cooked and preserved in fat, which stays edible throughout the winter. The killing of goats follows a similar pattern, though probably a higher proportion are killed as kids as there are more individuals surplus to breeding needs: fewer kids die, and twinning is rather commoner than in sheep. As well as planned slaughter, an animal which falls incurably sick, or breaks a leg, is immediately killed; Moslem law permits the eating of an animal as long as its throat has been cut while it is still alive. Some of the animals are not killed and eaten in the village, but are sold, especially for eating in Elazig; this raises a fresh difficulty in the interpretation of archaeological samples: that they do not necessarily represent a full pattern - either because as in this example animals have been taken away for consumption elsewhere, or conversely it might be that a sample consisted of animals brought in from elsewhere for eating, as is true of a modern town, and that no herding or breeding was being done at the site at all. The kill-off pattern for sheep and goat in modern Agvanis shown in Fig. 17. I would emphasize that this is based not on recorded figures, but on word-ofmouth estimates from the villagers; it gives a reasonable idea of the overall pattern, but the figures are no more than estimates. A villager finds a question such as "What proportion of your male lambs are killed for meat during their first year in the average year?" understandably difficult to answer, particularly as he does not think in terms of averages, but in terms of his own current situation and recent experience. This kill-off pattern for modern Agvan is interestingly like that calculated for Medieval Ayvan, and probably allows us to suggest that the people of Medieval Agvan kept sheep and goats much as they do today, mainly for meat and milk. There is even a suggestion in the figures that, as in modern Agvan, some young and old animals were sold off to a town or city: in relation to the young adults



80 40
0 1 20 60


" 60


infant mortality--dandy 60 \ for breeding killinQ meat (A (and mainly selection)-


old age-mainly


FIG. 17. The kill-off pattern for sheep and goats in modern A?van, estimated from talks with the villagers. Lambing and kidding are put at 80-85%; lamb and kid losses vary from 20% to 50% depending on the year.

(3-6) there are not as many older adults as one would expect, and, if one assumes that there were more, and they were sold off, they would have produced more surplus lambs than the figures suggest. Alternatively, mortality, and particularly lamb mortality, may have been rather high. It would be interesting to see whether killing was seasonal, and this will be fairly easy to test for the younger age groups when more precise data about wear allows us to age mandibles of young animals to within a few months. The Hellenistic/Late Roman pattern is rather different. A relatively high proportion of the animals appear to have been killed between 2 and 6 years old, when in most terms it makes least sense to kill sheep or goats, and when they are not particularly prone to sickness or accident. It is possible that this reflects a concentration on the production of high-grade wool (as mentioned above, the quality of wool falls off in older animals) but it is probably wiser to suspend speculation and wait for more data.

The main purpose of this paper is to describe a method for recording and



analysing data about tooth eruption and wear in mandibular teeth and mandibles of sheep and goats in order to get information about kill-off patterns in archaeological samples. I have tried to describe the method in enough detail and with clear enough definitions for the results to be reproducible, so that it can be used as a basis for reliable detailed between-site comparison. The recording and calculating methods used here may seem a little complicated; however, last summer I trained a beginner who within ten days was producing results which were not significantly different from mine on the same samples. Other possible uses of this data have not been discussed here - in particular data on single teeth, and the use of measurements on teeth as an index of wear. Two areas that need more work are the relationship of age to stage, and the attribution of broken mandibles to stage; in both cases the indications given in this paper are only very provisional. Acknowledgements and Postscript: I would like to thank Behin Aksoy for help with translation when talking to the villagers at Aqvan, Gail Carlson for working on the AqvanKale mandibles and for reading and checking manuscript and proofs, Gerry Hall for his patience in preparing the illustrations, Juliet Jewell and John Watson for helpful criticism, and David and Lisa French for help and interest at all stages. A similar approach has been developed by Miss Annie Grant; I understand that details of this are given in her forthcoming report on the animal bones from Porchester, to be published as part of the excavation report by the Society of Antiquaries of London. BIBLIOGRAPHY H. J., BOESSNECK, MULLER, H. andTEICHERT, 1964. "Osteologische M., Unterscheidungsmerkmale zwischenSchafe(Ovisaries LINNE)und Ziege(Capra hircusLINNE)", in Proc.Prehist. J. Soc., 30, EWBANK, et al., 1964."Sheep the IronAge:A methodof study". 423-26. in D. of E. I. animals", ed. Brothwell, andHiggs, S. SILVER, A., 1969. "Theageing domestic
1969. Science in archaeology,Ed 2. KiihnArchiv, 78, 1-129.