Area 752

Main Information
Area ID 752
Site Köşk Höyük
Area type settlement
Area NR
Period Anatolia: Early Neolithic 7000 - 6600
Anatolia: Middle Neolithic
Anatolia: Late Neolithic 6600 - 6000
Anatolia: Early Chalcolithic 6000 - 5500
Dating method material culture
Radiocarbon dated None
Earliest date: Lab Number
Earliest date: 14C age (BP) None
Earliest date: Calibration None
Earliest date: 14C age calibrated (BC) None
Earliest date: Date of calibration None
Earliest date: Standard deviation None
Earliest date: Delta 13C None
Earliest date: Dated by
Latest date: Lab Number
Latest date: 14C age (BP) None
Latest date: Calibration None
Latest date: 14C age calibrated (BC) None
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
Öztan, A., Köşk Höyük. A Neolithic Settlement in Niğde-Bor Plateau, Istanbul 2011, None, None
Comment Pottery Neolithic, from ca. 6500 up to ca. 5000 BC
Settlement type tell
Settlement structure
Settlement building type
Settlement building shape rectangular
Settlement building technique mud brick
plaster wall
Settlement archaeological features bench
clay structure
plastered floor
stone platform
wall painting
waste pit
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 none recorded
pit grave
Grave: type of human remains inhumation
secondary deposition
Grave: estimated number of individuals
Grave: age groups adult
infans I (0-6)
Grave: sexes female individuals
male individuals
Grave: number of female sex None
Grave: number of male sex None
Grave: number of not specified sex None
Grave: disturbance of graves
Description The initial settlement was founded on top of a rocky area during the Pottery Neolithic and continued up to the beginning of the Early Chalcolithic. It was deserted shortly after a fire around 5000 BC (new buildings were constructed in the Late Iron Age, the Late Hellenistic Period, the Roman period, the Middle Ages; the area was used as a cemetery during Late Roman and Byzantine Periods, as well as the early days of the Turkish Republic). It measured 100 x 90 m. In the northernmost segment, the archaeological deposits is between 4,5 to 6 m thick. The first settlers in the Neolithic leveled three terraces along the northern slope of the hill and built their houses on them. The rocky area formed a natural border, so the settlement could only expand to the east and south. The highest terrace (40 x 30 m, oriented east-west) is almost the center of the inhabited area. The second terrace lies to the north of the first one, the third terrace lay northwest to the second one, nearest to the water source. The earliest structures consisted of mud bricks of yellowish clay, which were placed straight on the bedrock. There also were buildings with stone walls and larger rooms. These two types of buildings had common characteristics in plan and in some features (e.g. trash pits carved into the bedrock, diameter 60 -130 cm). The buildings' floors were covered with a layer of packed mud in order to even the surface of the bedrock. The Neolithic period is visible in Level II-V, with at least two renewal phases, but the architectural features were consistent in the Neolithic. The remains of Level II have been disturbed in most parts of the site by deep foundations, dug in the Early Chalcolithic Level I; Level II also was bigger than Levels IV and V. The main construction material was lime stone, in Levels III and V mud bricks were used occasionally. The walls were built with medium-sized stones in single or double rows, with mud mortar and thick layers of clay plaster (the plaster also covered the compressed earthen floors); some walls were painted with whitewash or light orange paints. The Neolithic houses of Levels II-IV had rectangular or more or less square rooms (2 to 4 rooms per house), with at least one bench in the bigger room of each house. The benches were situated in the corners, sometimes set against the middle of the wall facing the entrance; two or three sides of the benches were made of stones; the benches were 45 to 60 cm high, filled with soil and plastered smoothly on the tops. There also were stone platforms and at least one hearth in each house. Box-like installations of clay in various sizes were found in almost every room. Each house had a small room that was equipped with a grinding stone or pestles. One house of Level III had a four-stepped stone stairway. Modifications over time: some rooms have been divided into smaller sections by a wall, sometimes rooms have been connected, sometimes new rooms have been added to the main buildings (for new functions?); because of these alterations, the location of the doors had to be changed sometimes; --> the houses were used over a long span of time; sometimes, installations like the hearth, oven or storage bins were placed outside the houses due to changes on the inside. The floors throughout the interior space were either at the same or at a slightly different elevation. Some walls are preserved up to a height of 1,5 m. The houses probably were flat-roofed. They stood quite near to each other and had narrow passageways, irregular streets and small squares between them. A section outside of the housing compounds seems to have been used as a burial place (e.g in Level III). In Level III, the building complexes developed around narrow streets and squares. The houses of each complex were adjacent to each other and had several rooms, even though they were smaller than in earlier levels. Benches, hearths and clay compartments took up almost all of the space. The hearths adjacent to the benches had an outer frame with corners. Around the main rooms, small partitions for the basic needs were added (e.g. storage of raw material, tools; one find is a complete deer antler, deer teeth and stone beads). A lot of finds were made in situ in the spaces of Level III (e.g. pottery, grinding stones, pestles, bone-objects). One house of Level III had a wall painting on the west wall of a big room in the