The Environment in the Islamic City of Termez (Uzbekistan): Zooarchaeology and Anthracology of a 9th-century tannūr

Rodrigo Portero*, Agnese Fusaro, Raquel Piqué, Josep M. Gurt, Mikelo Elorza, Sónia Gabriel, Shakir R. Pidaev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to understand the ways of life for the inhabitants of Termez (Uzbekistan) and its surrounding environment through the analysis of the zooarchaeological, charcoal, and ceramic material found inside a domestic combustion structure (tannūr) dated to the early Islamic period (8th and 9th centuries AD). The tannūr was located in a manufacturing area outside the city walls of old Termez, discovered during the 2018–2019 archaeological campaigns of the Uzbek-Spanish team IPAEB. The analysis of the charcoal hints at an abundance of local floral taxa that was used as firewood. The faunal remains indicate the presence of birds, mammals and fish at the site. The zooarchaeological study reveals the exploitation of the fluvial resources through the presence of fish of the Cyprinidae family in the vicinity of the Amu Darya. The scarcity of cut marks on and thermoalteration of the mammalian remains inside the tannūr lead us to believe that the presence of the bones inside the container is related to their disposal rather than the use of the oven for cooking. Finally, the ceramic items collected in the tannūr belong to the same wares and types identified in the assemblages collected from a workshop area at the site and are typical of the early Islamic period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Islamic Archaeology
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • anthracology
  • Central Asia
  • Early Islamic period
  • fuel
  • tannūr
  • Zooarchaeology

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