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Rock Shelter
300 m
Investigation Method:


Location: This site lies approximately 24 km southwest of the city of Antalya; 7-8 km north-northwest of the village of Beldibi (For a more detailed site location description; see Harmankaya-Tanindi 1996: Belbasi)
Geography and Environment: The rock shelter; formed in calcareous limestone; was named Belbasi after the closest town (For more detailed geographical information; see Harmankaya-Tanindi 1996: Belbasi).
Research and Excavation: Some chipped stone fragments and pot sherds that were found in a hole dug by the villagers to the right (?) of the rock-shelter were influential in Enver Bostanci's discovery of the Belbasi rock-shelter in 1959. Excavations led by Bostanci of Ankara University DTCF; Department of Prehistorical Archaeology were begun the following year. The dimensions of the only trench was 3.8x2.4 m. Excavations stopped after 160 cm beneath the surface because the director reports that the soil beneath this level was very hard and that no more chipped stone tools were appearing. A total of 13 different layers within 3 main strata were excavated although the differentiating criteria for the intermediate layers has not been clarified.
Stratigraphy: The excavations directed by Bostanci exposed three layers: Layer I: Excavation of the first layer which was composed of black; humus-like; soft soil yielded Modern; Roman; Greek and Neolithic ceramics. The researcher concludes that the hunting groups from the Karincali and Saricinar Mountains must have used this rock shelter as a camp-site area. Layers II and III: The chipped stone tool finds from these layers were assigned to the Epipalaeolithic Period [Harmankaya-Tanindi 1996:Belbasi].
Small Finds: Pottery: The Neolithic ceramics from Layer I are sand tempered and coarse with a reddish-brown surface color. Very few of the sherds have been published. The ceramic type resembles the Neolithic sherds at the site of Beldibi/Kumbucagi. It is impossible to predict vessel shapes from the profiles of the upper bodies. The sherds have also been compared with the ceramics from the lower levels of Çatalhöyük East. Chipped Stone: The chipped stone tools and debitage products that were recovered from the upper layers have been described together with the lower layers. The descriptions indicate that there were several microburins and other microlith tools as well as perforators but that they do not differ very much from the Epipalaeolithic tools found. Bone/Antler: Although not described; bone tools are reported to have been found in Layer I. Animal Remains: The burnt bone indicates that the rock shelter was also used for cooking the hunt. Excavation also exposed several hearths where such activity may have taken place.
Interpretation and Dating: The evidence for Neolithic habitation of Belbasi is minimal. This rock shelter; in the Neolithic; was not inhabited as continuously as the nearby site of Beldibi/Kumbucagi. Bostanci proposes that the shelter was used only during the summer. In ASPRO the site is dated to 8;000-7;600 BP [Hours et al. 1994:78].

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