Geoarchaeological research at Barcın Höyük: implications for the Neolithisation of northwest Anatolia

M.R. Groenhuijzen, S.J. Kluiving, F. Gerritsen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Landscape archaeological research has been undertaken on the mound of Barcin Höyük in northwest Anatolia, Turkey. It is the oldest Neolithic site in the region, making it of particular interest in regard to the spread of farming from the regions of origin (southeast and central Anatolia) to northwest Anatolia. This study shows that the site was founded approximately 8550 a cal BP on a natural elevation in a generally wet environment, at the edge of a retreating lake. The site was subject to environmental shifts in younger periods, with a phase of arid conditions and erosion at least prior to the Bronze Age, succeeded by a phase of more humid conditions and rising lake levels mostly in the last two millennia, and finally a return to arid conditions and declining lake levels. Considering the Neolithic environmental conditions, the local environment of Barcin Höyük resembled the local environment of Çatalhöyük, a central Anatolian site. This suggests that despite the general differences between the regions, the earliest sedentary population of northwest Anatolia favoured local conditions similar to those of central Anatolia, while younger sites in the aforementioned region diverge to slightly different localities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-61
Number of pages11
JournalQuaternary International
Early online date24 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2015


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