center. It was painted directly on the mud plaster, 1,3 x 0,9 m big and started right next to a platform in the south corner of the room. It depicted 20 figures dancing or hunting in various poses around a deer (or a long horned animal), painted in red, yellow, white and black (the animal was red, with yellow paint on the horn and the tip of the nose). The animal is shown with its tongue sticking out. The humans were painted with arms above/one arm up, one down/both arms down, in yellow, red and white. Some figures had knee-length, triangular kilt-like clothing below the waists, some held bows in their hands. The characteristics of the painting are very similar to the Çatalhöyük paintings. Level IV was disturbed so badly by the building activities of Level III that the complete plan of the houses can't be determined. Still, it is evident that this level had two phases and houses with irregular rectangular plans and two or three rooms. The hearths were placed in the corners or in the center in front of the walls. They always were rounded and consisted of small stones. Sometimes small, square (in one case a round one with a built-in compartment complex) storage rooms were added to one side of a house. One house of Level IV (situated in square H/11) was rectangular and divided into two by a thin wall near the middle. One room in the south was at a higher floor level. A cache of beads was found in an ashy fill in a large area northern of this house. The hundreds of beads were mostly made of clay and stone, sometimes shells, and broken in two. The intact ones show holes in their middle, but these holes are too small for stringing. The beads were cylindrical or spherical, the butt-ends of some cylindrical ones are triangular or rectangular prisms. Pieces of bone that had been finely cut and thinned on one end, were found together with the beads; they indicate that this area was used as a bead-workshop. In the same area, more than ten trash pits were found, some were dug down to the bedrock. They contained broken or wrongly drilled beads --> the pits were open for discarded pieces from the workshops. Most of the clay beads were painted turquoise; similar beads made of terracotta were found in Levels III and II. They were painted with molybdenum powder. The buildings from the lowermost Level V, set directly on the leveled bedrock, were badly destroyed by the levels above them. Still, they show a general resemblance to the other levels. The houses had several rooms and were made of mud bricks of yellow clay in sizes 70 x 35 x 10 cm. The mud bricks were lain in a single row on the bedrock, the floors were plastered with mud an varied in height. In almost every house, there was a pit carved into the bedrock; they sometimes contained animal bones (wild horses, donkeys, cows). Burials were found in Levels II-III. Most of the dead were buried inside the houses (under the benches or walls); they were fetuses, infants or children (one exception: a fetus was placed in a jug and thrown into an ash heap on a street in Level III). Adult burials were few. They were buried in empty areas on the outskirts of the housing areas in collective graves. Inhumations and pot-graves occurred, sometimes both types together in the same level or building. The inhumated bodies were sometimes covered with pot shards. They all were buried in a hocker position, but their orientation varies considerably and probably was not important. Gifts: relief-decorated shards, god/goddess figurines, seals, bracelets, rings, necklaces, bone/stone tools, pots in various forms; in each grave, there was at least one gift. Another practice was plastering and reconstructing the skulls with clay. The faces of the excaranted skulls were shaped, roughly or naturally, with clay. The eyes were made of pieces of clay, placed directly in the eye-hole. The pupil was either made of black stones or clay. Some of the skulls were painted with ochre. The heads were kept on the benches in the houses or buried underneath them. This method was used on men, women and children. One burial from Level III was an earth grave set into the empty space between the houses, but the walls of the houses bordered the pit grave. The northern pit-wall consisted of two vertically laid mud bricks. The buried adult lay in a hocker position, the missing (later dug out) head probably faced north. Two small vases (one decorated with a relief animal head) were placed between the knees and arms in front of the head, one pot was placed next to the hips. The only burial from Layer IV consists of a pit grave near a wall. In it, an infant was buried in a hocker position, oriented southeast-northwest. There were bracelets of clay beads of turquoise color on its wrists; some clay beads, painted the same way, one marble, one stone and one shell bead probably belonged to a necklace. Next to the infant, there were two feeding bowls, one with fresh water mollusks in- and outside of it. Another mollusk was left on top of the grave. There seems to have been a lime plastering above the grave. 30 cm beneath the earth fill, under a bench with clay plastered skulls on it (mentioned above), more clay-plastered skulls were found in 2006. They were placed within a box-like compartment of 40 cm, made of limestone plaques, 2 cm thick, built along the wall of the bench on the north of a Level II house. 4 skulls were stuck together, one was placed separately with its face down (the separate skull was painted ocher and belonged to a young adult). These skulls seem to have been placed straight in the house floor, with burial gifts (ocher-painted terracotta figurine-fragments, 2 bowls, a small cup, a fruit-stand, and a bone tool), and enclosed by stone plaques, and later this area was turned into a bench. The two earliest levels, around 6000 BC, are almost identical to Level 3 of Tepecik-Çiftlik.
Location of the Site

Finds in this Area
Interpretations related to this Area
Interpretation ID 91
ID 92