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Asian Cultures 10,000 B.C., Colin Renfrew Theory, Anatolian Hypothesis

12, 000 Years Ago, Renfrew Hypothesis

Andrew Colin Renfrew, Baron Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, Ph.D., FBA, FSA, HonFSAScot (born 25 July 1937 in Stockton-on-Tees) is a prominent British archaeologist and highly regarded academic, noted for his work on radiocarbon dating, the prehistory of languages, archaeogenetics, and the prevention of looting at archaeological sites. He developed the Renfrew Hypothesis, which argues that Proto-Indo-Europeans lived 2,000 years before the Kurgans, in Anatolia, later diffusing throughout the Mediterranean and into Central and Northern Europe. This hypothesis contradicted the work of archaeologist Marija Gimbutas who, as early as 1958 in an article entitled "Culture Change in Europe at the Start of the Second Millennium B.C. A Contribution to the Indo-European Problem" had postulated that the Indo-Europeans had migrated into Europe from the north, leading to the demise of the Goddess worshipping cultures of Old Europe. 

Researchers have found a 12,000-year-old site in southern Jordan which consists of three large buildings and several smaller ones. None of the structures appear to be individual family homes, leading Bill Finalyson of the Council for British Research in the Levant, and Steven Mithen of the University of Reading, to suggest that the people came together to process food and conduct other communal activities, during the transition from hunting and gathering to farming.

First Buildings May Have Been Community Centers

on 2 May 2011, 3:00 PM 
Community center? Early farmers may have used this structure for group processing of wild plants and also for performances.
Credit: David Oliver, WF16 Project

Nearly 12,000 years ago, the world’s first villages began to spring up in the Near East. Until recently, archaeologists assumed that the stone and mud-brick buildings that made up these small settlements were the houses of the first farmers, who had begun to give up the hunting and gathering lifestyle.

But the discovery of a large, amphitheater-like building at a site in southern Jordan, reported today, adds to growing evidence that the earliest permanent buildings might not have been homes, but community centers. The find, researchers say, suggests that during the advent of agriculture—a pivotal turning point that prehistorians call the Neolithic Revolution—early farmers may have come together first to engage in communal activities, and only later did they begin living together.

“This is definitely one of the most exciting discoveries in recent years associated with the [Neolithic] in the Near East,” says Nigel Goring-Morris, an archaeologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.

Archaeologists have little doubt that the larger villages that crop up after about 10,000 years ago across the Near East—an area that includes modern-day Turkey, Syria, Jordan, and neighboring countries—were residential communities made up of individual family houses.

At 9500-year-old Çatalhöyük in Turkey, for example, thousands of people lived in a tight, honeycomb-like cluster of mud-brick homes that they entered through holes in the roof, and hundreds of similar sites have been excavated across the region.

But the earliest Neolithic villages, which date to about 11,700 years ago, are much smaller, and include a variety of buildings of different sizes and shapes. At an 11,500 year old site called Jerf el Ahmar in Syria, for example, the entire community apparently used a number of structures, including storehouses and a circular building with a long bench. And at 11,000-year-old Göbekli Tepe in southeastern Turkey, researchers have argued that fantastic monolithic stone structures were part of a community ritual center.

Today, in a paper published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team led by Bill Finlayson, director of the Council for British Research in the Levant in London and archaeologist Steven Mithen, an archaeologist at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, reports the discovery of a large, oval-shaped building at a site in southern Jordan called Wadi Faynan 16 (WF16). Early farmers lived here between between 11,600 and 10,200 years ago, cultivating wild plants such as wild barley, pistachio, and fig trees, and hunting or herding wild goats, cattle, and gazelle.

The structure, designated building 075 was made of mud-brick, with a floor of mud plaster, and measures a whopping (by Neolithic standards) 22 by 19 meters. Its central area is surrounded by a long bench about a meter deep and half a meter high. In parts of the building, there is a second bench above the first one that forms an additional tier of seating. And along the southern side of the building, the lower bench is decorated with a wave pattern incised into the mud-brick.

Thus the structure echoes the architecture of the Jerf el Ahmar community building--but building 075 is about three times larger. The building’s central area also contains a series of stone mortars set into plaster platforms on the floor, which may have been used to grind wild plants. The structure includes a number of post-holes, which the team thinks might have held up a roof that covered at least part of the building. The team also found two other, smaller structures nearby, which it interprets as storehouses for cereals and other food resources.

The three structures, the team reports, lie within a cluster of other buildings in a 1-hectare site. But none of these other buildings appear to be domestic houses either: Rather, they seem to have served as storehouses or workshops; one building contained green stone beads and seems to have specialized in their manufacture.

Finlayson, Mithen, and their colleagues conclude that the evidence from WF16, combined with evidence from other sites, suggests that the earliest villages were not made up of houses, but rather communal structures where people came together to process their wild harvests and possibly also to engage in community performances. “These settlements appear to be all about community and not about emerging households,” the team writes, adding that this “ritualized community activity” might have helped to bring together the work force necessary to harvest the wild crops.

The authors don't speculate on where the farmers lived, and there is no way to be sure. Researchers working at similar sites have surmised that they lived in small camps near the central site, but such open air habitations are very difficult to find and often leave little or no archaeological traces.

Archaeologist Trevor Watkins, emeritus at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, says he “agrees strongly” with the authors’ conclusion that the social changes that took place during the transition from hunting and gathering to farming were at least as important as the later economic changes that led to full-blown domestication of plants and animals.

But he thinks that it’s still possible that some of the other buildings at WF16 were used as domestic dwellings. Nevertheless, Watkins says, the communal activities at WF16 and other Neolithic sites probably created “powerful bonds of collective identity” in the earliest farmers that kept them together in stable societies “over many generations.”



10th Millennium BC

Gobekli Tepe the oldest human-made place of worship yet discovered. 9,130 B.C.

Coordinates: 37°13′22.81″N 38°55′20.51″E / 37.2230028°N 38.9223639°E / 37.2230028; 38.9223639

Location of site in SE Turkey.

Göbekli Tepe (Turkish for "Hill with a potbelly"; Kurdish: Girê Navokê) is a hilltop sanctuary erected on the highest point of an elongated mountain ridge some 15 km northeast of the town of Şanlıurfa (formerly Urfa / Edessa) in southeastern Turkey.

The site, currently undergoing excavation by German and Turkish archaeologists, was erected by hunter-gatherers in the 10th millennium BC (ca. 11,500 years ago), before the advent of sedentism. Mysteriously, the entire complex of stones, pillars and carvings was then deliberately buried in 8000 BC. Together with Nevalı Çori, it has revolutionized understanding of the Eurasian Neolithic.]

structures A - D

By Teomancimit - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,


Göbekli Tepe is located in southeastern Turkey. It had already been noted in an American survey in 1964, which recognized that the hill could not entirely be a natural feature, but assumed that a Byzantine cemetery lay beneath. Since 1994 excavations have been conducted by the German Archaeological Institute (Istanbul branch) and Şanlıurfa Museum, under the direction of the German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt (1995–2000: University of Heidelberg; since 2001: German Archaeological Institute). Schmidt says that the stone fragments on the surface made him aware immediately that the site was prehistoric. Before then, the hill had been under agricultural cultivation; generations of local inhabitants had frequently moved rocks and placed them in clearance piles; much archaeological evidence may have been destroyed in the process. Scholars from the Hochschule Karlsruhe began documenting the architectural remains. They soon discovered T-shaped pillars, some of which had apparently undergone attempts at smashing.[1]

The complex

Göbekli Tepe is the oldest human-made place of worship yet discovered.[2] Until excavations began, a complex on this scale was not thought possible for a community so ancient. The massive sequence of stratification layers suggests several millennia of activity, perhaps reaching back to the Mesolithic. The oldest occupation layer (stratum III) contains monolithic pillars linked by coarsely built walls to form circular or oval structures. So far, four such buildings, with diameters between 10 and 30m have been uncovered. Geophysical surveys indicate the existence of 16 additional structures.

Stratum II, dated to Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) (7500–6000 BC), has revealed several adjacent rectangular rooms with floors of polished lime, reminiscent of Roman terrazzo floors. The most recent layer consists of sediment deposited as the result of agricultural activity.

The monoliths are decorated with carved reliefs of animals and of abstractpictograms. The pictograms cannot be classed as writing, but may represent commonly understood sacred symbols, as known from Neolithic cave paintings[3] elsewhere. The carefully carved figurative reliefs depict lions, bulls, boars, foxes, gazelles, asses, snakes and other reptiles, insects, arachnids, and birds, particularly vultures and water fowl. At the time the shrine was constructed the surrounding country was much lusher and capable of sustaining this variety of wildlife, before millennia of settlement and cultivation resulted in the near–Dust Bowl conditions prevailing today.

Vultures also feature in the iconography of the Neolithic sites of Çatalhöyük and Jericho; it is believed that in the early Neolithic culture of Anatolia and the Near East the deceased were deliberately exposed in order to be excarnated by vultures and other birds of prey. (The head of the deceased was sometimes removed and preserved—possibly a sign of ancestor worship.)[4] This, then, would represent an early form of sky burial.

Few humanoid forms have surfaced at Göbekli Tepe but include a relief of a naked woman, posed frontally in a crouched position, that Schmidt likens to the Venus accueillante figures found in Neolithic north Africa; and of at least one decapitated corpse surrounded by vultures. Some of the pillars, namely the T-shaped ones, have carved arms, which may indicate that they represent stylized humans (or anthropomorphic gods). Another example is decorated with human hands in what could be interpreted as a prayer gesture, with a simple stole or surplice engraved above; this may be intended to represent a temple priest.[5]


The PPN A settlement has been dated to ca. 9000 BC. There are remains of smaller houses from the PPN B and a few epipalaeolithic finds as well.

There are a number of radiocarbon dates (presented with one standard deviationerrors and calibrations to BC):

Lab-Number Date BP Cal BC Context
Ua-19561 8430 ± 80 7560–7370 enclosure C
Ua-19562 8960 ± 85 8280–7970 enclosure B
Hd-20025 9452 ± 73 9110–8620 Layer III
Hd-20036 9559 ± 53 9130–8800 Layer III

The Hd samples are from charcoal in the lowest levels of the site and would date the active phase of occupation. The Ua samples come from pedogenic carbonateterminus ante quem.[6] coatings on pillars and only indicate a time after the site was abandoned—the


The houses or temples are round megalithic buildings. The walls are made of unworked dry stone and include numerous T-shaped monolithic pillars of limestone that are up to 3 m high. Another, bigger pair of pillars is placed in the centre of the structures. There is evidence that the structures were roofed; the central pair of pillars may have supported the roof. The floors are made of terrazzo (burnt lime), and there is a low bench running along the whole of the exterior wall.

The reliefs on the pillars include foxes, lions, cattle, wild boars, wild asses, herons, ducks, scorpions, ants, spiders, many snakes, and a very few anthropomorphic figures. Some of the reliefs have been deliberately erased, maybe in preparation for new designs. There are freestanding sculptures as well that may represent wild boars or foxes. As they are heavily encrusted with lime, it is sometimes difficult to tell. Comparable statues have been discovered at Nevalı Çori and Nahal Hemar.

The quarries for the statues are located on the plateau itself; some unfinished pillars have been found there in situ. The biggest unfinished pillar is still 6.9 m long; a length of 9m has been reconstructed. This is much larger than any of the finished pillars found so far. The stone was quarried with stone picks. Bowl-like depressions in the limestone rocks may already have served as mortars or fire-starting bowls in the epipalaeolithic. There are some phalloi and geometric patterns cut into the rock as well; their dating is uncertain. 


While the structures are primarily temples, more recently smaller domestic buildings have been uncovered.


Despite this, it is clear that the primary use of the site was cultic and not domestic. Schmidt believes this "cathedral on a hill" was a pilgrimage destination attracting worshipers up to a hundred miles distant. Butchered bones found in large numbers from local game such as deer, gazelle, pigs, and geese suggest that ritual feasting (and perhaps sacrifice) were regularly practiced here.[7]

The site was deliberately backfilled sometime after 8000 BC: the buildings are covered with settlement refuse that must have been brought from elsewhere. These deposits include flint tools like scrapers and arrowheads and animal bones. The lithic inventory is characterised by Byblos points and numerous Nemrik-points. There are Helwan-points and Aswad-points as well.


