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 Location: Near Askaray, Southern Turkey.  Grid Reference: 38.349° N. 34.23° E.

 

      Asikli Hüyük: (Fortress City).

Asikli Höyük began at around. 8,000 BC. As in Catal Höyük, the houses were mud brick and entered through the roof. Archaeologists have discovered large numbers of artefacts made from obsidian – black volcanic glass – as well as bone, antler and copper, with an array of blade types. Here too the dead were buried beneath the floor, and one of the skeletons that has been analysed shows evidence of trepanation (the drilling of a hole in the skull), perhaps for some form of surgery.

This was a sophisticated society with a wide-ranging diet that consisted of meat from both wild and domesticated animals and a variety of cultivated wheat, barley, peas and lentils – a huge step forward in human progression from the nomadic hunter-gatherers.

(Click here for Location of site)

 

 

   Ashikli Hüyük:

The discovery of the agate bead necklace (below-right), dated at 7,500 - 7,000 BC demonstrates the level of specialisation attained at this site. Discoveries such as these along with other early discoveries from the middle-east are combining to overcome the prejudices of early archaeologists, who placed such finds as these into the category of 'Anomalous artefacts'. Today, with numerous other contemporary finds from the Anatolian highlands and across the middle-east, a contextual platform is slowly forming upon which to place such objects.

    Polished Agate Bead Necklace (7,500 BC).

This remarkable necklace was uncovered in 1989. It is made of burgundy agate and consists of ten polished beads all shaped between 2.5 cm and 5.5 cm in length and perforated longitudinally no more than 7-8 mm diameter, even though agate is 7 on the Mohs' scale of hardness. (The necklace is dated to between 7,500 BC and 7,000 BC.

To drill similar holes today requires the use of a highly specialised diamond-tipped tungsten-carbide drill.(1) Regardless of the technical difficulties of perforating the stones, the presence of such early technology, expertise and craftsmanship does not appear overnight but is developed over many years, suggesting an even earlier origin to develop the required skills.

 

Polished Obsidian Bracelet (7,500 BC):

            Article: HeritageDaily.com (Jan, 2012):   (Link to Full Article)

'Oldest Obsidian Bracelet Reveals Amazing Craftsman's Skills in the Eighth Millennium BC'.

'Researchers have recently analysed the oldest obsidian bracelet ever identified, discovered in the 1990's. Dated to 7,500 BC, the obsidian bracelet is unique. It is not only the earliest evidence of obsidian working, but it has a complex shape and a remarkable central annular ridge, is 10cm in diameter and 3.3cm wide.

The research has revealed that the bracelet was made using highly specialised manufacturing techniques. The analysis carried out showed that the bracelet was almost perfectly regular. The symmetry of the central annular ridge is extremely precise, to the nearest degree and nearest hundred micrometers. The surface of the bracelet (which is very regular, resembling a mirror), required the use of complex polishing techniques capable of obtaining a nanometer-scale surface quality worthy of today's telescope lenses'. (3)

The bracelet is the first object to have been studied among some sixty other polished obsidian artefacts.

 

No where else in Anatolia can the unique obsidian tools be found like those from Cappadocian Tumulus. Figurines, made from lightly baked clay, were unearthed together with flat stone axes wrought in many fine shapes, chisels and coulters made from bones and ornaments made from copper, agate and other different kinds of stones. Evidence provided by a skeleton found here indicates that the earliest brain surgery (trepanation) known in the world was performed on a woman 20-25 years of age at Asikli Hoyuk. (2)

In eastern Anatolia  (Turkey), the main bead-producing centre during the early Neolithic period was at Çayönü. (1)

 

Chronology:

The first settlement at Asikili began around 8,000 BC.  (Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asilikhoyuk)

 

(Extreme Masonry)

(Other Prehistoric Turkish sites)

References:

1). A. Collins. Gods of Eden. 1998. Headline book Publ.
2). http://www.cappadociaonline.com/history.html
3). http://www.heritagedaily.com/2011/12/turkey-oldest-obsidian-bracelet-reveals-amazing-craftsmens-skills-in-the-eighth-millennium-bc/
 

 

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