Nevalı Çori

Nevalı Çori was an early Neolithic settlement on the middle Euphrates, in Şanlıurfa Province, Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey. The site is known for having some of the world's oldest known communal buildings and monumental sculpture. Together with the earlier site of Göbekli Tepe, it has revolutionised scientific understanding of the Eurasian Neolithic period. The oldest domesticated Einkorn wheat was found there.[1]

The settlement was located about 490 m above sea level, in the foothills of the Taurus Mountains, on both banks of the Kantara stream, a tributary of the Euphrates.

Nevalı Çori
Nevalı Çori is located in Near East
Nevalı Çori
Location of Nevalı Çori
Nevalı Çori is located in Turkey
Nevalı Çori
Nevalı Çori (Turkey)
Alternative nameNevali Çori (Turkish)
LocationHilvan, Şanlıurfa Province, Turkey
RegionMesopotamia
Coordinates37°31′6″N 38°36′20″E / 37.51833°N 38.60556°ECoordinates: 37°31′6″N 38°36′20″E / 37.51833°N 38.60556°E
History
Founded8400 BC
Abandoned8100 BC
PeriodsPre-Pottery Neolithic B
Site notes
ConditionSubmerged

Excavation

The site was examined from 1983 to 1991 in the context of rescue excavations during the erection of the Atatürk Dam below Samsat. Excavations were conducted by a team from the University of Heidelberg under the direction of Professor Harald Hauptmann. Together with numerous other archaeological sites in the vicinity, Nevalı Çori has since been inundated by the damming of the Euphrates.[2]

Archaeological chronology

Nevalı Çori could be placed within the local relative chronology on the basis of its flint tools. The occurrence of narrow unretouched Byblos-type points places it on Oliver Aurenche's Phase 3, i.e. early to middle Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB). Some tools indicate continuity into Phase 4, which is similar in date to Late PPNB. An even finer chronological distinction within Phase 3 is permitted by the settlement's architecture; the house type with underfloor channels, typical of Nevalı Çori strata I-IV, also characterises the "Intermediate Layer" at Çayönü, while the differing plan of the single building in stratum V, House 1, is more clearly connected to the buildings of the "Cellular Plan Layer" at Çayönü.

Common date

In terms of absolute dates, four radiocarbon dates have been determined for Nevalı Çori. Three are from Stratum II and date it with some certainty to the second half of the 9th millennium BC, which coincides with early dates from Çayönü and with Mureybet IVA and thus supports the relative chronology above. The fourth dates to the 10th millennium BC, which, if correct, would indicate the presence of an extremely early phase of PPNB at Nevalı Çori.[3]

Houses

Schachthuis
Archaeological illustration from Nevalı Çori, eastern Turkey

The settlement had five architectural levels. The excavated architectural remains were of long rectangular houses containing two to three parallel flights of rooms, interpreted as mezzanines. These are adjacent to a similarly rectangular ante-structure, subdivided by wall projections, which should be seen as a residential space. This type of house is characterized by thick, multi-layered foundations made of large angular cobbles and boulders, the gaps filled with smaller stones so as to provide a relatively even surface to support the superstructure. These foundations are interrupted every 1-1.5m by underfloor channels, at right angles to the main axis of the houses, which were covered in stone slabs but open to the sides. They may have served the drainage, aeration or the cooling of the houses. 23 such structures were excavated, they are strikingly similar to structures from the so-called channeled subphase at Çayönü.

An area in the northwest part of the village appears to be of special importance. Here, a cult complex had been cut into the hillside. It had three subsequent architectural phases, the most recent belonging to Stratum III, the middle one to Stratum II and the oldest to Stratum I. The two more recent phases also possessed a terrazzo-style lime cement floor, which did not survive from the oldest phase. Parallels are known from Cayönü and Göbekli Tepe. Monolithic pillars similar to those at Göbekli Tepe were built into its dry stone walls, its interior contained two free-standing pillars of 3 m height. The excavator assumes light flat roofs. Similar structures are only known from Göbekli Tepe so far.

Soundings cut to examine the western side of the valley also revealed rectilinear architecture in 2-3 layers.

Sculpture and clay figurines

UrfaMuseumNevaliCori
Fragment of Neolithic art from Nevalı Çori depicting a hunting scene

The local limestone was carved into numerous statues and smaller sculptures, including a more than life-sized bare human head with a snake or sikha-like tuft. There is also a statue of a bird. Some of the pillars also bore reliefs, including ones of human hands. The free-standing anthropomorphic figures of limestone excavated at Nevalı Çori belong to the earliest known life-size sculptures. Comparable material has been found at Göbekli Tepe.