While the site formally belongs to the earliest Neolithic (PPN A), up to now no traces of domesticated plants or animals have been found. The inhabitants were hunters and gatherers who nevertheless lived in villages for at least part of the year.[7] Schmidt speculates that the site played a key function in the transition to agriculture; he assumes that the necessary social organization needed for the creation of these structures went hand-in-hand with the organized exploitation of wild crops. For sustenance, wild cereals may have been used more intensively than before; perhaps they were even deliberately cultivated. Recent DNA analysis of modern domesticated wheat compared with wild wheat has shown that its DNA is closest in structure to wild wheat found on Mount Karaca Dağ 20 miles away from the site, leading one to believe that this is where modern wheat was first domesticated.[8]

Chronological context

All statements about the site must be considered preliminary, as only about 5% of the site's total area has been excavated as yet; floor levels have been reached in only the second complex (complex B), which also contained a terrazzo-like floor. Schmidt believes that the dig could well continue for another fifty years.[9] So far excavations have revealed very little evidence for residential use. Through the radiocarbon method, the end of stratum III can be fixed at circa 9,000 BC (see above); its beginnings are estimated to 11,000 BC or earlier. Stratum II dates to about 8,000 BC.

Thus, the structures not only predate pottery, metallurgy, and the invention of writing or the wheel; they were built before the so-called Neolithic Revolution, i.e., the beginning of agriculture and animal husbandry around 9,000 BC. But the construction of Göbekli Tepe implies organisation of an order of complexity not hitherto associated with pre-Neolithic societies. The archaeologists estimate that up to 500 persons were required to extract the 10–20 ton pillars (in fact, some weigh up to 50 tons) from local quarries and move them 100 to 500m to the site.[10] Archaeologist Ofer Ben-Yosef of Harvard has said he would not be surprised if evidence surfaces proving slave labor was involved[11]—which would also represent something of a first, since hunting-gathering communities are traditionally thought to have been egalitarian and to predate slavery. At any rate, it is generally believed that an elite class of religious leaders supervised the work and later controlled whatever ceremonies took place here. If so, this would be the oldest known evidence for a priestly caste—much earlier than such social distinctions developed elsewhere in the Near East.[9]

Around the beginning of the 8th millennium BC "Potbelly Hill" lost its importance. The advent of agriculture and animal husbandry brought new realities to human life in the area, and the "stone-age zoo" (as Schmidt calls it) depicted on the pillars apparently lost whatever significance it had had for the region's older, foraging, communities. But the complex was not simply abandoned and forgotten, to be gradually destroyed by the elements. Instead, it was deliberately buried under 300 to 500 cubic metres of soil.[citation needed] Why this was done is unknown, but it preserved the monuments for posterity.

Interpretation and importance

Göbekli Tepe is regarded as an archaeological discovery of the greatest importance, since it profoundly changes our understanding of a crucial stage in the development of human societies. Ian Hodder, Stanford University professor of anthropology, elaborates. "Everybody used to think only complex, hierarchical civilisations could build such monumental sites, and that they only came about with the invention of agriculture. Gobekli changes everything. It's elaborate, it's complex and it is pre-agricultural. That alone makes the site one of the most important archaeological finds in a very long time.".[12] It seems that the erection of monumental complexes was within the capacities of hunter-gatherers and not only of sedentary farming communities as had been previously assumed. In other words, as excavator Klaus Schmidt put it: "First came the temple, then the city." This revolutionary hypothesis will have to be supported or modified by future research.

Schmidt considers Göbekli Tepe a central location for a cult of the dead. He suggests that the carved animals are there to protect the dead. Though no tombsgraves have been found so far, Schmidt believes they remain to be discovered beneath the sacred circles' floors.[9] Schmidt also interprets it in connection with the initial stages of an incipient Neolithic. It is one of several neolithic sites in the vicinity of Mount Karaca Dağ, an area where geneticists suspect the origins of at least some of our cultivated grains (see Einkorn). Such scholars suggest that the Neolithic revolution, i.e., the beginnings of grain cultivation, took place here. Schmidt and others believe that mobile groups in the area were forced to cooperate with each other to protect early concentrations of wild cereals from wild animals (herds of gazelles and wild donkeys). This would have led to an early social organization of various groups in the area of Göbekli Tepe. Thus, according to Schmidt, the Neolithic did not begin at a small scale in the form of individual instances of garden cultivation, but started immediately as a large-scale social organisation ("a full-scale revolution"[13]). or

Not only its large dimensions, but the side-by-side existence of multiple pillar shrines makes the location unique. There are no comparable monumental complexes from its time. Nevalı Çori, a well-known Neolithic settlement also excavated by the German Archaeological Institute, and submerged by the Atatürk Dam since 1992, is 500 years later, its T-shaped pillars are considerably smaller, and its shrine was located inside a village; the roughly contemporary architecture at Jericho is devoid of artistic merit or large-scale sculpture; and Çatalhöyük, perhaps the most famous of all Anatolian Neolithic villages, is 2,000 years younger.

Schmidt has engaged in some speculation regarding the belief systems of the groups that created Göbekli Tepe, based on comparisons with other shrines and settlements. He assumes shamanic practices and suggests that the T-shaped pillars may represent mythical creatures, perhaps ancestors, whereas he sees a fully articulated belief in gods only developing later in Mesopotamia, associated with extensive temples and palaces. This corresponds well with an ancient Sumerian belief that agriculture, animal husbandry and weaving had been brought to mankind from the sacred mountain Du-Ku, which was inhabited by Annuna-deities, very ancient gods without individual names. Klaus Schmidt identifies this story as an oriental primeval myth that preserves a partial memory of the Neolithic.[14] It is also apparent that the animal and other images give no indication of organized violence, i.e., there are no depictions of hunting raids or wounded animals, and the pillar carvings ignore game on which the society mainly subsisted, like deer, in favor of formidable creatures such as lions, snakes, spiders and scorpions.[15][16]

Predatory animal with long tail, possibly an alligator[citation needed]; animal is sculpted in high relief from the same block of stone behind it

At present, Göbekli Tepe raises more questions for archaeology and prehistory[17] It is not known why more and more walls were added to the interiors while the sanctuary was in use, with the result that some of the engraved pillars were obscured from view. Burial may or may not have occurred at the site. The reason the complex was eventually buried remains unexplained. Until more evidence is gathered, it is difficult to deduce anything certain about the originating culture. than it answers. We do not know how a force large enough to construct, augment, and maintain such a substantial complex was mobilized and paid or fed in the conditions of pre-Neolithic society. We cannot "read" the pictograms, and do not know for certain what meaning the animal reliefs had for visitors to the site; the variety of fauna depicted, from lions and boars to birds and insects, makes any single explanation problematic. As there seems to be little or no evidence of habitation, and the animals depicted on the stones are mainly predators—with the exception of gazelles, wild asses, insects and fowl—the stones may have been intended to stave off evils through some form of magic representation. Alternatively, they may have served as totems.

See also


  • Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe (ed.): Vor 12.000 Jahren in Anatolien. Die ältesten Monumente der Menschheit. Begleitbuch zur Ausstellung im Badischen Landesmuseum vom 20. Januar bis zum 17. Juni 2007. Theiss, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-8062-2072-8
  • DVD-ROM: MediaCultura (Hrsg.): Vor 12.000 Jahren in Anatolien. Die ältesten Monumente der Menschheit. Theiss, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-8062-2090-2
  • David Lewis-Williams and David Pearce, "An Accidental revolution? Early Neolithic religion and economic change", Minerva, 17 #4 (July/August, 2006), pp. 29–31.
  • Klaus-Dieter Linsmeier and Klaus Schmidt: Ein anatolisches Stonehenge. In: Moderne Archäologie. Spektrum-der-Wissenschaft-Verlag, Heidelberg 2003, pages 10–15, ISBN 3936278350.
  • Steven Mithen: After the Ice. Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 2004, ISBN 0-674-01570-3. Pp. 65–69, 89–90.
  • J. Peters & K. Schmidt: "Animals in the symbolic world of Pre-Pottery Neolithic Göbekli Tepe, south-eastern Turkey: a preliminary assessment." Anthropozoologica 39.1 (2004): 179–218:
  • K. Pustovoytov: Weathering rinds at exposed surfaces of limestone at Göbekli Tepe. In: Neo-lithics. Ex Oriente, Berlin 2000, 24–26 (14C-Dates)
  • Klaus Schmidt: Frühneolithische Tempel. Ein Forschungsbericht zum präkeramischen Neolithikum Obermesopotamiens. In: Mitteilungen der deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft 130, Berlin 1998, 17–49, ISSN 0342-118X
  • K. Schmidt, Göbekli Tepe and the rock art of the Near East, TÜBA-AR 3 (2000) 1–14.
  • K. Schmidt: Göbekli Tepe, Southeastern Turkey. A preliminary Report on the 1995–1999 Excavations. In: Palèorient CNRS Ed., Paris 2000: 26.1, pp. 45–54, ISSN 0513-9345:
  • K. Schmidt: Sie bauten die ersten Tempel. Das rätselhafte Heiligtum der Steinzeitjäger. Verlag C.H. Beck, München 2006, ISBN 3-406-53500-3. [English edition to be published by Oxbow in 2010.]


  1. ^ Curry, Andrew (November 2008). "Gobekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple?". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  2. ^ "The World's First Temple", Archaeology magazine, Nov/Dec 2008 p 23.
  3. ^ Göbekli Tepe: The World's First Temple?
  4. ^ S. Mithen, After The Ice (Harvard University Press, 2004), pp. 93–96.
  5. ^ Schmidt 2006, pp. 232–8, 261–4.
  6. ^ Upper Mesopotamia (SE Turkey, N Syria and N Iraq) 14C databases: 11th–6th millennia cal BC
  7. ^ a b The Guardian report 23 April 2008
  8. ^ Heun et al., Site of Einkorn Wheat Domestication Identified by DNA Fingerprinting, Science, 278 (1997) 1312–1314.
  9. ^ a b c Gobekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple?
  10. ^
  11. ^ Which came first, monumental building projects or farming? Archaeo News 14 December 2008
  12. ^öbekli-tepe-older-than-stonehenge-pyramids-anything#comment-1278
  13. ^ Klaus-Dieter Linsmeier: Eine Revolution im großen Stil. Interview mit Klaus Schmidt. In: Abenteuer Archäologie. Kulturen, Menschen, Monumente.ISSN 1612-9954 Spektrum der Wissenschaft, Heidelberg 2006, 2,
  14. ^ Schmidt 2006, pp. 216–221
  15. ^
  16. ^ Schmidt 2006, 193–4; 218.
  17. ^ Peters & Schmidt 2004: 209–212
This article incorporates information from this version of the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.

 External links



Nevali Cori, 8,400 B.C.

Nevalı Çori was an early Neolithic settlement on the middle Euphrates, in the province of Şanlıurfa (Urfa), eastern Turkey. The site is famous for having revealed some of the world's most ancient known temples and monumental sculpture. Together with the site of Göbekli Tepe, it has revolutionised scientific understanding of the Eurasian Neolithic.

The settlement was located about 490 m above sea level, in the foothills of the Taurus mountains, on both banks of the Kantara stream, a tributary of the Euphrates.


The site was examined in 1993 in the context of rescue excavations during the erection of the Atatürk Dam below Samsat. Excavations were conducted by a team from the University of Heidelberg under the direction of Professor Harald Hauptmann. Together with numerous other archaeological sites in the vicinity, Nevali Cori has since been inundated by the dammed waters of the Euphrates.


