©The Archaeological Settlements of Turkey - TAY Project


Bademagaci

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Bademağacı
Type:
Mound
Altitude:
780 m
Region:
Mediterranean
Province:
Antalya
District:
Merkez
Village:
Bademagaci
Investigation Method:
Excavation
Period:
Ceramic

     


Location: This site is in the Antalya province; about 2 km north of the village of Bademagaci. It is 50 km from the Antalya city center and 20 km from the Bucak Municipality [Duru 1995a:69] and it is located on the eastern side of the Antalya-Isparta road.
Geography and Environment: This mound; which used to be known as Kizilkaya; lies at the southern border of "Göller Bölgesi" (the Lakes Region) and 5 km north of the Çubuk Beli natural gorge between the Taurus Mountains and the flat Antalya Plain where the modern highway has been built [Duru 1995a: 69; 1996b: 49]. The site; surrounded by mountains on all sides; lies in a low plain. The mound is 9 m above the level of the plain and has a 210 m diameter north-south and 120 m diameter east-west. It is believed that virgin soil is 2-3 m beneath the level of the plain [Duru 1995a: 69-70;73]. The excavations are being carried out on the eastern section and the cultivated area on the west reaches this excavated part of the mound. The mound was measured 200x100 m horizontally and 7m high from the sea level in 2010 [Umurtak 2011:35].
History:
Research and Excavation: The research conducted by R. Duru confirmed that the mound discovered in 1958 by D. French and called Kizilkaya by J. Mellaart; is in fact the site of Bademagaci [Mellaart 1961: 159][Duru 1994a: 51; footnote 11]. The excavations started in 1993 and carried out by the Department of Protohistory and Asia Minor Archaeology, IÜEF; under the direction of Duru and Umurtak, the excavation period ended in 2010. It takes place in the registered archaeological sites list prepared by Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Stratigraphy: According to the ceramics found mixed with the EBA layers; it is assumed that the latest period in Bademagaci is Middle Bronze Age. This period is followed by EBA with five occupational phases. The middle part of the mound yielded two occupational phases which are either Late Neolithic or Early Chalcolithic in date and represented only by ceramics. The earliest settlement at the site dates to the Early Neolithic Period and consists of three occupational phases [Duru 1995a:70; 1996a:87-88]; [Duru-Umurtak 2002:237;238]. There is an important change in the stratigraphy according to the 2002 season excavations. It is observed that the EBA 4 and 5 building phases are not belonging to EBA; but to a later period than Early Neolithic; probably Late Neolithic. So it is understood that the EBA settlement is consisting of 3 building phase and from now on the layers after Early Neolithic should be named as Late Neolithic [Duru-Umurtak 2004:297]. According to the statement in 2010, most of the mound except the small-nationalized area on the east, had been explored during the 18 years of excavations. The architecture of the different periods in different soundings was protected and the earliest settlement lying on the bedrock 9.30m down from to the pick of the mound was exposed. The research indicates that the earliest settlements at the mound first occur around 7100 BC, during a period defined as Early Neolithic. This early habitation period continues through the later phases of Neolithic and Early Chalcolithic ends around 6000 BC. The secondary and last habitations on the mound belong to EBA II. Even though the architectural remains are rare, the habitation during EBA III and MBA has been recorded with pottery finds. At the highest point of the mound, there is a small church dating to Early Christianity period [Umurtak 2011:35].
