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How to find us C. (Canan) Çakirlar, PhD

C. Çakirlar, PhD

Senior lecturer


Since 2020

Funded by EC's Horizon2020

This project provides access to labs, collections and expertise in Heritage Science across the European Research group. With this project we host international researchers at the RUG. 


Since 2019

Thresholds in human exploitation of marine vertebrates

Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie Innovative training network 

Funded by EC's Horizon2020

SeaChanges provides state-of-the-art training to forge a new generation of interdisciplinary researchers able to operate at the interface of archaeology and marine biology. I am the RUG lead; with this project we fund 4 PhDs at te RUG and 11 PhDs elsewhere in Europe.  

Hidden Hybrids: Camels and Cultural Blending in the Ancient Near East

Funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation 

With this project we get to the bottom of an old problem (Potts, Uerpmanns, etc). When were they first interbed? And where? What were the cultural mechanisms that led to their hybridization? We will define the osteomorphology and osteometry of hybrid camels for the first time, for this we're acquiring recent specimens from Western Turkey (If you happen to have a recent hybrid camel skeleton at your disposal, please let us know!). We will re-examine a number of relatively large camel bone assemblages dating to the Iron Age using morphological and ancient DNA techniques. We'll also re-check the assigned dates of our first hybrids by direct radiocarbon dating. So far, the earliest definitive hybrids have been identified in Roman and Ottoman contexts in Europe. Our research will highlight the ways in which cultural blending along major trade routes lead to unprecedented biocultural processes, which in turn transform the pathways of humanity. The research will be conducted in Groningen, Vienna, Paris, Aydin, Berlin, Munich, and Tel Aviv where ever else there are (suspected) traces of hybrid camels in the Iron Age or in recent times.

Please contact if you'd like to contribute to the project in anyway.
For a more detailed background see our paper (Open Access)
Bonify 1.0 – Ovis/Capra: Virtual solutions to zooarchaeological problems

In January the GIA will embark on a project which takes us into the developing world of virtual reality. In a project funded by the Digital Humanities, Canan Çakirlar and Dr. Gary Nobles will undertake a 3D scanning campaign of the goat and sheep reference bone collection. In collaboration with CIT, these 3D models will be made accessible virtually via an android smartphone app (code name: Bonify).   The app makes use of head mounted devices (e.g. google cardboard) to augment reality, superimposing the 3D model within the real world, this is along similar lines as the recent Pokémon GO craze. The app will be used in current research  and teaching programmes. Accessible around the world, it aims to enable researchers and students access to these vital reference materials wherever they are. This study builds upon the GIA’s long history of scientific innovation in this field: in 1986 Prummel & Frisch published a paper indicating how to distinguish between the two species of sheep and goat. At the time these morphological criteria were illustrated and released to the wider scientific community. Some 30 years later we continue tradition of scientific innovation within the academic discourse. 

Ancient Fisheries Project

Funded by a Tegner Award from the Marine Conservation Institute

The Eastern Mediterranean (EM) is one of the most impoverished marine reserves of our planet. Although this condition is generally attributed to post-Suez anthropogenic impact, it is unlikely that the coastal waters of the EM were in a pristine state before recent industrialization. The EM is arguably the oldest continuously and intensively humanized seascape of the world. From Homeric Troy to Biblical Ashkelon, the basin is surrounded by some of the earliest cities in history. Their ruins are abundant with fishing equipment, mollusc shells, and fish bones; all tangible evidence for millennia of human-fisheries interaction. What was the nature and scale of this interaction? How large was anthropogenic impact on fisheries? This project aims to explore these questions through the extraction of catch composition and size range data from a rare fish bone assemblage from the ancient harbour of Kinet Höyük (5000 and 700 BP), located near the Syrian border of Turkey. This study is the first of its kind to be conducted in the region and the results will constitute a reproducible baseline for future conservation research in the EM. 

De Honden van van Giffen: Klein Data Project (DANS)

Dit project heeft als doel de, door van Giffen verzamelde, bijzonder waardevolle maar ongepubliceerde gegevens over archeologische hondenskeletten te digitaliseren en toegankelijk te maken voor onderzoek.

Mapping Muro Tenente: opening up the digital archives of a key site in Dutch Mediterranean Archaeology: Klein Data Project (DANS)

Together with ReMA student Yannic D. Rabou, I designed the zooarchaeology part of the database for the archaeological project of Muro Tenente.  This project is directed by Prof. Dr. Gert-Jan Burgers and Dr. Matteo Merlino from VU Amsterdam. 

Last modified:03 September 2020 2.34 p.m.

Contact information

Poststraat 6
9712 ER Groningen
The Netherlands

GIA zooarchaeology lab

Job title:
Working hours:
08:30-17:30, Monday-Friday

Zooarchaeology Lab