Nevalı Çori could be placed within the local relative chronology on the basis of its flint tools. The occurrence of narrow unretouched Byblos-type points places it on O. Aurenche's Phase 3, which, ie early to middle PPNB. Some tools indicate continuity into Phase 4, which is similar in date to Late PPNB. An even finer chronological distinction within Phase 3 is permitted by the settlement's architecture; the house type with underfloor channels, typical of Nevalı Çori strata I-IV, also characterises the "Intermediate Layer" at Çayönü, while the differing plan of the single building in stratum V, House 1, is more clearly connected to the buildings of the "Cellular Plan Layer" at Çayönü.

In terms of absolute dates, 4 radiocarbon dates have been determined for Nevalı Çori. Three are from Stratum II and date it with some certainty to the second half of the 9th millennium BC, which coincides with early dates from Çayönü and with Mureybet IVA and thus supports the relative chronology above. The fourth dates to the 10th millennium, which, if correct, would indicate the presence of an extremely early phase of PPNB at Nevalı Çori.


The settlement had five architectural levels. The excavated architectural remains were of long rectangular houses containing two to three parallel flights of rooms, interpreted as magazines. These are adjacent to a similarly rectangular ante-structure, subdivided by wall projections, which should be seen as a residential space. This type of house is characterized by thick, multi-layered foundations made of large angular cobbles and boulders, the gaps filled with smaller stones so as to provide a relatively even surface to support the superstructure. These foundations are interrupted every 1-1.5m by underfloor channels, at right angles to the main axis of the houses, which were covered in stone slabs but open to the sides. They may have served the drainage, aeration or the cooling of the houses. 23 such structures were excavated, they are strikingly similar to structures from the so-called channeled subphase at Çayönü.


 An area in the northwest part of the village appears to be of special importance. Here, a cult complex had been cut into the hillslope. It had three subsequent architectural phases, the most recent belonging to Stratum III, the middle one to Stratum II and the oldest to Stratum I. The two more recent phases also possessed a terrazzo-style lime cement floor, which did not survive from the oldest phase. Parallels are known from Cayönü and Göbekli Tepe. Monolithic pillars similar to those at Göbekli Tepe were built into its dry stone walls, its interior contained two free-standing pillars of 3 m height. The excavator assumes light flat roofs. Similar structures are only known from Göbekli Tepe so far.

Alignments  - The corners of the main 'cult' building are aligned cardinally, leaving the temple facing almost exactly SW. The monoliths inside (originally there were two), were both orientated so as to face out of the building and along the Euphrates river. Nevali Cori is suggested by Collins (1), to be orientated towards Giza, 1080 Km away.(Other Prehistoric Turkish sites) 

Soundings cut to examine the western side of the valley also revealed rectilinear architecture in 2-3 layers.

Sculpture and clay figurines

The local limestone was carved into numerous statues and smaller sculptures, including a more than life-sized bare human head with a snake or sikha-like tuft. There is also a statue of a bird. Some of the pillars also bore reliefs, including ones of human hands. The free-standing anthropomorphic figures of limestone excavated at Nevali Cori belong to the earliest known life-size sculptures. Comparable material has been found at Göbekli Tepe.


The head of a female from a pillar in Nevali Cori's cult building

 sikha, Nevali Cori, Turkey?

 Several hundred small clay figurines (about 5 cm high), most of them depicting humans, have been interpreted as votive offerings. They were fired at temperatures between 500-600°C, which suggests the development of ceramic firing technology before the advent of pottery proper.


Some of the houses contained depositions of human skulls and incomplete skeletons.


  • Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe (ed.): Die ältesten Monumente der Menschheit. Vor 12.000 Jahren in Anatolien, Begleitbuch zur Ausstellung im Badischen Landesmuseum vom 20. Januar bis zum 17. Juni 2007. Theiss, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-8062-2072-8.
  • MediaCultura (Hrsg.): Die ältesten Monumente der Menschheit. Vor 12.000 Jahren in Anatolien. DVD-ROM. Theiss, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-8062-2090-2.
  • Hauptmann, H. Nevalı Çori: Architektur. (1988) Anatolica 15, 99-110.
  • Hauptmann, H. Nevalı Çori: Eine Siedlung des akeramischen Neolithikums am mittleren Euphrat (1991/92) Nürnberger Blätter 8/9, 15-33.
  • Hauptmann, H., Ein Kultgebäude in Nevalı Çori, in: M. Frangipane u.a. (Hrsg.), Between the Rivers and over the Mountains, Archaeologica Anatolica et Mesopotamica Alba Palmieri dedicata (Rome 1993), 37-69.
  • H. Hauptmann, Frühneolithische Steingebäude in Südwestasien. In: Karl W. Beinhauer et al., Studien zur Megalithik: Forschungsstand und ethnoarchäologische Perspektiven / The megalithic phenomenon: recent research and ethnoarchaeological approaches (Mannheim : Beier & Beran, 1999). Beiträge zur Ur- und Frühgeschichte Mitteleuropas 21.
  • M. Morsch, Magic figurines? A view from Nevalı Çori, in: H.G.K. Gebel, Bo Dahl Hermansen and Charlott Hoffmann Jensen. (Hrsg.) Magic Practices and Ritual in the Near Eastern Neolithic. (Berlin: ex oriente, 2002) SENEPSE 8.

External links


This site, together with numerous others in the vicinity are now underwater and no longer visible.

The site was examined in 1993 during the erection of the Attaturk Dam. Excavations were conducted by a team from the University of Heidelberg under the direction of Professor Harald Hauptmann. Together with numerous other archaeological sites in the vicinity, Nevali Cori has since been inundated by the dammed waters of the Euphrates.

(Various remains, including the monolith are now on display in the nearby  'Urfa' museum).

The site of one of the oldest carved monoliths in the world. The temples were lost when the Ataturk dam was established and flooded the area. The central cult building has been carbon dated to 8,000 BC, and consisted of a temple built with 13 stone uprights in the walls, and with an enormous monolith in the centre (once a pair). The design of the temple has been compared to the Kalasaya at Tiahuanaco, Bolivia, while the hands on the monolith are reminiscent of those on the Easter island statues.

Of the 22 buildings uncovered at Nevali Cori, only one appears to have been used as a dwelling. The presence of decorated skulls inside the shrines, as at several other Neolithic sites in the middle east (Çayönü, Çatal Huyuk etc), suggests that the site was used for the practice of a common ritual. The evidence emerging from this site strongly suggests the 'the sculpted figures and carvings depict shamanic individuals adorned in coats and head-dresses of vulture feathers'. (1) 


 Chronology: According to carbon dating, the earliest occupation of the site began at about 8,400 BC. The settlement was continuously in use until the middle of the sixth millennium BC. (1)

In terms of absolute dates, 4 radiocarbon dates have been determined for Nevalı Çori. Three are from Stratum II and date it with some certainty to the second half of the 9th millennium BC, which coincides with early dates from Çayönü and with Mureybet IVA and thus supports the relative chronology above. The fourth dates to the 10th millennium. (Ref:

Farming and Agriculture-

Analysis of the seeds discovered from the site shows that farming in the form of domesticated wheat was practised at Nevali Cori as early as 7,200 BC. (2)

Catalhoyuk, 7,500 BC

Çatalhöyük (Turkish pronunciation: [tʃaˈtaɫhøˌjyk]; also Çatal Höyük and Çatal Hüyük, or any of the three without diacritics; çatal is Turkish for "fork", höyük for "mound") was a very large Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement in southern Anatolia, which existed from approximately 7500 BC to 5700 BC. It is the largest and best preserved Neolithic site found to date.

Çatalhöyük is located overlooking wheat fields in the Konya Plain, southeast of the present-day city of Konya (ancient Iconium) in Turkey, approximately 140 km (87 mi) from the twin-coned volcano of Hasan Dağ. The eastern settlement forms a mound which would have risen about 20 m (66 ft) above the plain at the time of the latest Neolithic occupation. There is also a smaller settlement mound to the west and a Byzantine settlement a few hundred meters to the east. The prehistoric mound settlements were abandoned before the Bronze Age. A channel of the Çarşamba river once flowed between the two mounds, and the settlement was built on alluvial clay which may have been favourable for early agriculture. It had many live volcanoes.



First discovered in 1958, the Çatalhöyük site was brought to worldwide attention by James Mellaart's excavations between 1961 and 1965,[1] which revealed this section of Anatolia as a centre of advanced culture in the Neolithic period. Mellaart was banned from Turkey for his involvement in the Dorak affair in which he published drawings of supposedly important Bronze Age artifacts that later went missing (see Pearson and Connor, below).

After this scandal, the site lay idle until September 12 1993, when investigations began under the leadership of Ian Hodder then at the University of Cambridge. These investigations are among the most ambitious excavation projects currently in progress according to, among others, Colin Renfrew. In addition to extensive use of archaeological science, psychological and artistic interpretations of the symbolism of the wall paintings have also been employed. Hodder, a former student of Mellaart, chose the site as the first real world test of his then controversial academic theory of post-processual archaeology. The success of the excavation has made the post-processual approach a new standard.[citation needed]


On-site restoration of a typical interior

The entire settlement of Çatalhöyük was composed of domestic buildings; the site has no obvious public buildings. While some of the larger buildings contain rather ornate wall murals, the purpose of such rooms remains unclear.[1]

The population of the eastern mound has been estimated at up to 10,000 people, but population totals likely varied over the community’s history. An average population of between 5,000 to 8,000 is a reasonable estimate. The inhabitants lived in mud-brick houses which were crammed together in an agglutinative manner. No footpaths or streets were used between the dwellings, which were clustered in a honeycomb-like maze. Most were accessed by holes in the ceiling, which were reached by interior and exterior ladders and stairs. Thus, the rooftops were used as streets. The ceiling openings also served as the only source of ventilation, letting in fresh air and allowing smoke from open hearths and ovens to escape.

Houses had plaster interiors characterized by squared off timber ladders or steep stairs, usually placed on the south wall of the room, as were cooking hearths and ovens. Each main room served as an area for cooking and daily activities. The main rooms contained raised platforms that may have been used for a range of domestic activities. All interior walls and platforms were plastered to a smooth finish.[1] Ancillary rooms were used as storage, and were accessed through low entry openings from main rooms.

All rooms were kept scrupulously clean. Archaeologists identified very little trash or rubbish within the buildings, but found that trash heaps outside the ruins contain sewage and food waste as well as significant amounts of wood ash. In good weather, many daily activities may also have taken place on the rooftops, which conceivably formed an open air plaza. In later periods, large communal ovens appear to have been built on these rooftops. Over time, houses were renewed by partial demolition and rebuilding on a foundation of rubble—which was how the mound became built up. Up to 18 levels of settlement have been uncovered.

The people of Çatalhöyük buried their dead within the village. Human remains have been found in pits beneath the floors, and especially beneath hearths, the platforms within the main rooms and under the beds. The bodies were tightly flexed before burial, and were often placed in baskets or wrapped in reed mats. Disarticulated bones in some graves suggest that bodies may have been exposed in the open air for a time before the bones were gathered and buried. In some cases, graves were disturbed and the individual’s head removed from the skeleton. These heads may have been used in ritual, as some were found in other areas of the community. Some skulls were plastered and painted with ochre to recreate human-like faces, a custom more characteristic of Neolithic sites in Syria and at Neolithic Jericho than at sites closer by.

Seated goddess on a throne flanked by two lionesses

Vivid murals and figurines are found throughout the settlement, on interior and exterior walls. Distinctive clay figurines of women, notably the Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük (illustration, right), have been found in the upper levels of the site. Although no identifiable temples have been found, the graves, murals, and figurines suggest that the people of Çatalhöyük had a religion which was rich in symbols. Rooms with concentrations of these items may have been shrines or public meeting areas. Predominant images include men with erect phalluses, hunting scenes, red images of the now extinct aurochs (wild cattle) and stags, and vultures swooping down on headless figures.[1]Relief figures are carved out of the walls, such as the depiction of lionesses facing one another.

