The excavations were conducted by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Sanliurfa Meseum, Cukurova University. Assoc. Dr. Its is carried out with the participation of Fatma Sahin.
At the beginning.
Çakmaktepe, a sedentary hunter-gatherer community before Göbeklitepe
The lecture will present for the first time the preliminary results of two excavation seasons at Çakmatepe, an Late Epipalaeolithic and early Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (ca 10500-9500 BCE) settlement located some 30km from the UNESCO World Heritage site of Göbeklitepe. Its investigation is carried out under the aegis of the Şanlıurfa Neolithic Taş Tepeler Research Project, one of the largest regional archaeological projects in modern Turkey.
Çakmatepe, whose excavation started a few months after its discovery in 2021, is currently the earliest excavated site in the region and two fieldwork seasons have already uncovered significant evidence for the existence of sedentary hunter-gatherer communities, several millennia before the advent of plant and animal domestication. Some of the stone structures (some up to 15 m in diameter) investigated seem to be clear precursors to the complexes of Göbeklitepe, providing an analytical context to study the beginnings of monumentality and sedentism in the region. In parallel with the excavation, a broader survey to the west of Şanlıurfa is also uncovering evidence for hunting camps and hunting traps (the so-called “desert kites”) that are contemporary with the Çakmatepe community, allowing to study these processing in their broader landscape.