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About usHow to find usC. (Canan) Çakirlar, PhD

C. Çakirlar, PhD

Assistant professor (tenured)

Thresholds in human exploitation of marine vertebrates

Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie Innovative training network 

funded by the European Commission. 

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. The seas are crucial to European economy, identity, and food security. Marine resource use has influenced European societies for millennia, and we in turn have impacted the seas. The need for long-term perspectives to inform marine management is becoming clear, but disciplinary silos hold back integration of archaeological data and approaches to this end. SeaChanges brings together experts from 7 leading institutions in archaeology, zoology, marine ecology & conservation biology, united by our recognition of this gap. We will pool our disparate skills and experience in an integrated training programme, forging a new generation of researchers who from the outset of their careers have the interdisciplinary understanding & skills required fully to realise the potential of archaeological remains to understand past marine resource use, assess past impacts, and use these to inform the present.

I am the RUG lead on this network. GIA (and the Arctic Center) is hiring 4 PhDs in collaboration with GELIFES of the FSE. Other RUG scientists involved are Per Pallsbol, Peter Jordan, Sean DesJardins, and Daan Raemaekers. 
Hidden Hybrids: Camels and Cultural Blending in the Ancient Near East
Hidden Hybrids: Camels and Cultural Blending in the Ancient Near East will be receiving funding from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for a year to 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

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. Funding comes from the Marine Conservation Institute.

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.

Last modified:09 April 2019 11.28 a.m.

Contact information

Poststraat 6
9712 ER Groningen
The Netherlands

GIA zooarchaeology lab

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