Heads of animals, especially of cattle, were mounted on walls. A painting of the village with the twin mountain peaks of Hasan Dağ in the background is frequently cited as the world's oldest map and the first landscape painting.[1] Some archaeologists question this interpretation of the artefact. Stephanie Meece, for example, argues that it is more likely a painting of a leopard skin instead of a volcano, and a decorative geometric design instead of a map.[2]

The people appear to have lived relatively egalitarian lives with no apparent social classes, as no houses with distinctive features (belonging to royalty or religious hierarchy, for example) have been found so far. The most recent investigations also reveal little social distinction based on gender, with both men and women receiving equivalent nutrition and apparently, having relatively equal social status as typically found in Paleolithic cultures.[3][4][5][6]

In upper levels of the site, it becomes apparent that the people of Çatalhöyük were gaining skills in agriculture and the domestication of animals. Female figurines have been found within bins used for storage of cereals such as wheat and barleyPeas were also grown, and almonds, pistachios, and fruit were harvested from trees in the surrounding hills. Sheep were domesticated and evidence suggests the beginning of cattledomestication as well. However, hunting continued to be a major source of meat for the community. The making of pottery and the construction of obsidian toolsObsidian tools were probably both used and traded for items such as Mediterranean sea shells and flint from Syria. that are presumed to be a deity protecting the grain. were major industries.


A striking feature of Çatalhöyük are its female figurines. Mellaart, the original excavator, argued that these well-formed, carefully made figurines, carved and molded from marble, blue and brown limestone, schist, calcite, basalt, alabaster, and clay, represented a female deity of the Great Goddess type. Although a male deity existed as well, “…statues of a female deity far outnumber those of the male deity, who moreover, does not appear to be represented at all after Level VI”.[7]throne flanked by two female lions (illustration) was found in a grain bin, which Mellaart suggests might have been a means of ensuring the harvest or protecting the food supply.[8] To date, eighteen levels have been identified. These careful figurines were found primarily in areas Mellaart believed to be shrines. The stately goddess seated on a

Whereas Mellaart excavated nearly two hundred buildings in four seasons, the current excavator, Ian Hodder, spent an entire season excavating one building alone.[9] Hodder and his team, in 2004 and 2005, began to believe that the patterns suggested by Mellaart were false. They found one similar figurine, but the vast majority did not imitate the Mother Goddess style that Mellaart suggested. Instead of a Mother Goddess culture, Hodder points out that the site gives little indication of a matriarchy or patriarchy.

There are full breasts on which the hands rest, and the stomach is extended in the central part…. As one turns the figurine around one notices that the arms are very thin, and then on the back of the figurine one sees a depiction of either a skeleton or the bones of a very thin and depleted human. The ribs and vertebrae are clear, as are the scapulae and the main pelvic bones…. [T]his is a unique piece that may force us to change our views of the nature of Catalhoyuk society and imagery.[10]

In an article in the Turkish Daily News, Hodder is reported as denying that Çatalhöyük was a matriarchal society and quoted as saying "When we look at what they eat and drink and at their social statues, we see that men and women had the same social status. There was a balance of power. Another example is the skulls found. If one's social status was of high importance in Çatalhöyük, the body and head were separated after death. The number of female and male skulls found during the excavations is almost equal."[11]

In a report in September 2009 on the discovery of around 2000 figurines Hodder is quoted as saying:

“Çatalhöyük was excavated in the 1960s in a methodical way, but not using the full range of natural science techniques that are available to us today. Sir James Mellaart who excavated the site in the 1960s came up with all sorts of ideas about the way the site was organised and how it was lived in and so on,” he said. “We’ve now started working there since the mid 1990s and come up with very different ideas about the site. One of the most obvious examples of that is that Çatalhöyük is perhaps best known for the idea of the mother goddess. But our work more recently has tended to show that in fact there is very little evidence of a mother goddess and very little evidence of some sort of female-based matriarchy. That’s just one of the many myths that the modern scientific work is undermining.”[12]

Professor Lynn Meskell explained that while the original excavations had found only 200 figures, the new excavations had uncovered 2000 figurines of which most were animals, with less than 5% of the figurines women.[12]

Archaeological project support

The current archaeological investigations at Çatalhöyük are supported by the following institutions and organizations[13]:

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Kleiner, Fred S.; Mamiya, Christin J. (2006). Gardner's Art Through the Ages: The Western Perspective: Volume 1 (Twelfth ed.). Belmont, California: Wadsworth Publishing. pp. 12–4. ISBN 0-495-00479-0. 
  2. ^ A bird’s eye view - of a leopard’s spots. The Çatalhöyük ‘map’ and the development of cartographic representation in prehistory. Anatolian Studies 56, 2006, pp. 1-16. Published by The British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara
  3. ^ Leften Stavros Stavrianos (1991). A Global History from Prehistory to the Present. New Jersey, USA: Prentice Hall. ISBN 0133570053.  Pages 9-13
  4. ^ R Dale Gutrie (2005). The Nature of Paleolithic art. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226311260.,M1. Page 420-422
  5. ^ Fielder, Christine (2004). "Sexual Paradox:Culture". Sexual Paradox: Complementarity, Reproductive Conflict and Human Emergence. Christine Fielder and Chris King. 
  6. ^ Museum of Antiquites web site (accessed February 13, 2008).
  7. ^ Mellaart, James (1967). Catal Huyuk: A Neolithic Town in Anatolia. McGraw-Hill. pp. 181. 
  8. ^ Mellaart (1967), 180.
  9. ^ Balter, Michael (2005). The Goddess and the Bull. New York: Free Press. pp. 127. ISBN 0-7432-4360-9. 
  10. ^ Hodder, Ian (2005). "New finds and new interpretations at Çatalhöyük". Çatalhöyük 2005 Archive Report. Catalhoyuk Research Project, Institute of Archaeology. 
  11. ^ Hodder, Ian (2008-01-17). "A Journey to 9000 years ago". Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  12. ^ a b O'Brien, Jeremy "New techniques undermine 'mother goddess' role in the community" Irish Times September 20, 2009 [1]
  13. ^ Çatalhöyük: Excavations of a Neolithic Anatolian Höyük - Çatalhöyük Archive Report 2008


Further reading

  • Bailey, Douglass. Prehistoric Figurines: Representation and Corporeality in the Neolithic. New York: Routledge, 2005 (hardcover, ISBN 041533151X; paperback, ISBN 0415331528).
  • Balter, Michael. The Goddess and the Bull: Çatalhöyük: An Archaeological Journey to the Dawn of Civilization. New York: Free Press, 2004 (hardcover, ISBN 0-7432-4360-9); Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 2006 (paperback, ISBN 1598740695). A highly condensed version was published in The Smithsonian Magazine, May 2005.
  • Dural, Sadrettin. "Protecting Catalhoyuk: Memoir of an Archaeological Site Guard." Contributions by Ian Hodder. Translated by Duygu Camurcuoglu Cleere. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 2007. ISBN 978-1-59874-050-9.
  • Hodder, Ian. "Women and Men at Çatalhöyük," Scientific American Magazine, January 2004 (update V15:1, 2005).
  • Hodder, Ian. The Leopard's Tale: Revealing the Mysteries of Çatalhöyük. London; New York: Thames & Hudson, 2006 (hardcover, ISBN 0500051410). (The UK title of this work is Çatalhöyük: The Leopard's Tale.)
  • Mallett, Marla, "The Goddess from Anatolia: An Updated View of the Catak Huyuk Controversy," in Oriental Rug Review, Vol. XIII, No. 2 (December 1992/January 1993).
  • Mellaart, James. Çatal Hüyük: A Neolithic Town in Anatolia. London: Thames & Hudson, 1967; New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1967.
  • On the Surface: Çatalhöyük 1993–95, edited by Ian Hodder. Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, 1996 (ISBN 0951942034).
  • Pearson, Kenneth; Connor, Patricia. The Dorak affair. New York: Atheneum, 1968.
  • Todd, Ian A. Çatal Hüyük in Perspective. Menlo Park, CA: Cummings Pub. Co., 1976 (ISBN 0846519585; ISBN 0846519577).

External links

Ain Ghazal, 7,250 B.C.'Ain_Ghazal

'Ain Ghazal

Ain Ghazal -- an archeological site located on the outskirts of Amman in Jordan -- is one of the largest early villages known in the Near East. The site dates to the Neolithic period during which mankind made one of its most significant advances -- the adoption of domestic plants and animals as primary subsistence sources. Recent excavations at Ain Ghazal have augmented considerably current knowledge of several aspects of the Neolithic. Of particular interest has been the documentation of a continuous or near continuous occupation from early through late Neolithic components and a concomitant dramatic economic shift. This shift was from a broad subsistence base relying on a variety of both wild and domestic plants and animals to an economic strategy reflecting an apparent emphasis on pastoralism.

Coordinates: 31°35′00″N 36°20′00″E / 31.583333°N 36.333333°E / 31.583333; 36.333333

'Ain Ghazal figure


'Ain Ghazal is a Neolithic site located in North-Western Jordan, on the outskirts of Amman. It dates as far back as 7250 BC, and was inhabited until 5000 BC. At 15 hectares (37 ac), 'Ain Ghazal ranks as one of the largest known prehistoric settlements in the Near East.


In its prime era circa 7000 BCE, it extended over 10-15 hectares (25–37 ac) and was inhabited by ca. 3000 people (four to five times contemporary Jericho). After 6500 BC, however, the population dropped sharply to about one sixth within only a few generations, probably due to environmental degradation (Köhler-Rollefson 1992).

'Ain Ghazal started as a typical aceramic Neolithic village of modest size. It was set on terraced ground at a valley-side, and was built with rectangular mud-brick houses that accommodated a square main room and a smaller anteroom. Walls were plastered with mud on the outside, and with lime plaster inside that was renewed every few years.

Being an early farming community, the 'Ain Ghazal people cultivated cereals (barley and ancient species of wheat), legumens (peas, beans and lentils) and chickpeas in fields above the village, and herded domesticated goats. However, they also still hunted wild animals - deer, gazelle, equids, pigs and smaller mammals such as fox or hare.


'Ain Ghazal people buried some of their dead beneath the floors of their houses, others outside in the surrounding terrain. Of those buried inside, often later the head was retrieved and the skull buried in a separate shallow pit beneath the house floor. Also, many human remains have been found in what appears to be garbage pits, where domestic waste was disposed, indicating that not every deceased was ceremoniously put to rest. Why only a small, selected portion was properly buried and the majority just disposed of, remains unresolved.

'Ain Ghazal is renowned for a set of anthropomorphic statues found buried in pits in the vicinity of some special buildings that may have had ritual functions. These statues are half-size human figures modeled in white plaster around a core of bundled twigs. The figures have painted clothes, hair, and in some cases, ornamental tattoos or body paint. The eyes are created using cowrie shells with a bitumen pupil.[1]

In all, 32 of those plaster figures were found in two caches,[1] 15 of them full figures, 15 busts, and 2 fragmentary heads. Three of the busts were two-headed,[1] the significance of the two headed statues is not clear.

[edit] Archaeology

'Ain Ghazal was discovered in the 1974 by developers who were building a road through the area.[1] Excavation began in 1982, however by this time, around 600 meters (1,970 ft) of road ran through the site. Despite the damage urban expansion brought, what remained of 'Ain Ghazal provided a wealth of information and continued to do so until 1989. One of the more notable archaeological finds during these first excavations came to light in 1983. While examining a cross section of earth in a path carved out by a bulldozer, archaeologists came across the edge of a large pit 2.5 meters (8 ft) under the surface containing plaster statues.

Another set of excavations, under the direction of Gary O. Rollefson and Zeidan Kafafi took place in the early 1990s.

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b c d Kleiner, Fred S.; Mamiya, Christin J. (2006). Gardner's Art Through the Ages: The Western Perspective: Volume 1 (Twelfth ed.). Belmont, California: Wadsworth Publishing. pp. 11–2. ISBN 0-495-00479-0. 

Chris Scarre (ed.): The Human Past, Thames & Hudson 2005, p. 222

[edit] External links


Fertile Crescent

The Fertile Crescent is a region in Western Asia. It includes the comparatively fertile regions of Mesopotamia and the Levant, delimited by the dry climate of the Syrian Desert to the south and the Anatolian highlands to the north. The region is often considered the cradle of civilization, saw the development of many of the earliest human civilizations, and is the birthplace of writing and the wheel.