Small Finds: Architecture: The excavation of the Early Neolithic layers exposed mudbrick structures without stone foundations along streets and courtyards. One completely exposed house has rounded corners; which gives it a circular appearance. The walls of Bademagaci structures do not have corners with right angles; the joining points of the walls are apparently rounded. Turtle shaped and rectangular mud-bricks are used together; casting and brick up techniques are both seen. Wooden materials are not encountered in all structures; they were used as thresholds and posts in some buildings. Several mud enclosures for storage were found in extra-mural areas. The hearths; which are lined with sand and gravel; have then been plastered with a lime mixture. It was understood that ellipse; semi ellipse and rectangular planned hearths have flat tops [Duru 1995a: 70-71; 1996a: 88;90; 1996b: 51-52]. The burnt rubble found on a mudbrick building has shown that this building collapsed during a fire. It has a trapezoid plan and the doorway is in the middle of the long western wall. At the bottom of the wall opposite of the entrance; is a rectangular planned furnace. The holes on either sides of the furnace indicate wooden beams. The building's floor is compacted soil and almost no portable architectural features were found inside. It is suggested that the house was emptied before the collapse. It is reported that the other buildings recovered from the Early Neolithic levels have similar plans and construction techniques. During the 2001 season; a wall fragment with red painted decoration on white surface was found. The fragment belongs to the second building level of Early Neolithic. It measures about 30x40 cm and the decoration consists of red triangles in rows. The architectural feature which this fragment might belong is not clear. In this section there is also a rubble mass; which probably collapsed after a massive fire. The mass includes numerous plastered wall fragments. The excavation carried out on the 5 parallel foundations on the eastern slopes of the mound has shown that these foundations continue towards south and there are other wall foundations beneath them. They are suggested to be city walls surrounding the mound [Duru-Umurtak 2003:320-322]. During the tidying and clearance excavations of 2004; four freestanding storage boxes (constructed next to each other) were found in the northern area [cat.une.edu.au/page/bademagaci%20hoyuk 2006]. The house that was revealed during the expansion excavations in the north of the mound in 2003 was rectangular planned and measured 7x5 m; and it was originally built as a 2 room house which was first observed in Bademagaci Höyük. The house door is located inside the long southern wall of the first room which has an internal dimension of 3.60x3.20 m. A furnace was installed under the wall across from the door; a platform / terrace was made in the northwestern corner and a box with clay edges was installed in front of the terrace. The second room measures 2.40x2.20 m and it is accessed through a door from the first room. There is no immobile furniture inside that room. On the other hand many pots and pans; a seal stamp; several knives; and an unnumber of beads were revealed. The house walls were built with rectangular adobes and contain thick layer of plaster on the internal surface. A fragment from one of the walls was detected as red painted [Duru 2004:15-20]. The architectural remains are nowhere to be found in the settlements above earth; although the excavation areas were enlarged in order to better analyse the early stages of Early Neolithic I (EN I/9-6); inside the area named Depth Trench 2 in the Neolithic Age settlements that were dug during the previous periods in 2005. The remains of the limestone based settlements that were previously found in DA 1; were not found in DA 2. Adobe and wreckage accumulation is revealed inside the trench which was made to better research the architecture of the layers EN II/3 and 2. There are many silos/warehouses belonging to that settlement and burnt structures belonging to the building layer EN II/2; in the area on the west side of the trench A. There is a furnace or a sacred area related with fire that belongs to EN in that additional trench as well [Duru-Umurtak 2007:640-641]. The excavations that started in 2005 were expanded in 2006 for further research inside the building layers 1 and 2 of the Early Neolithic which were not known thoroughly. The excavations of 2006 revealed that the architectural style that was found inside the settlement of EN II/2; was in fact the pursuer of the EN II/3 period architecture in terms of material and planning. The most interesting of all is that the storage facilities (warehouse) were not only out in the open air at the residences but right outside the houses; adjacent to the houses but inside buiildings [Duru-Umurtak 2007:6-11]. In 2007 another section of the residence number 4 inside the building layer EN II/2 was revealed. This house was built in the traditional rectangular plan of the period and its characteristics such as the platform