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Architecture of the Early Settlement and Trends through the Cultural Sequence

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The excavations of Aşıklı from 1989 through the early 2000s showcased the 8th millennium BC occupations of the site. Interpretations and evaluations of settlement layout, architectural characteristics, subsistence patterns, and social dimensions of the community have been based mainly on the data from these uppermost levels (Esin – Harmankaya 2007). For some time this was all that could be widely understood about the site and thus the only basis for scholarly discussion. Towards the end of that fieldwork campaign, however, further excavation in Area 4GH revealed the existence of earlier communities with rather different lifeways and distinct forms of architecture. Even so, these early occupations have remained poorly known and, for this reason, have not figured much in regional discussions of neolithization until now. The new program of fieldwork and research, begun in 2010, seeks to understand the whole developmental process at Aşıklı, gathering as much information as possible about the early habitation levels while ensuring data comparability to the Level 2 settlement. The first results of eight seasons of work (2010-2017) at the site provide an assessment of the long habitation history and detailed data on the early stages of sedentism, food-production and community behavior. The mostly gradual cultural and biological changes through this uninterrupted sequence prove that Aşıklı is among the earliest, longue durée formative Neolithic sites in Anatolia.
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THE EARLY SETTLEMENT AT AŞIKLI HÖYÜK
Mihriban Özbaşaran Güneş Duru Mary Stiner
THE EARLY SETTLEMENT AT AŞIKLI HÖYÜK
Mihriban Özbaşaran Güneş Duru Mary Stiner
Essays in Honor of Ufuk Esin
THE EARLY SETTLEMENT AT
AŞIKLI HÖYÜK
Essays in Honor of Ufuk Esin
OFFPRINT
THE EARLY SETTLEMENT AT
AŞIKLI HÖYÜK
Essays in Honor of Ufuk Esin
Edited by
Mihriban Özbaşaran, Güneş Duru, Mary Stiner
THE EARLY SETTLEMENT AT AŞIKLI HÖYÜK
Essays in Honor of Ufuk Esin
Edited by
Mihriban Özbaşaran, Güneş Duru, Mary Stiner
© 2018 Ege Yayınları
ISBN 978-605-9680-83-7
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Contents
Preface ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ IX
Introduction to the Aşıklı Höyük Project
Mihriban Özbaşaran, Güneş Duru ................................................................................................................................................................................. 1
Geomorphological and Palaeoenvironmental Setting of Aşıklı Höyük
Catherine Kuzucuoğlu, Jean-Pascal Dumoulin, Ségolène Saulnier-Copard ............................................................... 15
Summary of Carbon-14 Dating of the Cultural Levels of Aşıklı Höyük
Jay Quade, Mary C. Stiner, Audrey Copeland, Amy E. Clark, Mihriban Özbaşaran ....................................... 43
Architecture of the Early Settlement and Trends through the Cultural Sequence
Mihriban Özbaşaran, Güneş Duru, Melis Uzdurum ............................................................................................................................. 57
Micromorphological Analyses of Anthropogenic Materials and Insights into Tell Formation
Processes at Aşıklı Höyük, 2008-2012 Field Seasons
Susan M. Mentzer ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 105
Multi-element Characterization of Floors at Aşıklı Höyük: Contributing to the Identification
of Activities and Activity Areas
Fatma Kalkan, Rana Özbal .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 129
The Microscopic Record of Aşıklı Höyük: Phytolith Analysis of Material from the
2012-2016 Field Seasons
Georgia Tsartsidou .................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 147
Plants of Aşıklı Höyük and Changes through Time: First Archaeobotanical Results from the
2010-14 Excavation Seasons
Müge Ergun, Margareta Tengberg, George Willcox, Carolyne Douché ....................................................................... 191
Spatial and Zooarchaeological Evidence of Human-Animal Interactions in the Early PPN
Settlement at Aşıklı Höyük
Mary C. Stiner, Kassi S. Bailey, Natalie D. Munro, Rozalia Christidou ........................................................................ 219
The Taphonomic Context of the Aşıklı Höyük Microfaunal Assemblage: Emergence of