The term "Fertile Crescent" was coined by University of Chicago archaeologist James Henry Breasted in his Ancient Records of Egypt, first published in 1906.[1] The region was so named due to its rich soil and crescent shape.

Modern-day countries with significant territory within the Fertile Crescent are Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, besides the southeastern fringe of Turkey and the western fringe of Iran.

[edit] Geography

As crucial as rivers and marshlands were to the rise of civilization in the Fertile Crescent, they were not the only factor in the area's precocity. The area is important as the "bridge" between Africa and Eurasia. This "bridging role" has allowed the Fertile Crescent to retain a greater amount of biodiversity than either Europe or North Africa, where climate changes during the Ice Age led to repeated extinction events due to ecosystems becoming squeezed against the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Coupled with the Saharan pump theory, this Middle Eastern land-bridge is of extreme importance to the modern distribution of Old World florafauna, including the spread of humanity. and

The fact that this area has borne the brunt of the tectonic divergence between the African and Arabian plates, and the converging Arabian and Eurasian plates, has also made this region a very diverse zone of high snow-covered mountains, fertile broad alluvial basins and desert plateau, which has also increased its biodiversity further and enabled the survival into historic times of species not found elsewhere.

[edit] Climate and vegetation

The Fertile Crescent had a diverse climate, and major climatic changes encouraged the evolution of many "r" type annual plants, which produce more edible seeds than "K" type perennial plants. The region's dramatic variety of elevation gave rise to many species of edible plants for early experiments in cultivation. Most importantly, the Fertile Crescent possessed the wild progenitors of the eight Neolithic founder crops important in early agriculture (i.e. wild progenitors to emmer wheat, einkorn, barley, flax, chick pea, pea, lentil, bitter vetch), and four of the five most important species of domesticated animals—cows, goats, sheep, and pigs—and the fifth species, the horse, lived nearby.[2]

As a result the Fertile Crescent has an impressive record of past human activity. As well as possessing many sites with the skeletal and cultural remains of both pre-modern and early modern humans (e.g. at Kebara Cave in Israel), later Pleistocene hunter-gatherers and Epipalaeolithic semi-sedentary hunter-gatherers (the Natufians), this area is most famous for its sites related to the origins of agriculture. The western zone around the Jordan and upper Euphrates rivers gave rise to the first known Neolithic farming settlements (referred to as Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA)), which date to around 9,000 BCE (and includes sites such as Jericho). This region, alongside Mesopotamia (which lies to the east of the Fertile Crescent, between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates), also saw the emergence of early complex societies during the succeeding Bronze Age. There is also early evidence from this region for writing, and the formation of statelevel societies. This has earned the region the nickname "The Cradle of Civilization."

Both the Tigris and Euphrates start in the Taurus Mountains of what is today Turkey. Farmers in southern Mesopotamia had to protect their fields from flooding each year, except Northern Mesopotamia which had just enough rain to make some farming possible.[3]

Since the Bronze Age, the region's natural fertility has been greatly extended by irrigation works, upon which much of its agricultural production continues to depend. The last two millennia have seen repeated cycles of decline and recovery as past works have fallen into disrepair through the replacement of states, to be replaced under their successors. Another ongoing problem has been salination — gradual concentration of salt and other minerals in soils with a long history of irrigation.

In the contemporary era, river waters remain a potential source of friction in the region. The Jordan lies on the borders of Israel, the kingdom of Jordan and the areas administered by the Palestinian Authority. Turkey and Syria each control about a quarter of the river Euphrates, on whose lower reaches Iraq is heavily dependent.

[edit] Cosmopolitan diffusion

Modern analyses[4][5] comparing 24 craniofacial measurements reveal a predominantly cosmopolitan population within the pre-Neolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age Fertile Crescent,[4] supporting the view that a diverse population of peoples occupied this region during these time periods.[4] In particular, evidence demonstrates a strong Sub-Saharan African presence within the region, especially among the Epipalaeolithic Natufians of Israel.[4][6][7][8][9][10] Similar arguments do not hold true, however, for the Basques and Canary Islanders of the same time period, as the studies demonstrate those ancient peoples to be "clearly associated with modern Europeans."[4] Additionally no evidence from the studies demonstrates Cro-Magnon influences, contrary to former suggestions.[4]

The studies further suggest a diffusion of this diverse population away from the Fertile Crescent, with the early migrants moving away from the Near East —— westward into Europe and North Africa, northward to Crimea, and eastward to Mongolia.[4] They took their agricultural practices with them and interbred with the hunter-gatherers whom they subsequently came in contact with while perpetuating their farming practices. This supports prior genetic[11][12][13][14][15] and archaeological[4][16][17][18][19][20] studies which have all arrived at the same conclusion.

Consequently contemporary in-situ peoples absorbed the agricultural way of life of those early migrants who ventured out of the Fertile Crescent. This is contrary to the suggestion that the spread of agriculture disseminated out of the Fertile Crescent by way of sharing of knowledge.[4] Instead the view now supported by a preponderance of the evidence is that it occurred by actual migration out of the region, coupled with subsequent interbreeding with indigenous local populations whom the migrants came in contact with.[4]

The studies show also that not all present day Europeans share strong genetic affinities to the Neolithic and Bronze Age inhabitants of the Fertile Crescent;[4]Southern Europeans.[4]Europeans to be closely related.[4] instead the closest ties to the Fertile Crescent rest with The same study further demonstrates all present day

[edit] References

  1. ^ "Fertile Crescent". Columbia Encyclopedia. Columbia University Press. 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-23. 
  2. ^ Diamond, Jared. (March 1997). Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. W.W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-03891-2. 
  3. ^ Beck, Roger B.; Linda Black, Larry S. Krieger, Phillip C. Naylor, Dahia Ibo Shabaka, (1999). World History: Patterns of Interaction. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell. ISBN 0-395-87274-X. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m C. Loring Brace, Noriko Seguchi, Conrad B. Quintyn, Sherry C. Fox, A. Russell Nelson, Sotiris K. Manolis, and Pan Qifeng, "The questionable contribution of the Neolithic and the Bronze Age to European craniofacial form," in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (Jan. 3, 2006). Vol. 103, No. 1, pp. 242-247. [1] doi: 10.1073/pnas.0509801102
  5. ^ F. X. Ricaut, M. Waelkens, "Cranial Discrete Traits in a Byzantine Population and Eastern Mediterranean Population Movements," in Human Biology, Wayne State University Press[2] doi: 10.3378/1534-6617-80.5.535 (Aug. 2008). Vol. 80, Issue 5, pp. 535-564.
  6. ^ Barker G (2002) Transitions to farming and pastoralism in North Africa, in Bellwood P, Renfrew C (2002), Examining the Farming/Language Dispersal Hypothesis, pp 151–161.
  7. ^ Bar-Yosef O (1987) Pleistocene connections between Africa and SouthWest Asia: an archaeological perspective. The African Archaeological Review; Chapter 5, pg 29-38
  8. ^ Kislev ME, Hartmann A, Bar-Yosef O (2006) Early domesticated fig in the Jordan Valley. Nature 312:1372–1374.
  9. ^ Lancaster, Andrew (2009). "Y Haplogroups, Archaeological Cultures and Language Families: a Review of the Multidisciplinary Comparisons using the case of E-M35". Journal of Genetic Genealogy 5 (1). 
  10. ^ Findings include remains of food items carried to the Levant from Africa —— Parthenocarpic figsNature, 2006) and Nile shellfishNatufian culture#Long distance exchange). (please refer to prior reference: Kislev, Hartmann, Bar-Yosef, (please refer to
  11. ^ Chicki, L; Nichols, RA; Barbujani, G; Beaumont, MA. 2002. Y genetic data support the Neolithic demic diffusion model. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 99(17): 11008-11013.
  12. ^ Estimating the Impact of Prehistoric Admixture on the Genome of Europeans, Dupanloup et al., 2004
  13. ^ Origin, Diffusion, and Differentiation of Y-Chromosome Haplogroups E and J: Inferences on the Neolithization of Europe and Later Migratory Events in the Mediterranean Area, 2004
  14. ^ Paleolithic and Neolithic lineages in the European mitochondrial gene pool, Cavalli-Sforza 1997.
  15. ^ Clines of nuclear DNA markers suggest a largely Neolithic ancestry of the European gene, Chikhi 1997.
  16. ^ M. Zvelebil, in Hunters in Transition: Mesolithic Societies and the Transition to Farming, M. Zvelebil (editor), Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK (1986) pp. 5-15, 167–188.
  17. ^ P. Bellwood, First Farmers: The Origins of Agricultural Societies, Blackwell: Malden, MA (2005).
  18. ^ M. Dokládal, J. Brožek, Curr. Anthropol. 2 (1961) pp. 455–477.
  19. ^ O. Bar-Yosef, Evol. Anthropol. 6 (1998) pp. 159–177.
  20. ^ M. Zvelebil, Antiquity 63 (1989) pp. 379–383.

[edit] External links

History of Asia

The Silk Road connected many civilisations across Asia.[1]
Asia in 1200 CE, just before the Mongol Empire
Map of Asia, 1892

The history of Asia can be seen as the collective history of several distinct peripheral coastal regions such as, East Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East linked by the interior mass of the Eurasian steppe.

The coastal periphery was the home to some of the world's earliest known civilizations, with each of the three regions developing early civilizations around fertile river valleys. These valleys were fertile because the soil there was rich and could bare lots of root crops. The civilizations in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and China shared many similarities and likely exchanged technologies and ideas such as mathematics and the wheel. Other notions such as that of writing likely developed individually in each area. Cities, states and then empires developed in these lowlands.

The steppe region had long been inhabited by mounted nomads, and from the central steppes they could reach all areas of the Asian continent. The northern part of the continent, covering much of Siberia was also inaccessible to the steppe nomads due to the dense forests and the tundra. These areas in Siberia were very sparsely populated.

The centre and periphery were kept separate by mountains and deserts. The Caucasus, Himalaya, Karakum Desert, and Gobi Desert formed barriers that the steppe horsemen could only cross with difficulty. While technologically and culturally the city dwellers were more advanced, they could do little militarily to defend against the mounted hordes of the steppe. However, the lowlands did not have enough open grasslands to support a large horsebound force. Thus the nomads who conquered states in China, India, and the Middle East were soon forced to adapt to the local societies.

[edit] 9000 BC to 4500 BC

A temple area in southeastern Turkey at Göbekli Tepe dated to 10000 BC has been seen as the beginning of the "Neolithic 1" culture. This site was developed by nomadic hunter-gatherers since there is no permanent housing in the vicinity. This temple site is the oldest known man-made place of worship. By 8500–8000 BC farming communities began to spread to Anatolia, North Africa and north Mesopotamia.

The prehistoric Beifudi site near Yixian in Hebei Province, China, if you are not careful the angry asian dwarfs will eat your faces, neolithic cultures east of the Taihang Mountains, filling in an archaeological gap between the two Northern Chinese cultures. The total excavated area is more than 1,200 square meters and the collection of neolithic findings at the site consists of two phases.[2]

Around 5500 BCE the Halafian culture appeared in the Levant, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia, based upon dryland agriculture.

In southern Mesopotamia were the alluvial plains of Sumer and Elam. Since there was little rainfall irrigation systems were necessary. The Ubaid culture from flourished from 5500 BCE.

[edit] Bronze Age (4500 BC–500 BC)

The Chalcolithic period began about 4500 BCE, then the Bronze Age began about 3500 BCE, replacing the Neolithic cultures.

China and Vietnam were also centres of metalworking. Dating back to the Neolithic Age, the first bronze drums, called the Dong Son drums have been uncovered in and around the Red River Delta regions of Vietnam and Southern China. These relate to the prehistoric Dong Son Culture of Vietnam. Song Da bronze drum's surface, Dong Son culture, Vietnam

In Ban Chiang, Thailand (Southeast Asia), bronze artifacts have been discovered dating to 2100 BC.