and the design of the doors was in line with the sedttlement EN II/3 examples which were unearthed previously. A wall foundation was found which was built with small and mid size stones at the same level with the Late Neolithic period finds during the researches in the west of the center section of the mound at the Depth Trench 3. The Neolithic building was in good shape; but the section that was revealed was only a small part inside the trench; in the southeast corner. It was not possible to produce conclusions on the architectural characteristics; or to define the period that it belonged [http://www.ttk.org.tr/index.php?Page=Sayfa&No=205; 2.6.2008; 15:45]. One of the most important results of 2007 campaign was the identification of the presence of Early Chalcolithic and Late Neolithic Age settlements below intense EBA II settlements in the south half of the mound [Duru-Umurtak 2009:256]. During the 2010 excavation campaign conducted, the settlements dated back to Late Chalcolithic, Early Chalcolithic and Late Neolithic were discovered under the EBA II foundations in in the plan squares of IV 4 / D 3-4 [Duru-Umurtak 2012:116]. Pottery: The majority of the burnished and thin-walled ceramic types; made with grayish-brown clay; include closed vessels; high forms and bowls with S-profiles. Other types include thick lipped forms with straight upper profiles and closed vessels with inverted rims [Duru 1996a: 89]. Level 9 has yielded 4 pottery sherds. They are pale brown/grayish in color; thin walled and their exterior surface seem slightly burnished. The ceramics of Early Neolithic levels 6 and 5 are monotonous. The majority consists of fine burnished and hardly fired ceramics made of light beige or dirty white; rarely darkish gray clay. Deep dishes with flat opening rims and spherical shaped bowls/deep bowls are common shapes. The lips of most spherical bowls are flat. In addition to the flat lips; rounded rims are also available. Most of the level 4 ceramics have grayish or red/brown clay. The light wares of levels 5 and 6 decrease in number during this phase. While the spherical shaped bowls with flat lips still continue; S profiled bowls with vertical pierced lugs begin to appear [Duru 2000a: 193-194]. The pottery of levels 4B; 4A and 3A appear to be more developed than the others. Their paste is in brown tones. They are generally well burnished and hardly fired. They have a limited shape repertoire consisting of simple flat rimmed; slightly flaring bowls; spherical bodied vessels with borders or holes inside the rim. In 2001 a large storage jar was found for the first time. The ceramics encountered in the area of the grilled foundations is very rare and the majority of them are similar to the ones found in the central section of the mound [Duru-Umurtak 2003:322]. There is GN pottery revealed inside the A trench that was made to better research the architecture of the layers EN II/3 and 2. There were not many pottery items belonging to the EN I/9-5 building layers found during the researches in DA 2. Most of the items that were revealed are tiny amorphous fragments belonging to dark grey; blackish; sometimes light grained beige pasted; thick rimmed; and external burnished vessels [Duru-Umurtak 2007:641]. The researches of 2006 inside the building layer EN II / 2 residences; or warehouses; revealed many vessels which are either complete or can be completed; which possess the shapes of the previous periods [http://www.ttk.org.tr/index.php?Page=Sayfa&No=205; 2.6.2008; 15:45]. The house number 9 inside the building layer EN II / 3 which daets to the later phases of Early Neolithic period revealed a group of small size pots; likewise many complete or reconstructable vessels were revealed inside the houses and warehouses of the building layer EN II / 2 . Among these there are some new forms and some are continous [Duru-Umurtak 2008:189]. Vessels were found either intact or in reconstructible condition during the 2007 campaign inside building level EN II/2 and 3 houses. Snake heads were described at the meeting point of the handle which is similar to a wicker basket with the body of the vessel revealed inside house nr1 in settlement EN II/3 [Duru-Umurtak 2009:256]. Chipped Stone: Flint blades; flakes and a few beads were encountered. Flintstones and obsidian blades were revealed as well as blade flakes during the excavations in 2005 [Duru-Umurtak 2007:641]. Ground Stone: Small stone chisels and axes were found [Duru 1996a: 89]. A marble bowl was found in 2001. Among the finds revealed at various locations during the excavations in 2005 there are: stone beads; many blade; axe; ground stones; pestles; and mortars [Duru-Umurtak 2007:641]. Bone/Antler: Numerous bone spoons and spatulas; two bone perforators and one bone hook were found [Duru 1996a: 89; 2001a: 587]. Among the finds revealed in EN I during the excavations in 2005 there are bone spatulas and awls [Duru-Umurtak 2007:641]. Clay: Rectangular and symmetrical; groove decorated hardly fired clay seals were found [Duru 2000b: 587;Umurtak 2000: 6]. In addition to this; a clay idol and a clay ladle/spoon were also encountered [Duru 2000a: 195]. 