Several hundred small clay figurines (about 5 cm high), most of them depicting humans, have been interpreted as votive offerings. They were fired at temperatures between 500-600 °C, which suggests the development of ceramic firing technology before the advent of pottery proper.

Bas relief

A bas relief on a fragment of a limestone bowl depicts two humans and one tortoise-like creature dancing.[4]

Burials

Some of the houses contained depositions of human skulls and incomplete skeletons.[5]

References

  1. ^ Haldorsen, S. et al. (2011). "The climate of the Younger Dryas as a boundary for Einkorn domestication". Veget. Hist. Archaeobot (2011) 20: 305. doi:10.1007/s00334-011-0291-5.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ The Archaeological Settlements of Turkey - TAY Project
  3. ^ Early Places Without Metals
  4. ^ Oliver Dietrich; et al. (Aug 2012). "The role of cult and feasting in the emergence of Neolithic communities. New evidence from Göbekli Tepe, south-eastern Turkey" (PDF). Antiquity. 86 (333): 674–695. doi:10.1017/S0003598X00047840. Figure 13.
  5. ^ Hauptmann, H., Ein Kultgebäude in Nevalı Çori, in: M. Frangipane u.a. (Hrsg.), Between the Rivers and over the Mountains, Archaeologica Anatolica et Mesopotamica Alba Palmieri dedicata (Rome 1993), p. 57

Literature

  • Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe (ed.): Die ältesten Monumente der Menschheit. Vor 12.000 Jahren in Anatolien, Begleitbuch zur Ausstellung im Badischen Landesmuseum vom 20. Januar bis zum 17. Juni 2007. Theiss, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-8062-2072-8.
  • MediaCultura (Hrsg.): Die ältesten Monumente der Menschheit. Vor 12.000 Jahren in Anatolien. DVD-ROM. Theiss, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-8062-2090-2.
  • Hauptmann, H. Nevalı Çori: Architektur, Anatolica 15, (1988) 99-110.
  • Hauptmann, H. Nevalı Çori: Eine Siedlung des akeramischen Neolithikums am mittleren Euphrat, Nürnberger Blätter 8/9, (1991/92) 15-33.
  • Hauptmann, H., Ein Kultgebäude in Nevalı Çori, in: M. Frangipane u.a. (Hrsg.), Between the Rivers and over the Mountains, Archaeologica Anatolica et Mesopotamica Alba Palmieri dedicata, (Rome 1993), 37-69.
  • Hauptmann, H., Frühneolithische Steingebäude in Südwestasien. In: Karl W. Beinhauer et al., Studien zur Megalithik: Forschungsstand und ethnoarchäologische Perspektiven / The megalithic phenomenon: recent research and ethnoarchaeological approaches, Beiträge zur Ur- und Frühgeschichte Mitteleuropas 21, (Mannheim 1999).
  • Morsch, M., Magic figurines? A view from Nevalı Çori, in: H.G.K. Gebel, Bo Dahl Hermansen and Charlott Hoffmann Jensen. (Hrsg.) Magic Practices and Ritual in the Near Eastern Neolithic, SENEPSE 8 (Berlin 2002).
  • Schmidt, K., Nevalı Çori: Zum Typenspektrum der Silexindustrie und der übrigen Kleinfunde, Anatolica 15, (1988) 161-202.

External links

8th millennium BC

The 8th millennium BC spanned the years 8000 BC to 7001 BC (c. 10 ka to c. 9 ka). It is impossible to precisely date events that happened around the time of this millennium and all dates mentioned here are estimates mostly based on geological and anthropological analysis.

Ariassus

Ariassus or Ariassos (Ancient Greek: Άριασσός) was a town in Pisidia, Asia Minor built on a steep hillside about 50 kilometres inland from Attaleia (modern Antalya).

Atatürk Dam

The Atatürk Dam (Turkish: Atatürk Barajı), originally the Karababa Dam, is a zoned rock-fill dam with a central core on the Euphrates River on the border of Adıyaman Province and Şanlıurfa Province in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey. Built both to generate electricity and to irrigate the plains in the region, it was renamed in honour of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881–1938), the founder of the Turkish Republic. The construction began in 1983 and was completed in 1990. The dam and the hydroelectric power plant, which went into service after the upfilling of the reservoir was completed in 1992, are operated by the State Hydraulic Works (DSİ). The reservoir created behind the dam, called Lake Atatürk Dam (Turkish: Atatürk Baraj Gölü), is the third largest in the world.