In Nyaunggan, Burma bronze tools have been excavated along with ceramics and stone artifacts. Dating is still currently broad (3500–500 BC).

[edit] Iron Age (500 BC–600)

The Achaemenid dynasty of the Persian Empire, founded by Cyrus the Great, ruled an area from Greece and Turkey to the Indus River and Central Asia during the 6th to 4th centuries BC. Alexander the Great conquered this empire in the 4th century BC. The Roman Empire would later control parts of Western Asia. The Seleucid, Parthian and Sassanian dynasties of Persia dominated Western Asia for centuries. Many ancient civilizations were influenced by the Silk Road, which connected China, India, the Middle East and Europe. The religions of Hinduism and Buddhism, which began in India, were an important influence on South, East and Southeast Asia.



History of Japan

"Flame-formed earthenware vessel"
Middle Jomon (3000–2000 BCE)

Characters for Jōmon (meaning "cord marks" or "cord patterned").

The Jōmon period (縄文時代 Jōmon jidai?) is the time in Japanese prehistory from about 14,000 BCE[1][2] to 300 BCE.

The term "Jōmon" means "cord-patterned" in Japanese. It refers to the markings made on clay vessels and figures using sticks with cords wrapped around them which are characteristic of the Jōmon people.[3]



[edit] Incipient and initial Jōmon (14,000 – 4000 BCE)

More stable living patterns gave rise by around 14,000 BCE to a Mesolithic or, as some scholars argue, Neolithic culture, but with some characteristics of both. Possibly distant ancestors of the Ainu aboriginal people of modern Japan,[citation needed] members of the heterogeneous Jōmon culture (c. 14,000–300 BC) left the clearest archaeological record.

[edit] Early pottery

Incipient Jōmon Pottery (14,000–8000 BCE) Tokyo National Museum, Japan.

According to archaeological evidence, the Jōmon people created amongst the first known pottery vessels in the world, known as Jōmon Pottery, dated to the 14th millennium BCE,[3][4][5] as well as the earliest ground stone tools. The antiquity of this pottery was first identified after the Second World War, through radiocarbon dating methods.[6]

Archaeologist Junko Habu claims that "The majority of Japanese scholars believed, and still believe, that pottery production was first invented in mainland Asia and subsequently introduced into the Japanese archipelago." and explains that "A series of excavations in the Amur River Basin in the 1980s and 1990s revealed that pottery in this region may be as old as, if not older than, Fukui Cave pottery".[3]

The Jōmon era pottery was called "Jōmon doki", the first word meaning itself "patterns of rope", because decoration on most earthware resembled designs made by rope. The pots were mostly used to eat in or store food[citation needed]. The Jōmon people also made clay figures and vessels decorated with patterns of a growing sophistication made by impressing the wet clay with braided or unbraided cord and sticks.[3]

[edit] Neolithic traits

The manufacturing of pottery typically implies some form of sedentary life due to the fact that pottery is highly breakable and thus generally useless to hunter-gatherers who are constantly on the move. Therefore, the Jōmon people were probably some of the earliest sedentary or at least semi-sedentary people in the world. They used chipped stone tools, ground stone tools, traps, and bows, and were probably semi-sedentary hunters-gatherers and skillful coastal and deep-water fishermen. They practiced a rudimentary form of agriculture and lived in caves and later in groups of either shallow pit dwellings or above-ground houses, leaving rich middens for modern archaeological study.

[edit] Population expansion

This semi-sedentary culture led to important population increases, so that the Jōmon exhibit some of the highest densities known for foraging populations.[7] Genetic mapping studies by Cavalli-Sforza have shown a pattern of genetic expansion from the area of the Sea of Japan towards the rest of eastern Asia. This appears as the third most important genetic movement in Eastern Asia (after the "Great expansion" from the African continent, and a second expansion from the area of Northern Siberia), which suggests geographical expansion during the early Jōmon period.[8] These studies also suggest that the Jōmon demographic expansion may have reached America along a path following the Pacific coast.[9]

[edit] Main periods

Incipient Jōmon (14,000 BCE – 7500 BCE)

  • Linear applique
  • Nail impression
  • Cord impression
  • Muroya lower

Initial Jōmon (7500 BCE – 4000 BCE)

  • Igusa
  • Inaridai
  • Mito
  • Lower Tado
  • Upper Tado
  • Shiboguchi
  • Kayama

[edit] Early to Final Jōmon (4000 – 300 BCE)

Reconstructed buildings in the Sannai-Maruyama site, Aomori Prefecture
Early Jomon clay head, 5000-2500 BCE, Chiba, Japan.

The Early and Middle Jōmon periods saw an explosion in population, as indicated by the number of settlements from this period. These two periods occurred during the prehistoric Holocene Climatic Optimum (between 4000 BCE and 2000 BCE), when temperatures reached several degrees Celsius higher than the present, and mean sea level was higher by 5 to 6 metres.[10] Beautiful artistic realisations, such as highly decorated "flamed" vessels, remain from that time. After 1500 BCE, the climate cooled, and populations seem to have contracted dramatically. Comparatively few archaeological sites can be found after 1500 BCE.

The Early Jōmon is the first stage in the Jomon era of Japanese pre-history. The Jomon period itself ranged from 10,000 to 300 BCE, with the first stage lasting from 4000 to 3000 BCE. The Early Jomon is characterized by the high sea level (2 to 3 meters higher than the modern day) and a significant population increase.[11] This period saw a rise in complexity in the design of pit houses, the most commonly used method of housing at the time.[12] The Middle Jōmon covers the period of Jōmon history from 3000 to 2000 BCE. Following the Early Jōmon period, the Middle Jōmon periods saw an explosion in population, as indicated by the number of excavations from this period.

The Late Jōmon covered the period of history from around 2000 to 1000 BCE, while the Final Jōmon spanned from around 1000 to 300 BCE.

By the end of the Jōmon period, a dramatic shift had taken place according to archaeological studies. New arrivals from the continent seem to have invaded Japan from the West, bringing with them new technologies such as rice farming and metallurgy. The settlements of the new arrivals seem to have coexisted with those of the Jōmon for some time. Under these influences, the incipient cultivation of the Jōmon evolved into sophisticated rice-paddy farming. Many other elements of Japanese culture also may date from this period and reflect a mingled migration from the northern Asian continent and the southern Pacific areas. Among these elements are Shinto mythology[citation needed], marriage customs, architectural styles, and technological developments such as lacquerware, textiles, laminated bows, metalworking, and glass making. The Jōmon is succeeded by the Yayoi period.

[edit] Main periods

  • Middle Jōmon (3000–2000 BCE):
  • Late Jōmon (2000–1000 BCE):
  • Final Jōmon (1000–300 BCE):
  • Tohoku District
  • Kanto District


[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Jomon Fantasy: Resketching Japan's Prehistory. June 22, 1999.
  2. ^ "Ancient Jomon of Japan", Habu Junko, Cambridge Press, 2004[dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d Habu, Junko (2004). Ancient Jomon of Japan. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 78-0521776707. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Radiocarbon measures of carbonized material from pottery artifacts (uncalibrated): Fukui Cave 12500 +/-350 BP and 12500 +/-500 BP (Kamaki&Serizawa 1967), Kamikuroiwa rockshelter 12, 165 +/-350 years BP in Shikoku (Esaka et al. 1967), from "Prehistoric Japan", Keiji Imamura, p46
  7. ^ "Jōmon population densities are among the highest recorded for a foraging population, although in some areas of the Pacific Coast of North America, comparable and even higher figures of population densities have been observed (Hassan, 1975)." The History and Geography of Human Genes p249, Cavalli-Sforza ISBN 0-691-08750-4.
  8. ^ "The third synthetic map shows a peak in Japan, with rapidly falling concentric gradients... Taken at face value, one would assume a center of demographic expansion in an area located around the Sea of Japan." The History and Geography of Human Genes p249, Cavalli-Sforza ISBN 0-691-08750-4.
  9. ^ "The synthetic maps suggest a previously unsuspected center of expansion from the Sea of Japan but cannot indicate dates. This development could be tied to the Jōmon period, but one cannot entirely exclude the pre-Jōmon period and that it might be responsible for a migration to the Americas. A major source of food in those pre-agricultural times came from fishing, then as now, and this would have limited for ecological reasons the area of expansion to the coastline, perhaps that of the Sea of Japan, but also father along the Pacific Coast." The History and Geography of Human Genes p253, Cavalli-Sforza ISBN 0-691-08750-4.
  10. ^ "Prehistoric Japan", Imamura
  11. ^'s Early Jomon Retrieved January 2007
  12. ^ Early Jomon hamlet found Retrieved January 2007

[edit] References

  • Aikens, C. Melvin, and Takayasu Higuchi. (1982). Prehistory of Japan. Studies in Archaeology. New York: Academic Press. (main text 337 pages; Jomon text 92 pages)
  • Habu, Junko, Ancient Jomon of Japan, Cambridge University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-521-77213-3
  • Habu, Junko, "Subsistence-Settlement systems in intersite variability in the Moroiso Phase of the Early Jomon Period of Japan"
  • Imamura, Keiji, Prehistoric Japan, University of Hawai Press, 1996, ISBN 0-8248-1852-0
  • Kobayashi, Tatsuo. (2004). Jomon Reflections: Forager Life and Culture in the Prehistoric Japanese Archipelago. Ed. Simon Kaner with Oki Nakamura. Oxford, England: Oxbow Books. (main text 186 pages, all on Jomon)
  • Koyama, Shuzo, and David Hurst Thomas (eds.). (1979). Affluent Foragers: Pacific Coasts East and West. Senri Ethnological Studies No. 9. Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology. (main text 295 pages; Jomon text [3 good articles] 72 pages)
  • Michael, Henry N., The Neolithic Age in Eastern Siberia. Henry N. Michael. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, New Ser., Vol. 48, No. 2 (1958), pp. 1–108. (laminated bow from Korekawa, Aomori)
  • Pearson, Richard J., Gina Lee Barnes, and Karl L. Hutterer (eds.). (1986). Windows on the Japanese Past: Studies in Archaeology and Prehistory. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Center for Japanese Studies, The University of Michigan. (main text 496 pages; Jomon text 92 pages)

[edit] External links



Colin Renfrew Theory, Anatolian Hypotesis

According to Renfrew (2003), the spread of Indo-European proceeded in the following steps:

Around 6500 BC: Pre-Proto-Indo-European, located in Anatolia, splits into Anatolian and Archaic Proto-Indo-European, the language of those Pre-Proto-Indo-European farmers that migrate to Europe in the initial farming dispersal. Archaic Proto-Indo-European languages occur in the Balkans (Starčevo-Körös-Cris culture), in the Danube valley (Linear Pottery culture), and possibly in the Bug-Dniestr area (Eastern Linear pottery culture).
Around 5000 BC: Archaic Proto-Indo-European splits into Northwestern Indo-European (the ancestor of Italic, Celtic, and Germanic), located in the Danube valley, Balkan Proto-Indo-European (corresponding to Gimbutas' Old European culture), and Early Steppe Proto-Indo-European (the ancestor of Tocharian).
After 3000 BC: The Greek, Armenian, Albanian, Indo-Iranian and Balto-Slavic families develop from Balkan Proto-Indo-European. Proto-Greek speakers move southward into Greece; Proto-Indo-Iranian moves northeast into the steppe area.
Renfrew's 2003 scenario qualifies as an "Indo-Hittite" model, separating Anatolian from all other branches around 6500 BC, more than a millennium before the next split at 5000 BC. The Balkans qualifies as a "secondary Urheimat" (6500-3000 BC), from which he derives the Satem groups and Greek, at a time (3000 BC) compatible with the Kurgan time frame, qualifying the suggestion further as a Graeco-Aryan (and Graeco-Armenian) model.

However, his early separation (5000 BC) of "Northwestern IE" (Germanic, Celtic and Italic, compare Alteuropäisch) from "Balkan PIE" (Graeco-Aryan-Balto-Slavic) postulates 1500 years of common evolution of Graeco-Aryan-Balto-Slavic after separation from the Northwestern dialects. This is incompatible with the Kurgan topology of the Indo-European family tree. The postulation of early "Northwestern IE" separation is thus the core claim of this scenario, without which the model would become equivalent to an extreme Indo-Hittite view with a Balkans homeland of the non-Anatolian branches.