Pest-Host and Commensal Relationships
Kassi S. Bailey .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 259
ContentsVI
The Faunal Remains from Levels 3 and 2 of Aşıklı Höyük: Evidence for Emerging
Management Practices
Hijlke Buitenhuis, Joris Peters, Nadja Pöllath, Mary C. Stiner, Natalie D. Munro,
Özlem Sarıtaş ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 281
Shaping the Sheep: Human Management and Decision-making at Aşıklı Höyük,
Central Anatolia
Joris Peters, Ferdinand Neuberger, Ingrid Wiechmann, Michaela Zimmermann,
Marie Balasse, Nadja Pöllath ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 325
Obsidian Use during the Level 4 Occupations at Aşıklı Höyük
Laurence Astruc (with artifact illustrations by Michel Grenet) ........................................................................................... 345
Aşıklı Höyük Obsidian Studies: Production, Use and Diachronic Changes
Nurcan Kayacan, Çiler Altınbilek-Algül ............................................................................................................................................................ 363
The Beads from Aşıklı Höyük
Sera Yelözer ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 383
Lifestyle and Health Conditions of the Neolithic People of Aşıklı Höyük
Ömür Dilek Erdal ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 405
Childhood Growth Disruptions at Aşıklı Höyük
Brenna Hassett .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 425
Conclusion
Mary C. Stiner, Mihriban Özbaşaran, Güneş Duru ............................................................................................................................ 437
Bibliography ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 445
Aşıklı Höyük Kazı ve Araştırma Projesi
www.asiklihoyuk.org
facebook.com/asiklihoyuk
instagram: @asiklihoyuk
Preface
Aşıklı Höyük, 26 years after it was first discovered, came under excavation by a large group
of scholars from Istanbul University led by Prof. Ufuk Esin, then the chair of the Department
of Prehistory. Results obtained from each field season contributed not only to our knowledge
of the cultural geography of the region, but also to increasingly pluralistic explanations of
Neolithization.
We began organizing a new program of investigation at the site in 2006, and we commenced
new excavations in 2010 with the aim of pursuing a more detailed understanding of trends first
identified by Prof. Esin and exploring more deeply what remained to be learned about Aşıklı.
We attempted to understand the individual actions and “snapshots” from the daily life of the
inhabitants with our revised approach and methodology. The new multi-disciplinary project
supported by researchers and scholars from all over the world not only enriched the intellectual
environment and helped to refine earlier interpretations, but also allowed us to put forward
new research questions and approaches. The revival of the project has also allowed younger
generations to be trained in many new aspects of archaeology.
Our recent investigations have focused mainly on the early habitation at Aşıklı. This work
contributes to the ongoing discussions on the Neolithization of Central Anatolia, together with
new data from the sites of Pınarbaşı and Boncuklu on the Konya Plain and Balıklı in Cappadocia.
Though mentioned only briefly in the present volume, we have also carried out parallel
projects in experimental archaeology, cultural heritage management, and public archaeology in
connection with the archaeological research. Other publications will follow the present volume
on the results gained from these sister projects.
Here it is our privilege to forward the first results of our work at Aşıklı in a volume dedicated
to Prof. Esin. We hope it will further stimulate Neolithic research in the region. The year 2019
represents the 30th anniversary of the start of the excavations at Aşıklı. After three decades of
fieldwork, we are proud to offer unprecedented information on the early inhabitants of Aşıklı.
We owe much thanks to all the former and current members of the project. However, our deepest
gratitude goes to esteemed scholar and mentor, Ufuk Esin, from whom we have inherited not
only the opportunity to continue archaeological research at Aşıklı but also the many scientific
approaches and ethical values she fostered. We present this book to her memory with respect,
love, and longing.
