Area 659

Main Information
Area ID 659
Site Mersin-Yumuktepe
Area type settlement
Area NR
Period Anatolia: Early Neolithic
Dating method material culture
radiocarbon dating
Radiocarbon dated yes
Earliest date: Lab Number
Earliest date: 14C age (BP)
Earliest date: Calibration no
Earliest date: 14C age calibrated (BC)
Earliest date: Date of calibration None
Earliest date: Standard deviation 90
Earliest date: Delta 13C None
Earliest date: Dated by
Latest date: Lab Number
Latest date: 14C age (BP)
Latest date: Calibration None
Latest date: 14C age calibrated (BC)
Latest date: Date of calibration None
Latest date: Standard deviation None
Latest date: Delta 13C None
Latest date: Dated by
Period Reference Özdoğan, Mehmet, The Neolithic in Turkey. New Excavations & New Research. Central Turkey, None, None
Caneva, I., Mersin-Yumuktepe in the Seventh Millennium BC: an updated view, 2012, None, None
Comment lowermost layers of the tell (ca. 8 m thick), correspond to levels XXXIII - XXVIII; room A25: C14 7280 +/- 70 BP
Settlement type tell
Settlement structure
Settlement building type
Settlement building shape
Settlement building technique plaster wall
stone lining
wattle and daub
Settlement archaeological features fireplace
stone setting
storage vessel
Cave/rockshelters type None
Cave/rockshelters: Evidence of graves/human remains
Cave/rockshelters: Evidence of occupation
Quarry exploitation type None
Quarry raw material
Cemetery/graves topography
Cemetery/graves mortuary features
Grave: number of graves
Grave type
Grave: type of human remains
Grave: estimated number of individuals
Grave: age groups
Grave: sexes
Grave: number of female sex None
Grave: number of male sex None
Grave: number of not specified sex None
Grave: disturbance of graves
Description Early Neolithic finds were mostly made on the north-western side of the mound. The deposits were heavily reworked by intersecting terraces and storage pits from various periods that cut through these levels (from Middle to Late Neolithic, also Middle Chalkolithic and Middle Ages). The Early Neolithic deposits that were still in situ, were limited to small areas and contained remains of wattle-and-daub dwelling structures. They seem to have been destroyed by fire: the layers alternated between ash, burnt floors and strata containing reddish soil and crumbled wall plaster fragments (with imprints of reeds/Typha sp., chaff and cereal grains) Apparently, stone foundations were only used when the structure was partially sunken into the soil, stone linings reinforced the edges. A construction was found in the southernmost part, next to an excavated Middle Neolithic building almost at the same elevation. The Early Neolithic construction was delimited by massive stone foundations and consisted of a badly burnt small room. It was filled with burnt plaster and timber (from collapsed roof and walls). Room A25 dates to 7280 +/- 70 BP and had an uncompleted plan because its southern side had been cut by an old excavation trench. The room was very small despite its thick walls, and contained unfired clay fragments (some with basket imprints)--> remains of non-mobile storage containers. The findings (plate, hemispherical bowl, stone grinder, stone celt, bone seal), combined with the limited space and heavy architecture suggest that this room was a storeroom (earliest storage architecture at settlement). The furniture was probably made of perishable materials (the same as the walls). Fireplaces and large chaff-clay containers with straight walls (coil technique) were found, containing carbonized seeds (mainly lentils) Botanical analyses: domestic cereals and cultivated legumes were abundant (lentils, peas, bitter vetch), there also were wild fruits (olives, figs, pistachios); domestic animals: mainly cattle and caprovines, some pigs, more goat than sheep. The earliest assemblage contained mostly adult caprovines and cattle, most of the suids were killed young --> pigs were being kept for their meat. caprovines and cattle also for milk and wool. Pigs were more frequent than in other Neolithic settlements in the Near East which could indicate a damp environment around the site. There was almost no hunting (except fish). This site was founded in the Early Neolithic within the phenomenon of the Neolithic "colonization" by newcomers from neighboring areas (probably from the Amuq Plain and related places because of similarities in the pottery).
Location of the Site

Finds in this Area
Interpretations related to this Area
Interpretation ID 85