The main strength of the farming hypothesis lies in its linking of the spread of Indo-European languages with an archeologically known event (the spread of farming) that is often assumed as involving significant population shifts. On archaeogenetic evidence, the actual population shift (associated with Y-chromosomal haplogroup G) was still minor compared to the component of autochthonous continuity (going back to the re-settlement of Europe following the last glacial maximum), but it was probably slightly larger than the component due to later migrations.

Gray and Atkinson (2003) - by glottochronological arguing, (using phylogenetic techniques from evolutionary biology) - dated PIE to the 8th or even 9th millennium, concluding that their findings support Renfrew's theory over the Kurgan model.

 Anatolian hypothesis


The Anatolian hypothesis is also called Renfrew's Neolithic Discontinuity Theory (NDT)[1]; it proposes that the dispersal (discontinuity) of Proto-Indo-Europeans originated in Neolithic Anatolia. The hypothesis suggests that the speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) lived in Anatolia during the Neolithic era, and associates the distribution of historical Indo-European languages with the expansion during the Neolithic revolution during the seventh and sixth millennia BC.[2]


The Anatolian hypothesis’ main proponent was Colin Renfrew, who in 1987 suggested a peaceful Indo-Europeanization of Europe from Anatolia from around 7000 BC with the advance of farming by demic diffusion ("wave of advance"). Accordingly, most of the inhabitants of Neolithic Europe would have spoken Indo-European languages, and later migrations would at best have replaced these Indo-European varieties with other Indo-European varieties. However, Renfrew has since modified his view and this is discussed below.

Reacting to criticism, Renfrew by 1999 revised his proposal to the effect of taking a pronounced Indo-Hittite position. Renfrew's revised views place only Pre-Proto-Indo-European in 7th millennium BC Anatolia, proposing as the homeland of Proto-Indo-European proper the Balkans around 5000 BC, explicitly identified as the "Old European culture" proposed by Marija Gimbutas.[3]

[edit] Scenario

Map showing the Neolithic expansion from the seventh to fifth millennium BC.

According to Renfrew (2003), the spread of Indo-European proceeded in the following steps:

  • Around 6500 BC: Pre-Proto-Indo-European, located in Anatolia, splits into Anatolian and Archaic Proto-Indo-European, the language of those Pre-Proto-Indo-European farmers that migrate to Europe in the initial farming dispersal. Archaic Proto-Indo-European languages occur in the Balkans (Starčevo-Körös-Cris culture), in the Danube valley (Linear Pottery culture), and possibly in the Bug-Dniestr area (Eastern Linear pottery culture).
  • Around 5000 BC: Archaic Proto-Indo-European splits into Northwestern Indo-European (the ancestor of Italic, Celtic, and Germanic), located in the Danube valley, Balkan Proto-Indo-European (corresponding to Gimbutas' Old European culture), and Early Steppe Proto-Indo-European (the ancestor of Tocharian).
  • After 3000 BC: The Greek, Albanian, and Balto-Slavic families develop from Balkan Proto-Indo-European[citation needed]. Proto-Greek speakers move southward into Greece; Proto-Indo-Iranian moves northeast into the steppe area.

Renfrew's 2003 scenario qualifies as an "Indo-Hittite" model, separating Anatolian from all other branches around 6500 BC, more than a millennium before the next split at 5000 BC. The Balkans qualifies as a "secondary Urheimat" (6500-3000 BC), from which he derives the Satem groups and Greek, at a time (3000 BC) compatible with the Kurgan time frame, qualifying the suggestion further as a Graeco-Armeno-Aryan model.

However, his early separation (5000 BC) of "Northwestern IE" (Germanic, Celtic and Italic, compare Alteuropäisch) from "Balkan PIE" (Graeco-Aryan-Balto-Slavic) postulates 1500 years of common evolution of Graeco-Aryan-Balto-Slavic after separation from the Northwestern dialects. This is incompatible with the Kurgan topology of the Indo-European family tree. The postulation of early "Northwestern IE" separation is thus the core claim of this scenario, without which the model would become equivalent to an extreme Indo-Hittite view with a Balkans homeland of the non-Anatolian branches.

The main strength of the farming hypothesis lies in its linking of the spread of Indo-European languages with an archaeologically known event (the spread of farming) that is often assumed as involving significant population shifts.

[edit] Reception

While the Anatolian theory enjoyed brief support when first proposed, the Indo-Europeanist community in general now rejects it, its majority clearly favouring the Kurgan hypothesis postulating a 4th millennium BC expansion from the Pontic steppe. While the spread of farming undisputedly constituted an important event, most see no case to connect it with Indo-Europeans in particular, seeing that terms for animal husbandry tend to have much better reconstructions than terms related to agriculture. The linguistic community further notes that linguistic evidence suggests a later date for Proto-Indo-European than the Anatolian theory predicts.

Most Indo-Europeanists' estimates of dating PIE lie between 4500 and 2500 BC: It is unlikely that late PIE (even after the separation of the Anatolian branch) post-dates 2500 BC, since Proto-Indo-Iranian is usually dated to just before 2000 BC. On the other hand, it is not very likely that early PIE predates 4500 BC, because the reconstructed vocabulary strongly suggests a culture spanning the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age, perhaps with knowledge of the wheel, metalworking and the domestication of the horse.

This conflicts with the early Neolithic (8th millennium) date of Gray and Atkinson (2003)[4] which, even if accepted, loses significance in distinguishing between the Anatolian and the Kurgan model with Renfrew's 2003 revision postulating a secondary Urheimat in 5000 BC, not 7000 BC.

Reconstructions of a Bronze Age PIE society based on vocabulary items like "wheel" do not necessarily hold for the Anatolian branch, which is more frequently admitted to have possibly separated in the Chalcolithic. In Renfrew's revised 2003 scheme, thus, the "wheel" or "horse" criticism applies only to the "Northwestern IE"/"Balkan PIE"/"Early Steppe PIE" split at 5000 BC. Renfrew's revised "Indo-Hittite" scenario has thus approached the Kurgan model at least in terms of time depth, with a split of "PIE proper" in 5000 BC, essentially proposing a time frame of the order of one millennium earlier than that of the mainstream view, as opposed to four millennia in earlier versions.

[edit] Genetics

Haak et al. (2005)[5], supported "a proposed Paleolithic ancestry for modern Europeans".

[edit] Notes

  1. ^
  2. ^ Gray, D.; Atkinson, D. (Nov 2003). "Language-tree divergence times support the Anatolian theory of Indo-European origin". Nature 426 (6965): 435–439. doi:10.1038/nature02029. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 14647380.  edit
  3. ^ Renfrew (2003), paper presented at the "Languages in Prehistoric Europe" conference at Eichstätt University, 4–6 October 1999.
  4. ^ Gray and Atkinson by glottochronological arguing, (using phylogenetic techniques from evolutionary biology) - dated PIE to the 8th or even 9th millennium, concluding that their findings support Renfrew's theory over the Kurgan model.
  5. ^ Ancient DNA from the First European Farmers in 7500-year-old Neolithic Sites; Science, 11 November 2005, Vol. 310. no. 5750, pp. 1016-1018. DOI: 10.1126/science.1118725. Authors: Wolfgang Haak, Peter Forster, Barbara Bramanti, Shuichi Matsumura, Guido Brandt, Marc Tänzer, Richard Villems, Colin Renfrew, Detlef Gronenborn, Kurt Werner Alt, Joachim Burger

[edit] References

[edit] See also

This page was last modified on 29 August 2010 at 11:26.





Tellsiedlungen im Vorderen Orient und im Karpatenbecken. Eine vergleichende Kurzübersicht über das Siedlungswesen (II)


Der Höhepunkt der prähistorischen Zivilisation im Westen Asiens ist durch die monumentale Architektur der Urukperiode (ca. 4000 – ca. 3100 v.Chr.) gekennzeichnet. Diese Siedlungen sind von massiven Festungen umgeben und haben einen rechteckigen Grundriss. Sehr beeindruckend sind die architektonischen Hinterlassenschaften aus der Siedlung von Habuba Kebira am Rande des Euphrattales. Tell ‘Uqair beweist, dass zu diesem Zeitpunkt schon neue Tellsiedlungen entstanden sind.

Beginnend mit der Tiszapolgár-Kultur (ca. 4500 v.Chr.) hört diese Lebensart für eine Zeitspanne von etwa 2000 Jahren auf, für das Karpatenbecken charakteristisch zu sein. Zur selben Zeit jedoch befinden sich die Tellkulturen von Sălcuţa (Cuptoare, Sălcuţa, Verbicioara) sowie Kodžadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI (Gumelniţa, Căscioarele, Hârşova, Karanovo, Drama, Ovčarovo, Ezero usw.) in höchster Blüte. Danach wurden die Tellsiedlungen durch die dramatischen Klimaveränderungen des 4. Millenniums v.Chr. nachhaltig beeinträchtigt. Hierzu muss gesagt werden, dass in dieser Zeitspanne der Meeresspiegel um 3 Meter höher als heute war. Allerdings sind wie im Orient die klimatischen Bedingungen nicht die einzigen Bedingungen, die diesen Entwicklungsprozess beeinflusst haben. Die Tellsiedlungen erscheinen weiterhin oder überleben in den Kulturen Cernavodă I (Chirnogi, Borduşani, Hârşova sau Cernavodă), Rachmani (Rachmani) oder Maliq I (Kamnik I, Maliq I).

Um sich ein Bild von der Architektur der Jemdet Nasr oder proto-literat Periode (ca. 3100 bis ca. 2900 v.Chr.) machen zu können, reicht es aus, auf die Wiederherstellung des Weißen Tempels von Uruk hinzuweisen. Dabei beginnen die wichtigsten stratigraphischen Ablagerungen in Mesopotamien mit der Urbanisierung. Gelegentlich entstehen Städte aus befestigten Tellsiedlungen. Die alten Tellsiedlungen wie Jericho, Megiddo, Tell el Far’ah waren am Anfang der Bronzezeit in Palästina blühende Städte; einige davon entwickeln sich während der Eisenzeit.

Auf dem Gebiet der nördlichen Balkanhalbinsel entstehen Tells erst wieder in der Ezero-Kultur (Ezero, Djadovo, Nova Zagora), wobei vereinzelte Siedlungen die Donau-Linie erreichen, wie Funde in Serbien und Rumänien bestätigen (Vučedol, Ostrovul Corbului,

Basarabi-Calafat). Um 2500 v.Chr. die Tellsiedlungen tauchen im Karpatenbecken wieder auf und bilden eine charakteristische Lebensart für die nächsten ungefähr 1000 Jahre.


În primul studiu, care a avut ca scop o prezentare generală comparativă a habitatului în tell-urile din Orientul Apropiat şi în cele din Bazinul Carpatic, am încercat să ofer câteva repere privind momentul şi factorii care au determinat apariţia primelor aşezări deschise cu o stratigrafie complexă din Orient şi sud-estul Europei Centrale[2]. Dacă procesul debutează timid începând cu sfârşitul mileniului al XI-lea a.Chr. în sud-estul Turciei la Hallan Çemi, el poate fi consemnat abia în prima jumătate a mileniului al VII-lea a.Chr. şi în zona Porţilor de Fier ale Dunării. Tell-urile, ca tip de habitat, devin caracteristice odată cu neoliticul aceramic din cele trei mari centre de civilizaţie ale Orientului: Munţii Zagros, Palestina şi Iordania şi sudul platoului Anatolian. „Neolitizarea” Peninsulei Balcanice şi mai apoi a Bazinului Dunării Mijlocii duce la apariţia primelor tell-uri în aceste zone.