Architecture of the Early Settlement and
Trends through the Cultural Sequence
Mihriban ÖZBAŞARANa, Güneş DURUb and Melis UZDURUMa
Introduction
The excavations of Aşıklı from 1989 through the early 2000s showcased the 8th millennium
BC occupations of the site. Interpretations and evaluations of settlement layout, architectural
characteristics, subsistence patterns, and social dimensions of the community have been based
mainly on the data from these uppermost levels (Esin – Harmankaya 2007). For some time this
was all that could be widely understood about the site and thus the only basis for scholarly dis-
cussion. Towards the end of that fieldwork campaign, however, further excavation in Area 4GH
revealed the existence of earlier communities with rather different lifeways and distinct forms
of architecture. Even so, these early occupations have remained poorly known and, for this rea-
son, have not figured much in regional discussions of neolithization until now.
The new program of fieldwork and research, begun in 2010, seeks to understand the whole
developmental process at Aşıklı, gathering as much information as possible about the early
habitation levels while ensuring data comparability to the Level 2 settlement. The first results
of eight seasons of work (2010-2017) at the site provide an assessment of the long habitation
history and detailed data on the early stages of sedentism, food-production and community be-
havior. The mostly gradual cultural and biological changes through this uninterrupted sequence
prove that Aşıklı is among the earliest, longue durée formative Neolithic sites in Anatolia.
Methods
The methods for the Aşıklı Höyük excavations were based on procedures developed by Prof.
Ufuk Esin and her colleagues during salvage excavations around the Keban and Atatürk Dam
Projects in the late 1960s. The system had already been applied to the salvage excavations of
a Istanbul University, Faculty of Letters, Prehistory Department, 34134 Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey
b Galatasaray University, Ortaköy Mh., Çırağan Cad. No. 36, 34349 Beşiktaş, Istanbul, Turkey
Mihriban Özbaşaran, Güneş Duru and Melis Uzdurum58
Tepecik, Tülintepe, Değirmentepe and İkiz Höyük, all led by Esin between 1968-1987 (Esin
1970: 150). The field methods were based on a grid system with 10 x 10 m trenches oriented
on a north-south axis. The baulks between trenches provided vertical control sections for the
stratigraphy.
The excavations at Aşıklı Höyük began as a salvage project, and so similar methods of ex-
cavation and documentation were employed by Esin with only minor changes. The fieldwork
began in 1989 with mapping of the mound’s topographic plan and surface collection of arti-
facts. The overall dimensions of the mound, 150-240 m EW by 230 m NS and with a height of
13.16m on S end and 15.35 m on NW, were divided into 10 m squares in a grid defined by num-
bers (1, 2, 3…) for the west-east axis and letters (A, B, C…) for the north-south axis1 (Figure1).
Asurfacecollection was carried out within the grid. Each 10 x 10 m square was designated as a
“trench” (Esin et al. 1991: 127). Baulks of 50 cm width were left between the trenches in the be-
ginning, but erosion during the harsh winters soon convinced Esin to widen the baulks to 1m.
Thereafter, the excavation areas were expanded to expose larger areas, and trench sizes were
changed from 10 x 10 m to 10 x 20 m.
Esin’s primary objective in the fieldwork was to determine the mound’s stratigraphy and
reveal the settlement layout in Level 2 by exposing large areas (Esin et al. 1991: 126). The work
began on the north, west and southwestern areas of the mound where the Melendiz river had
cut into its sides. The northwest end of the mound corresponds to square 4H. The area on the
western edge of the mound was more steeply inclined and temporarily referred to as the Slope
Trench (2-3JK). The third the area on the southwest part of the mound declines gently to the
south and is known as 2-3N-R on the excavation grid.
The area of “Trench” 4GH was chosen for investigating the deeper stratigraphy of the mound.
The plan was to reach the earliest cultural level and the virgin soil below it. Architectural and
other remains would be thoroughly documented on encounter and then removed in order to
expose each underlying level/building phase. This method left high sections on three sides of
the excavation area, displaying the sequential development of the architecture. As the lower
levels were reached, the trench was expanded northward to the 4G and 4F grid boundary.
Modifications to the methodology after 2010 allowed us to work independently of the grids and
at a much finer scale; this deep “trench” is now referred to as Area 4GH.
