Area 767

Main Information
Area ID 767
Site Aşıklı
Area type settlement
Area NR
Period Anatolia: Pre-Pottery Neolithic B 8800 - 7000
Dating method material culture
radiocarbon dating
Radiocarbon dated yes
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
Özbaşaran, M., Aşıklı, None, None
Comment Level 2 dates into the 8th millennium.
Settlement type tell
Settlement structure enclosure: wall
houses: agglutinated
Settlement building type one-room
Settlement building shape rectangular
Settlement building technique mud brick
plaster wall
stone lining
Settlement archaeological features bench
paved area
plastered floor
post hole
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 3
Grave type pit grave
Grave: type of human remains inhumation
Grave: estimated number of individuals 5
Grave: age groups adult
age not specified
Grave: sexes female individuals
male individuals
Grave: number of female sex 2
Grave: number of male sex 1
Grave: number of not specified sex 2
Grave: disturbance of graves
Description Although there are 10 building phases in Level 2, only the first three show architectural remains (phases 2A-C). The building phases don't correspond to the settlement phases, therefore the buildings have to be studied as separate entities; no synchronous re-/buildings took place. In phases 2 A-C, several buildings were clustered together, with narrow spaces or alleyways between them (0,5 - 1 m). Open areas were used as middens and separated the clusters from each other. The buildings stood next to each other like "row-houses", but didn't share walls (each building had its own 4 walls). The houses had one or two, rarely three rooms; there were openings in partition walls of the multi-room buildings, but there was no communication between neighboring buildings --> the openings provided inside access between individual rooms. Communication between houses was maybe possible via roof. There were no doors in the exterior mudbrick walls, but there were window-like openings high up in the walls or on the roof (--> portable ladders); the roof was used intensively for daily activities. Some floors showed traces of mats woven from reeds and shallow holes for wooden posts that supported the roof. Hearths were placed in the corners, some in the southern half of the building, with chimney holes; the hearts were surrounded by large flat stones set vertically into the ground. The floors were paved with pebbles, sometimes the pavement was plastered with a thick layer of clay later on. Walls and floors were sometimes plastered with clay, and in some rooms the plaster was carefully renewed at intervals. Kerpiç blocks --> length: 0,9 - 1 m/60 cm/30 - 45 cm, width: 25 - 30 cm, thickness: 6 - 8 mm. cluster = group of buildings; neighborhood = group of clusters ( also definable by streets and/or green areas that were mainly used as dumps); the middens were used communally by the surrounding neighborhoods and could have served as ateliers (for bone-, antler-, obsidian-tool production), for butchering, cleaning or distribution of food (from hunt and harvest); the dumps, (e.g. from the midden in the deep trench 4 GH, which was used from the earliest phase of Level 2 to the latest) used to be burnt intentionally or was occasionally covered by ash soil (--> regular thin lenses of ash lay over the residues and burnt material); The continuity of buildings (and open spaces) can be observed the best in Level 2, the best example is from the south section of the deep trench 4 GH, where a kerpiç-building and a midden stayed in the same location throughout the sequence. The west wall of the building was rebuilt on the same spot (the new one on top of the old one), the east wall was built slightly in- or outside the old one, therefore reducing or enlarging the interior space; also the hearth was rebuilt on the same spot in 5 building phases. In the northern part of the settlement lay the residential quarter of the 8th millennium, and in its south there was a gravel street that separated the dwelling area from the southern quarter. In the southern quarter, there was a building (2 structures) completely different in plan and construction: Structure HV is a case-mate-like construction adjacent to the street. To the west of the structure HV lies a pavement (large mudbrick blocks), and on the pavement were large bases (maybe for posts). Building T: southern of structure HV; quadrangular structure, walls made of kerpiç blocks, floors and interior walls had lime plaster and were painted red; the southern half of the earliest floor (first of 3 phases) was restored and painted yellow (with iron oxide); inside the building were pits for large wooden posts, large hearths were placed against the east wall; on the east-side, there was a canal for drainage that led to the exterior (in an earlier phase, the canal ran through the south-wall); on the east-wall, there was a low bench (made of lime plaster, painted red like the floor). In the adjacent space HG stood a large domed mudbrick oven, which floor was paved with blocks of basalt (later on, the blocks were plastered with clay). Under the room AB, two burial pits were found in this building. In the first one lay a young woman with an elderly man, in the second one there was a baby and young woman who showed remains of a brain surgery (trepanation) which she survived, but died about a week later. The interior walls of room AB were painted red. In conclusion, the building complex and ancillary structures in the south were special and differed from the kerpiç buildings in the residential quarter, therefore they were built for a special purpose and special occasions (red paint indicates a symbolic character); in this complex, cattle bones were dominant (unlike the other areas); found lithics were special: bigger size of tools, larger blades, the production level of the lithics were much higher than in other contexts --> maybe this area was used for communal activities and the buildings were for public use; There was a northwest-southeast oriented gravel street that forks into two narrow streets (one in the northeast, one in the southeast), and an alleyway to the northeast leads to a small open area, covered with gravel --> another neighborhood had been constructed in this area (the characteristics of the