2001 season baked clay finds include an underfired female figurine; 2 seals; a flat handled ladle/spoon; a large object in the shape of a bead; a rectangular prism shaped box and slingstones [Duru-Umurtak 2003:322]. There weren't much clay items found in 2005; due to the limited area of the excavations performed. There are many ora hollow idol heads from the GN/EK settlement layers [Duru-Umurtak 2007:641]. Among the small finds during the excavations of 2006; a plastic example of a human foot made of terra cotta found inside the layer EN II/2 is very important. Compared to the present shoe size measurement; this foot description measures approximately 4.5-5 (U.S.; Canada); and it was unearthed in a good shape from ankle down. Another terra cotta find revealed at the same spot is the four leaf-clover shaped Ôpanel' [Duru-Umurtak 2007:6-11]. The female figurine found among the finds inside the building layer EN II/2 in 2007 is important. The woman was described as laying on her right side and there is no doubt that it described the "Mother Goddess" of the period. The artifact went through a fire and it is complete except for the head part. Another terra cotta artifact that was found among the finds inside the EN II/2 house was the description of a man's head. The head was made of overburned clay and is missing the parts underneath the neck. The hair on the head was described as tied in the back of the head. The chin and nose profiles were described. The contours around the eyes were emphasised as almond shaped by line drawing. Another one of the important terra cotta finds is the seal with the pointed handle. The print side of the seal contains circles inside each other. [http://www.ttk.org.tr/index.php?Page=Sayfa&No=205; 2.6.2008; 15:45]. Human Remains: The Early Neolithic burials were generally placed in plastered pits under the floors of the houses on their backs; the arms were put in front of the chest and the legs were bended from the knees and placed on the belly. This is on the back situation of hocker; which was a very common burial form in Anatolia in prehistoric ages. A total of 12 child/baby skeletons were encountered; seven of them are from Early Neolithic Period 3 and five from Early Neolithic Period 4 [Duru 2000a: 193]. The researches of 2003 at the expansion excavations in the north of the mound revealed a rectangular planned house that measures 7x5 m which was collapsed due to fire and the owners could not survive the disaster; as determined based on the skelettons of 2 adults and 7 children lying in irregular positions at various locations inside the room [Duru 2004:15-20]. Additionally another skeletton in hocker position was found buried just outside the house door dating to the same period [Duru 2004.15-20].
Remains:
Interpretation and Dating: According to a 14C result (7546±41 BC) taken from the occupational phase Early Neolithic Phase 3; this site is dated to the middle of the 7th Millennium BC. Based on this 14C date of Early Neolithic 3; it is assumed that the date of the Early Neolithic occupational phase can go back to the beginning of the 7th Millennium BC and that the first habitations on the virgin soil may possibly have started at the end of the 8th Millennium BC [Duru 2001a:598]. During the excavations performed at Bademagaci 12 building levels of Early Neolithic Period were identified until the end of 2007 and 48 skeletons were revealed. 2 of these were 7-9 months old fetuses and most were newborn babies that died earlier than 6 months; this figure is represented inside the community by the highest rate of 45.8%. The individuals that died under 15 years of age are also represented with the high rate of 60.4%. Out of the 19 individuals whose genders were identified 12 (63.2%) were female, but the men were represented with the lower figure of 7. It may be asserted that the deaths at the settlement resulted from injuries due to accidents and individual fights. Neolithic communities inside Anatolia consisted of peace-loving people. None of the deaths were related to tuberculosis, leprosy, syphilis or a similar specific infection that could be identified. But the the infections that did not derive from a specific cause were also situations that can be observed among the newborn. These infections were common among the agricultural communities, where malnutrition was present, hygiene conditions were bad and the other infections were intense. None of the individuals lacked vitamin C, but the houses were in the dark and rachitism was identified which is due to lack of vitamin D. The most important cause of the anemia observed in individuals was the missing iron values when the frequency and development of the infections are considered. As a result of the analysis performed on teeth Bademagaci community mostly consumed cereals and pulses. The presence of widespread tooth decay problems suggests a life style and a diet based on cereal production. Due to the same cause the nutrients were soft and possibly sticky [Erdal 2009:97-107].


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