Two small deep soundings in Area 4GH (Woldring 1998; Kuzucuoğlu, this volume) reached
the natural sedimentary layers beneath the archaeological deposits at -13.55m below datum
(the highest point on the mound is set to 0.00 m). Gravel deposits were reached at -15.62 m.
The modern water table of the river was reached in 1991 in the first sounding at -16.03 m2 (Esin
– Harmankaya 1992: 5).
The second area excavated during the 1989 field season was Trench 2-3JK. However, a dif-
ferent strategy was applied here, and no architectural remains were removed. The excavations in
Trench 2-3JK were also deep on account of the slope deposited post-culturally by the river, but
1 The large trenches in the grid were sub-divided into smaller units, named with numbers 1 to 10 from west to east,
and with letters a to k from north to south. For example, unit 5-10/a-e in the 4H trench designated an area of 5 x
5 m or 25 m2. The disadvantages of the grid system, especially its insensitivity to human-defined spaces, led us to
abandon it for the new excavation beginning in 2010.
2 The highest point on the mound (datum point 0.00 at the intersection point of grids 6-7 and H-J; Figure 1) is
1119.58 m above sea level. All elevations mentioned in this volume indicate the height below the datum point.
Architecture of the Early Settlement and Trends through the Cultural Sequence 59
the highest architectural remains in the deposits were exposed in a step-like configuration down
the slope. The boundary of the trench was extended in the following years to the west to expose
the buildings and open spaces over a larger area. Hence, the former grid boundaries were disre-
garded, and the limits of the excavation area were instead defined by the architectural remains.
With the elimination of the trench system, the area is now called Area 2JK.
The third location targeted for excavation in 1989 was placed in grid squares 2-4NR (Esin
et al. 1991: 129). Excavations followed a distinct trajectory in this area on account of the unu-
sual structures and remains exposed during the first field season, most notably the large lime
plastered and painted floors. The boundaries of the trenches were rearranged to include en-
tire structures and floors within the excavation zone. The area is presently called the Special
Purpose Buildings Area (SPBA), and today is protected by a large shelter (see Özbaşaran and
Duru, this volume).
Excavations continued in all three locations after 1989, and new areas were added. The ad-
ditional areas included squares 13R-S, 17S, 10UV, and 14AA. Square 13R-S covered an area of
Figure 1. Topographic plan of Aşıklı Höyük and the settlement layout in Level 2A-C.
... Bina içinde, mekânın güney yarısında, dörtgen formlu, büyük, aynı konumda en az iki kez yenilenmiş bir ocak yer alır. Mekânın kuzeyinde, yine aynı konumda en az iki kez yenilenmiş bir seki ve mekânın genelinde çok sayıda, farklı boyutlarda çukurlar yer alır (Özbaşaran, Duru ve Uzdurum, 2018). Taban sıvasından alınan örnekler, mekânın kuzeyinde, özellikle sekinin hemen önündeki alanda tabanın mekân genelinden daha fazla sıvandığını, güneyde, özellikle ocak çevresinde ise mekân içi faaliyetlerin yoğunlaştığına işaret eder (Kalkan, 2017). ...
... Mikro ve makro arkeobotanik kalıntılar, mikromorfoloji ve toprak kimyası analizleri, bu mekânların nasıl işlevlendirildiği sorusuna cevap sunmaktadır. Yapıların birinde tanımlanan, mekânın tümüne yayılmış durumda birikmiş in situ hayvan dışkısı tabakaları, burada uzun süre hayvan tutulmuş olduğunu gösterir (Kalkan ve Özbal, 2018;Mentzer, 2018;Özbaşaran, Duru ve Uzdurum, 2018). Arkeozoolojik araştırmalar sonucunda da koyun/keçi eklemlerinde uzun süre aynı lokasyonda tutulmaya bağlı patolojiler saptanmış, ayrıca genç ve erkek koyun/keçiler erişkin dişilere kıyasla daha yoğun bir şekilde tüketilmiştir. ...