buildings and the internal architectural features show a resemblance to the other dwelling area, therefore this one was also used for residential purposes) In the latest phase of Level 2, a cluster building was constructed in the northeast of the settlement. It was enclosed by a stone wall that continued in s-curves to the southeast. A side street follows this wall, narrowing to the west. The wall was made of large stone blocks (tuff, andesite, limestone etc.), kerpiç blocks and smaller stones in the interstices. The building was, unlike the other ones, set on stone foundations. The interior walls and floors of some structures were painted red. There was a storage room adjoining to the open area with a row of storage bins (made of thin mudbrick slabs) leaning against all four walls. In the open space close to the building was a grave (skeleton in poor condition). Concluding, this building is similar to the special buildings in the southern part of the settlement. Maybe this other building was out of use in the later phase of Level 2, so it was shifted here later. Subsistence and daily life: The material found in the upper phases of Level 2 indicate a varied diet (game from hunting, cereals, plants, fruits, both from growing and collecting) cultivated plants: einkorn, emmer, durum wheat and barley; legumes: peas, chickpeas, lentils, bitter vetch; wild fruits: red hackberry (Celtis tourneforti), almond, pistachio; consumed animals: lots of sheep, goat and cattle, a little less pig, horse and deer, some rabbit, fish and birds (lesser than in the 9th millennium) proto-domestication of sheep and goat took place; tools: made of bone, antler and obsidian (the obsidian came mostly from Kayırlı-Bitlikeler, only about 3% from Nenezi and Kömürcü-Kaletepe). The obsidian was imported in the form of nodules, flaking and shaping took place in the settlement (blade technology --> bi-directional and unidirectional knapping techniques). Various groups of the community did the knapping, therefore no specialization and standardization can be observed. First, thick flakes were removed, then thin ones. A lot of scrapers were found, formed on thick flakes; also found were retouched tools, notched and pointed blades, arrowheads, borers, burins, splintered pieces and microliths (few geometrics, more from the earlier phase of Level 2). Three different groups of arrowheads occur Three different groups of arrowheads occur. Typical for Aşıklı: one-shouldered, tanged with abrupt retouch, its function is debatable (for leather working, cutting, splitting wood, producing bone implements, some pieces showed traces of being used in harvesting wild or cultivated plants) The largest tool group in the bone/antler industry was awls (scraping, grooving, percussion), shaped from quarters or narrower splinters cut from metapodials or tibiae of small-bodied ruminants (sheep/goat); there was no standardization in débitage and shaping Some tools, especially awls, show traces of burning (fire-hardened tips --> the tools were used for piercing harder materials); belt hooks and tubular beads belonged to the elaborately worked bone tools; ground stone industry: used for grinding, pounding, cutting and miscellaneous things; finds: stone cups, chisels, polishing stones, shaft straighteners, large and heavy grinding stones (more than 10 kg), some secondarily used grinding stones (one side was worn, so the other side was used), mortars and pestles made of porous basalt or andesite, very few stone vessels, most of them fragmentary and usually made of tuff or limestone, chisels and polished axes in various sizes (used for wood working); beads were widely manufactured, mostly of stones, made on-site out of preforms, red limestone or chalcedony types were used, there also were beads made of pierced deer-teeth and native copper (made by beating copper sheets in heated or cold condition and cutting the sheet into thin strips, then the strip was rolled or twisted into shape; or made of small nuggets that were shaped into a small bi-conical mass, then pierced with a hot, pointed implement); most stone and copper beads were found in burial pits, placed around necks or wrists (either placed as gifts, or they were just personal ornaments of the dead); figurines: very rare, only one animal figurine (ox or boar) can be identified for sure, the rest was too fragmentary, except for a tiny clay horn fragment that was probably split off a cow-figurine; most small finds were found in the external areas, middens and narrow spaces between buildings --> because of the frequent rebuilding of the settlement, in-situ finds within buildings were rare (rooms were emptied before rebuilding) most important tasks of settlers: construction and/or renewal of buildings, hunting, gathering, maybe early animal husbandry, cultivation and harvest of wild and domestic cereals and legumes (--> full-time jobs in some seasons), obsidian procurement and knapping (--> quarrying tuff, andesite, basalt and other stones, transport and shaping), leather working, basketry, bead making as daily activities; only few containers and stone cups were found, which indicates an intense manufacture of organic materials (pouches, sacks) as containers; lots of awls -->probably intense manufacture of baskets and leather making; there is no evidence for a vertical hierarchy in the residential areas, but there also were the buildings in the southern section which were not used as residential units --> this layout is similar to Musular, a settlement about 300 - 400 m west of Aşıklı, also with a public (?) building for public activities, with a lot of animal bones found there (especially cattle, which would have provided much meat and therefore for the consumption of many people in ceremonies (?)); obsidian found in the southern area, also a unique obsidian bracelet; domestic cereals were present from the earliest level; sheep and goats were managed by the community (dung inside the settlement --> animal captivity within the site); there are similarities between Aşıklı and contemporary sites in Central Anatolia (settlement layout, architectural practices, clustered neighborhood layout, use of kerpiç, entrances to buildings in roof, building continuity), but there is no confirmation of close interactions of the sites.