The dam is situated 23 km (14 mi) northwest of Bozova, Şanlıurfa Province, on state road D-875 from Bozova to Adıyaman. Centerpiece of the 22 dams on the Euphrates and the Tigris, which comprise the integrated, multi-sector, Southeastern Anatolia Project (Turkish: Güney Doğu Anadolu Projesi, known as GAP), it is one of the world's largest dams. The Atatürk Dam, one of the five operational dams on the Euphrates as of 2008, was preceded by Keban and Karakaya dams upstream and followed by Birecik and the Karkamış dams downstream. Two more dams on the river have been under construction.

The dam embankment is 169 m high (554 ft) and 1,820 m long (5,970 ft). The hydroelectric power plant (HEPP) has a total installed power capacity of 2,400 MW and generates 8,900 GW·h electricity annually.

The total cost of the dam project was about US$1,250,000,000.The dam was depicted on the reverse of the Turkish one-million-lira banknotes of 1995–2005 and of the 1 new lira banknote of 2005–2009.

Caloe

Caloe was a town in the Roman province of Asia. It is mentioned as Kaloe or Keloue in 3rd-century inscriptions, as Kalose in Hierocles's Synecdemos (660), and as Kalloe, Kaloe, and Kolone in Parthey's Notitiæ episcopatuum, in which it figures from the 6th to the 12fth or 13th century.

Cestrus

Cestrus was a city in the Roman province of Isauria, in Asia Minor. Its placing within Isauria is given by Hierocles, Georgius Cyprius, and Parthey's (Notitiae episcopatuum). While recognizing what the ancient sources said, Lequien supposed that the town, whose site has not been identified, took its name from the River Cestros and was thus in Pamphylia. Following Lequien's hypothesis, the 19th-century annual publication Gerarchia cattolica identified the town with "Ak-Sou", which Sophrone Pétridès called an odd mistake, since this is the name of the River Cestros, not of a city.

Cotenna

Cotenna was a city in the Roman province of Pamphylia I in Asia Minor. It corresponds to modern Gödene, near Konya, Turkey.

Docimium

Docimium, Docimia or Docimeium (Greek: Δοκίμια and Δοκίμειον) was an ancient city of Phrygia, Asia Minor where there were famous marble quarries.

Drizipara

Drizipara (or Druzipara, Drousipara. Drusipara) now Karıştıran (Büyükkarıştıran) in Lüleburgaz district was a city and a residential episcopal see in the Roman province of Europa in the civil diocese of Thrace. It is now a titular see of the Catholic Church.

Göbekli Tepe

Göbekli Tepe (Turkish: [ɟœbecˈli teˈpe], Turkish for "Potbelly Hill") is an archaeological site in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey approximately 12 km (7 mi) northeast of the city of Şanlıurfa. The tell has a height of 15 m (49 ft) and is about 300 m (980 ft) in diameter. It is approximately 760 m (2,490 ft) above sea level.

The tell includes two phases of use, believed to be of a social or ritual nature by site discoverer and excavator Klaus Schmidt, dating back to the 10th–8th millennium BCE. During the first phase, belonging to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA), circles of massive T-shaped stone pillars were erected – the world's oldest known megaliths.More than 200 pillars in about 20 circles are currently known through geophysical surveys. Each pillar has a height of up to 6 m (20 ft) and weighs up to 10 tons. They are fitted into sockets that were hewn out of the bedrock. In the second phase, belonging to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB), the erected pillars are smaller and stood in rectangular rooms with floors of polished lime. The site was abandoned after the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB). Younger structures date to classical times.

The details of the structure's function remain a mystery. It was partially excavated by a German archaeological team under the direction of Schmidt from 1996 until his death in 2014. In 2018, the site was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Inside the Neolithic Mind

Inside the Neolithic Mind: Consciousness, Cosmos and the Realm of the Gods is a cognitive archaeological study of Neolithic religious beliefs in Europe co-written by the archaeologists David Lewis-Williams and David Pearce, both of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was first published by Thames and Hudson in 2005. Following on from Lewis-Williams' earlier work, The Mind in the Cave (2002), the book discusses the role of human cognition in the development of religion and Neolithic art.

The premise of Inside the Neolithic Mind is that irrespective of cultural differences, all humans share in the ability to enter into altered states of consciousness, in which they experience entoptic phenomenon, which the authors discern as a three-stage process leading to visionary experiences. Arguing that such altered experiences have provided the background to religious beliefs and some artistic creativity throughout human history, they focus their attention on the Neolithic, or "New Stone Age" period, when across Europe, communities abandoned their nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyles and settled to become sedentary agriculturalists.

Adopting case studies from the opposite ends of Neolithic Europe, Lewis-Williams and Pearce discuss the archaeological evidence from both the Near East – including such sites as Nevalı Çori, Göbekli Tepe and Çatalhöyük – and Atlantic Europe, including the sites of Newgrange, Knowth and Bryn Celli Ddu. The authors argue that these monuments illustrate the influence of altered states of consciousness in constructing cosmological views of a tiered universe, in doing so drawing ethnographic parallels with shamanistic cultures in Siberia and Amazonia.