... Kulübeler ve toprağa yarı gömük barınakların çevresinde yer aldığı açık alanlar, pişirme çukurları, hayvan kemikleri, obsidiyen aletler ve çeşitli buluntuların dağılımı ve yanı sıra aletler üzerinde gerçekleştirilen iz analizlerinin önerdiği üzere yabani bitki ve hayvanları kesme, parçalama, işleme gibi çeşitli günlük faaliyetlerin gerçekleştirildiği, çok-işlevli alanlardır (Astruc, 2018;Duru, 2013;Özbaşaran, Duru ve Uzdurum, 2018;Stiner ve diğerleri, 2018). ...
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Neolitik Dönem, dünyanın farklı coğrafyalarında farklı şekillerde yaşanmış ve insan topluluklarının yaşam biçimini radikal biçimde değiştirmiş bir süreçtir. Bugün Güneybatı Asya’da Neolitik yaşam biçiminin belirleyici öğeleri içerisinde, bir önceki döneme kıyasla daha geniş bir alana yayılan yerleşmelerin yıl boyu iskan edil- mesi, bitkisel besinlerin işlemden geçirilerek tüketilmeye baş- lanmasıyla birlikte daha büyük boyutlu ve taşınması zor öğütme taşlarının kullanımının artışı, uzun bir sürecin sonunda belirli tahıl türlerinin ehlileştirilmesi, geniş ölçekli avcılığın yerini aşa- malı olarak hayvanların kontrol altında tutulmasına ve bazı hay- van türlerinin evcilleştirilmesine bırakması, ölülerin yerleşme içerisinde, genellikle mekân içlerine gömülmesi, yerleşmeler/ bölgeler arası kimi ortak sembolik öğeler gibi parametreler yer alır. Güneybatı Asya’dan farklı olarak, Meksika’da çeşitli bitkile- rin göçer topluluklarca ehlileştirildiği, Çin, Sibirya ve Japonya’da avcı toplayıcı göçer toplulukların günümüzden yaklaşık 20.000 yıl önce çanak çömlek kullanmaya başladıkları, Avustralya’da ya- şayan avcı toplayıcı topluluklarınsa Avrupalıların kıtaya gidişine dek bu yaşam biçimini sürdürdükleri bilinmektedir (Bar-Yosef, 2017; Mithen, 2003).
... Aşıklı Höyük is a mound site located in the southern part of Central Anatolia, Turkey. The mound is composed of anthropogenic deposits that rise 16 m above the natural alluvium of the Melendiz river (Esin et al., 1991;Esin and Harmankaya, 1999;Ö zbaşaran et al., 2018). The occupation of the site began in the mid-9th millennium BC, with the earliest permanent settlement dated to 8350 cal BC. ...
... 7300 cal BC. The continuous occupation sequence is divided into five cultural strata, Levels 5 to 1 from base to top (Esin, 1998;Ö zbaşaran et al., 2018;Quade et al., 2018). Levels 5 and 4 represent the early occupations, with a permanent settlement established by the time of Level 4, when both plant cultivation and the caprine management were clearly practiced. ...
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Traditional methods for estimating age-at-death of caprines are based on dental and epiphyseal fusion data and known to produce rather wide age intervals. In order to better interpret prenatal to early infantile mortality of sheep in prehistoric assemblages more precise age predictions are needed. We address this issue using a Generalized Additive Model (GAM) developed on humerus measurements of unborn and very young sheep of known age housed in modern collections. We then verify the resulting prediction model with the aid of a pregnant ewe and her foetus (Ovis aries) excavated in the Ptolemaic-Roman animal cemetery at Syene (modern Aswan, Egypt). Her condition illustrates that both the mother and her mature foetus must have died during birthing. Subsequently, we apply the model to humeri of very young archaeological sheep (Ovis orientalis/O. aries) unearthed at early Neolithic Aşıklı Höyük (Central Turkey). Both study cases underscore the practicality of our approach whilst illustrating the cultural and historical importance of precise age determinations in foetal, newborn and infantile sheep. Finally, we discuss the possible causes for foetal and neonatal mortality in sheep at Aşıklı Höyük.
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