Hacilar, Turkey

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A small Neolithic settlement in the Taurus Mountains of southwest Turkey, excavated by James Mellaart in the 1950s. The earliest levels, dated to the 7th millennium bc, were aceramic and comprised small rectangular houses made from mud brick. These levels did, however, include domesticated crops (wheat, barley, and lentils). Bones of sheep and cattle were found, but they are not certainly domesticated. After a period of abandonment the site was reoccupied in the early 6th millennium bc. This new settlement had substantial rectangular houses, made of mud brick or timber and daub on stone foundations. They were finished internally in plaster; some were painted. Mortars, querns, and braziers were fitted into the floors. The kitchen area was separate and there was an upper level for storage. The occupants of this late Neolithic village used monochrome red and brown pottery. Figurines were also made. The upper levels (V to I) were Chalcolithic, around 5000 bc, and by this time the village had been fortified by the construction of a defensive wall.


J. Mellaart, 1961, Hacilar: a Neolithic village site. Scientific American, 205(2), 86–97

Subjects: Archaeology.

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