Original paper

Investigations on human and animal remains from a medieval shaft well in Ayasuluk/Ephesos (Turkey)

Kanz, Fabian; Pfeiffer-Taş, Şule; Forstenpointner, Gerhard; Galik, Alfred; Weissengruber, Gerald; Grossschmidt, Karl; Risser, Daniele U.

Anthropologischer Anzeiger Volume 71 No. 4 (2014), p. 429 - 445

published: Nov 1, 2014

DOI: 10.1127/0003-5548/2014/0400

BibTeX file

ArtNo. ESP140007104008, Price: 29.00 €

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In course of the archaeological survey of Ayasuluk/Ephesos region (Turkey), a shaft well situated at the area of an extensive medieval bathing complex was excavated. In the stratum corresponding to the reign Mehmed II the well-preserved skeletons of two humans, an equine and a canine were recovered. Anthropological analysis of the human skeletons indentified two males aged 22 (± 3) and 36 (± 5) years. The skeleton of the younger individual showed signs of various antemortal conditions, including a well-healed fraction of right arc of the fifth lumbar vertebra, and a marked asymmetry of the shoulder joints. The older individual exhibited significant peri/postmortem injuries at the elbows, with evident signs of peeling and external burning. Also, the few elements of the cranium recovered showed also indications of burning. Archaeozoological characterization of the complete skeletons of the equine and canine established evidence of well cared-for animals of high value. The time of disposal of this group coincides with uprising of the formerly ruling Aydnoullar clan against the Ottomans in power. The human individuals recovered from the well may have been members of Aydnoullar tribe or men in service of the latter, suffering severe torture and/or mutilation for siding with the rebels after defeat.


animal skeletonsburialhuman skeletonsmedievalshaft well