Çayönü, Turkey

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A small 3 ha early Neolithic settlement in the valley of a tributary of the River Tigris in the Diyarbakir district of eastern Turkey. Excavated intermittently between 1964 and 1981 by Robert Braidwood, the occupation of the site begins about 7300 bc. Five main phases were identified, all aceramic. In phases I and II there were the fragmentary walls of rectangular houses and round pit‐ovens. The inhabitants of these phases were reliant on wild animals, but some traces of domesticated cereals were present. In phases IV and V domesticated sheep, goat, and pig were present alongside the domesticated cereals. Even in the later phases, however, hunting still made an important contribution to the economy. The site is also important for the quality of its architecture even from the earliest levels and the fact that in the later phases there is evidence for the small‐scale use of locally derived copper.


L. S. Braidwood and R. J. Braidwood (eds.), 1982, Prehistoric village archaeology in south‐eastern Turkey: the eighth‐millennium bc site of Çayönü: its chipped and ground stone industries and faunal remains. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports, International Series 138

Subjects: Archaeology.

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