Academic reviews published in such peer-reviewed journals as Antiquity were mixed. Critics argued that the use of evidence was selective, and that there was insufficient evidence for the authors' three-stage model of entopic phenomenon. Others praised the accessible and engaging writing style.

List of ancient settlements in Turkey

Below is the list of ancient settlements in Turkey. There are innumerable ruins of ancient settlements spread all over the country. While some ruins date back to Neolithic times, most of them were settlements of Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians, Ionians, Urartians, and so on.

Lyrbe

Lyrbe (spelled Lyrba in the 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia; Ancient Greek: Λύρβη) was a city and episcopal see in the Roman province of Pamphylia Prima and is now a titular see.

Stratonicea (Lydia)

Stratonicea – (Greek: Στρατoνικεια, or Στρατονίκεια) also transliterated as Stratoniceia and Stratonikeia, earlier Indi, and later for a time Hadrianapolis – was an ancient city in the valley of the Caicus river, between Germe and Acrasus, in Lydia, Anatolia; its site is currently near the village of Siledik, in the district of Kırkağaç, Manisa Province, in the Aegean Region of Turkey.

Tektek Mountains

The Tektek Mountains (Turkish: Tektek Dağlari, also Tektek Dagh) are a range of mountains located east of Şanlıurfa (Urfa, formerly Edessa) in southeastern Turkey near the border with Syria.The Tektek Mountains are known for the proliferation of large stone markers and cairns at summit of every height. There are also at least two ancient sites located there: Karahan Tepe and Sumatar Harabesi.

Terrazzo

Terrazzo is a composite material, poured in place or precast, which is used for floor and wall treatments. It consists of chips of marble, quartz, granite, glass, or other suitable material, poured with a cementitious binder (for chemical binding), polymeric (for physical binding), or a combination of both. Metal strips often divide sections, or changes in color or material in a pattern. Additional chips may be sprinkled atop the mix before it sets. After it is cured it is ground and polished smooth or otherwise finished to produce a uniformly textured surface.

Urfa Man

The Urfa man, also known as the Balıklıgöl statue, is an ancient anthropomorphological statue found in excavations in Balıklıgöl near Urfa, in the geographical area of Upper Mesopotamia, in the southeast of modern Turkey. It is dated circa 9000 BC to the period of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic, and is considered as "the oldest naturalistic life-sized sculpture of a human". It is considered as contemporaneous with the sites of Göbekli Tepe (Pre-Pottery Neolithic A/B) and Nevalı Çori (Pre-Pottery Neolithic B).

Üçayaklı ruins

The Üçayaklı ruins are in Mersin Province, Turkey.

Şanlıurfa Museum

Şanlıurfa Museum (Turkish: Şanlıurfa Müzesi) is an archaeological museum in Şanlıurfa, Turkey. It is located at 11 Nisan Fuar Caddesi, Şanlıurfa (across the Şanlıurfa Piazza Mall). In this Museum, findings from the surrounding area, i. e. from Göbekli Tepe or Harran, and from the Southeastern Anatolia Project are exhibited.

The new museum inaugurated in 2015 has 3 floors and covers 2,500 square meters of indoor space. The old museum located at Çamlık Caddesi was opened in 1969 with a display area of 1500sq.m. Later on annexes were added. Before that, archaeological finds were displayed in the rooms of the Şehit-Nüsret-elementary school, therefore in Atatürk-elementary school.

Şanlıurfa Province

Şanlıurfa Province (Turkish: Şanlıurfa ili) or simply Urfa Province is a province in southeastern Turkey. The city of Şanlıurfa is the capital of the province which bears its name. The population is 1,845,667 (2014).

The province is famous for its Abrahamic sites such as Balıklıgöl, where Prophet Abraham was cast by Nimrod into fire that is believed to have turned to water, and Mevlid-i Halil Mosque where Abraham was born in the cave next to the mosque. Also lying within the district, approximately 12 km (7 mi) northeast of the city of Şanlıurfa, is the pre-historic site of Göbekli Tepe, where continuing excavations have unearthed 12,000-year-old sanctuaries dating from the early Neolithic period, considered to be the oldest temples in the world, predating Stonehenge by 6,000 years.

Population in 1990 was 1,001,455; 551,124 in the district centers, 450,331 in rural villages. By 2000, the population of Şanlıurfa province had grown to 1,436,956 and that of Urfa city, 829,000. Its provincial capital is the city of Urfa, the traffic code is 63.

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