Location of the Site

Reference Güldoğan, E., Aşıklı Höyük Sürtme Taş Buluntu Topluluğu, 2011, None, None
Astruc, L.; Vargiolu, R.; Tkaya, M. Ben; Balkan-Atlı, N.; Özbaşaran, M.; Zahouani, H., Multi-Scale Tribological Analysis of the Technique of Manufacture of an Obsidian Bracelet from Aşıklı Höyük (Aceramic Neolithic, Central Anatolia), 2011,
Bains, R., Preliminary Report on Beads. Unpublished Report, 2009., None, None
Buitenhuis, H., Archaeozoology of Holocene in Anatolia: A Review; Ankara 1996, None, None
Özdoğan, Mehmet, The Neolithic in Turkey. New Excavations & New Research. Central Turkey, None, None
Yıldırım-Balcı, S., The Typological Analysis of the Aşıklı Arrowheads and Problems, 2011, Berlin
Esin, U., Akeramik Neolitik Evrede Aşıklı Höyük, 1994,
Buitenhuis, H., Aşıklı Höyük: a protodomestication site, 1997, None, None
Yıldırım-Balci, S., The Aşıklı Höyük Obsidian Technology, 2011,
Esin, U. - Bıçakçı, E. - Özbaşaran, M. - Balkan-Atlı, N. - Berker, D. - Yağmur, I. - Korkut-Atlı, A., Salvage Excavations at the Pre-Pottery Site of Aşıklı Höyük in Central Anatolia (1991), None, None
Özbek, M., Aşıklı Höyük Neolitik İnsanları, 1992, None, None
Cauvin, M.-C., L'obsidienne Dans Le Proche-Orient préhistorique: État des recherches en 196, None, None
Esin, U., The Aceramic Site of Aşıklı and its Ecological Conditions Based on its Floral and Faunal Remains, 1998b, None, None
Esin, U., Onbin Yil Öncesinde Aşıklı:İç Anadolu'da Bir Yerleşim Modeli, Istanbul 1996, None, None
Özbaşaran, M., The Neolithic on the Plateau, 2011, Oxford
Hauptmann, A. - Yalçın, Ü., , Lime plaster, Cement and the First Puzzolanic Reaction, 2000, None, None
Esin, U., Hunted Animals at Aşıklı and the Environment, Budapest 1998c, None, None
Esin, U.; Harmankaya, S., Aşıklı, 1999, Istanbul
Özbaşaran, M., The Neolithic Site of Musular- Central Anatolia, 2000, None, None
Esin, U.; Harmankaya, S., Aşıklı Höyük, 2007, Istanbul
Esin, U., Paleolitik'ten İlk Tunç Çağı'nın Sonuna: Tarihöncesi Çağların Kapadokyası, Istanbul 1998a, None, None
Özbek, M., Human Skeletal Remains from Aşıklı, A Neolithic Village Near Aksaray, Turkey, Istanbul 1998, None, None
van Zeist, W.; de Roller, G. J., Plant Remains from Aşıklı Höyk, a Pre-Pottery Neolithic Site in Central Anatolia, 1995,
Balkan-Atli, N., Binder, D., , Asıklı Höyük (Aksaray) Yontma Taş Endüstrisinin Teknolojik ve Tipolojik Acidan İncelenmesi, 1993, None, None
Finds in this Area