Din punct de vedere teoretic, pe baza numărului nivelurilor arheologice şi a grosimii stratului de cultur­ă, am propus împărţirea tell-urilor din Bazinul Carpatic în tell-uri propriu-zise şi aşezări de tip tell. Tell-uri propriu-zise am considerat acele aşezări caracteristice unei culturi arheologice care au cel puţin trei niveluri arheologice şi/sau o depunere de peste 1 m, iar aşezări de tip tell acele situri cu o stratigrafie de până la 1 m şi/sau cel puţin două niveluri arheologice. În cea de-a treia categorie am introdus aşezările având forma unei movile sau ridicături, ce reflectă o continuitate a locuirii (Siedlungshügel, Moundsettlement), dar pentru care nu există informaţii cu privire la grosimea stratului arheologic sau numărului nivelurilor de locuire[3].


De la Susa, de-a lungul Eufratului, până în nordul-estul Siriei la Tell Brak asistăm între circa 4000 şi circa 3100 a.Chr. la o dezvoltare socio-economică fără precedent până acum. Acest fapt l-a şi determinat pe P. Collins să-şi intituleze cartea sa “The Uruk Pheonomenon”[4]. Pentru sudul Mesopotamiei, cercetările de suprafaţă din regiunea Sumer şi Akkad, bazinul râului Kur ori zona de câmpie joasă de la Susiana, Deh Luran, Izeh şi Ram Hormuz au dovedit o creştere demografică majoră în mileniul al patrulea a.Chr.[5]. Aceasta se datorează părăsirii unor aşezări mai mici din zonele învecinate câmpiei Eufrat-ului în favoarea centrelor mai importante şi a unei „covertiri” a populaţiei seminomade la o viaţă sedentară de agricultori[6]. În zona Nippur-Adab, de exemplu, celor 360 de ha, suprafaţă pe care se întind toate aşezările descoperite, iar corespunde o populaţie de 36.000 de persoane[7]. Tabelele publicate de R. McC. Adams l-au făcut pe C.K. Maisels să aprecieze că mai mult de jumătate din populaţia Sumer-ului a fost „urbană”[8].

Teritoriul celor mai importante aşezări este evident şi el în creştere. Dacă la începutul perioadei Uruk situl Warka ocupa o suprafaţă de peste 20 de ha, el va atinge peste 100 de ha în etapa Uruk târziu[9]. Aceiaşi situaţie se constată şi la Susa, care se va dezvolta treptat pentru a ajunge spre mijlocul perioadei Uruk la circa 25 de ha, iar spre sfârşitul ei la 53 de ha[10]. Vechile şi noile cercetări de suprafaţă din nordul Mesopotamiei şi sud-estul Anatoliei au arătat un proces asemănător, dar fără a atinge proporţiile din sud[11]. Aici se remarcă aşezarea centrală de la Samsat cu o suprafaţa de circa 10 ha sau Tell al Hawa cu 33 de ha.

Această imagine asupra dimensiunilor la care au ajuns aşezările perioadei Uruk poate fi completată cu situaţia surprinsă în recent investigatul Tell Hamoukar, în nord-estul Siriei[12]. După 3 campanii de investigaţii arheologice siro-americane şi desfăşurarea unui program sistematic de cercetări de suprafaţă[13], s-a constatarea că locuirea din perioada Halaf şi Ubaid a fost modestă. Începând cu mileniul al patrulea a.Chr. aşezare se va întinde pe aproape 15 ha, pentru ca în mileniul următor ea să atingă mai mult de 100 de ha, fiind unul dintre cele mai mari situri din acea vreme din Siria (fig. 1/1-2). În chalcoliticul târziu (Uruk mijlociu în nord) (înainte de 3500 a.Chr.) aici s-a fondat un oraş împrejmuit cu un zid monumental de 4 m grosime şi 3 m înălţime, construit din cărămizi rectangulare (40x20-25x10 cm). Arealul central a fost înconjurat de movile ce păstrează urmele unor situri contemporane de dimensiuni mai mici. Ele apar ca fiind “karum-like settlement” aflate în imediata vecinătate, dar în acelaşi timp separate de aşezarea principală[14].

Dezvoltarea unei limbi comune a avut ca efect transmiterea mult mai rapidă a concepţilor tehnologice, politice şi teologice. Din aceasta cauză, în contrast cu perioada anterioară Ubaid, există mult mai puţine variante regionale ale artefactelor de tip Uruk. După unii specialişti această realitate ar fi rezultatul stăpânirii de către oraşele mesopotamiene a principalelor rute comerciale[15]. De aceea apogeul civilizaţiei preistorice în vestul Asiei este marcat fără îndoială de civilizaţia şi, cu precădere, de monumentala arhitectură a perioadei Uruk.

La începutul perioadei Uruk, aşa cum o demonstrează descoperirile de la Sabir sau Mishghafa al-Maleiba (Jemen), mai existau încă “construcţii uşoare” (‘Leichte’ Bauweise). Cu o structură din lemn sau alte materiale vegetale peste care se aplica un strat de lut sau mortar şi un acoperiş din paie sau trestie[16] (fig. 2/1-2), ele erau foarte asemănătoare cu locuinţele cercetate în Bazinul Carpatic.

Cu timpul însă se dezvoltă adevărate centre administrative în jurul unor temple uriaşe construite din cărămizi uscate la soare[17] (fig. 2/4-5). Aşezările sunt înconjurate de fortificaţii puternice, cu un plan rectangular bine stabilit, fiind străbătute de zeci de şanţuri de canalizare. Cel mai reprezentativ exemplu este evident situaţia de la Uruk/Warka. Ruinele sale se întind astăzi, doar în interiorul zidurilor, pe nu mai puţin de 550 de ha iar acumulările stratigrafice sunt de până la 28 de m grosime[18]. Primele cercetări sistematice au debutat în iarna anului 1912/1913 fiind întrerupte până în 1928 din cauza primului război mondial şi a perioadei tulbure care a urmat după aceea. J. Jordan împreună cu C. Preusser reiau săpăturile la Uruk în toamna anului 1928[19]. Până în 1977, când informaţiile privind stratigrafia de la Uruk au fost sintetizate de R. Eichmann[20], sau desfăşurat, cu întreruperi, 34 de campanii arheologice. Cercetările, care continuă şi astăzi (cu precădere cercetări de suprafaţă), au vizat diverse areale şi construcţii de pe teritoriul Uruk-ului (fig. 1/3). Pentru perioada istorică care-i poartă numele în Orientul Apropiat, monumentele caracteristice sunt cele de la Eanna (templul zeiţei Innin) şi ziguratul Anu[21]. Alte urme contemporane sunt puţine, fiind acoperite de haldele de pămât excavat pentru dezvelirea acestor sectoare. Aşa cum am mai menţionat deja, distribuţia materialului arheologic ar indica că suprafaţa Uruk-ului ar fi atins acum deja 250 de ha[22]. Dintre edificiile probabil laice ale orizontului VI, V şi IV în Eanna, care ar interesa în primul rând în această discuţie, E. Heinrich menţionează doar aşa numita “Kulthaus C”. Aceasta este o construcţie cu o sală centrală ce comunica cu numerose încăperi adiacente, dar funcţionalitatea sa ca „palat” este nesigură[23].

Pentru înţelegerea procesului de agregare urbană care are loc în Mesopotamia de-a lungul mileniul al patrulea a.Chr.[24], un alt exemplu este aşezarea de la Habuba Kabira-Süd/Qannas, pe malul râului Euphrat în nordul Siriei. Cercetările arheologice efectuate între 1969-1975 de către o misiune germană condusă de E. Heinrich şi E. Strommenger, au dus la concluzia că situl a fost fondat ex nihilo şi a fost abandonat după maximum 150 de ani[25] (fig. 2/3). Cu toate că au fost surprinse resturi arhitectonice deosebite, stratigrafia nu depăşeşte mai mult de 1 m (cartierul nordic). Dacă în prima sa fază de dezvoltare aşezarea se întindea pe circa 6 ha, în fază a doua ea ocupa deja 10 ha, ca mai apoi, în ultima fază de evoluţie (a treia), să atingă 22 de ha[26]. Numărul populaţiei a crescut de la circa 560 la 650 de locuitori, cu o regresie în faza a doua de evoluţie (360 de locuitori). Ceea ce impresionează la Habuba Kabira este stricta parcelare a aşezări (28x15 m = 420m2), dar mai ales amenajarea sistemului de canalizare. Fiecare locuinţă era conectată printr-o vastă reţea de canale deschise sau închise la o fossa centrală dispusă în afara aşezării[27]. La toate aceste inovaţii se adaugă un sistem de apărare constituit dintr-un un zid lung de circa 840 m, realizat din cărămizi (50x50x14 cm), cu o grosime de peste 3 m. Zidul era completat de bastioane de 5,5 m lungime, amplasate la fiecare 13,5 m. Este cât se poate de clar că structura internă a aşezării de la  Habuba Kabira a fost în prealabil atent gândită şi planificată.

Un alt sit al perioadei Uruk, a cărui niveluri superioare au fost recent publicate, este Tell Barak în nord-estul Siriei, în apropierea graniţei actuale cu Irakul şi Turcia[28]. Cercetările efectuate de către un colectiv englez pe parcursul a 14 campanii arheologice (1976-1993) au fost precedate de sondajele executate aici de M.E.L. Mallowan[29]. Ele au dus la cunoaştere unui aşezări deosebit de importante aflate la confluenţa unor rute majore care legau valea râului Tigru de sud-estul Anatoliei şi vestul Siriei: anticul oraş Nagar. Movila principală are dimensiunile de 800x600 m şi o înălţime de circa 40 de m, fiind înconjurată de mai multe tell-uri mai mici (fig. 3/2). Unele fragmente ceramice indică că prima locuire s-ar data încă din PPNB (circa 6000 a.Chr.), fiind urmată de o aşezare modestă caracteristică perioadei Halaf. Săpăturile arheologice au atins doar nivelurile aparţinând etapelor Ubaid 3-4 (4800-4200 a.Chr.). Tell Barak a fost în continuare locuit de-alungul întregii perioade Uruk, cunoscând o istorie de excepţie în etapele următoare: pre-akkadiană, akkadiană, hurriană, veche babiloniană, mitannă, assiriană şi romană (fig. 3/1)[30].

În comparaţie cu aceste tell-uri impozante, care au atras în primul rând interesul specialiştilor, s-a acordat o atenţie scăzută cercetării unor situri „rurale“. O aşezare „modestă” faţa de cele de la Uruk/Warka, Habuba Kabira-Süd/Qannas, Tell Barak etc. este Tepe Farukhabad în câmpia Deh Luran în sud-vestul Iranului[31]. Ea apare astăzi ca o movilă de 190x140 m ce se ridică cu 30 de m deasupra nivelului actual al luncii râului Mehmeh. Cercetările americane, care au debutat aici în 1968, au dus la descoperirea unei stratigrafii de peste 5 m, cu niveluri de construcţii ce acoperă o secvenţă de timp cuprinsă între 4500 şi 2700 a.Chr. (fig. 4/1). O comunitate ce se ocupa cu vânarea catârului sălbatic şi a gazelelor (un sfert din totalul oaselor analizate provin de la animale sălbatice) dar şi cu creşterea vitelor, a porcilor poate şi a oilor s-a aşezat în acest loc la începutul perioadei Uruk. Casele perioadei Uruk, Jemdet Nasr şi Dinastică timpurie au fost ridicate din cărămizi de dimensiuni mai mici de cât se obişnuia: 0,21/0,30 m lungime şi 0,10/0,28 m lăţime (fig. 4/2-4). O locuinţă, considerată de către cei care au publicat acest sit ca fiind mare (“Large Building with Bin and Posthole”), avea doar 4,3x3,6 m[32]. Construcţiile, inventarul arheologic descoperit demonstreaza că nu au existat diferenţe sociale majore între membrii comunităţii.

O altă aşezare cu un caracter „rural“ este cea de la Rubeidheh, în zona Jebel Hamrin pe malul râului Narin, la circa 120 km nord-est de Bagdad. Săpăturile de salvare efectuate aici se dovedesc extrem de importante pentru reconstituirea habitatului într-o aşezare din vremea etapei Uruk mijlocie în care locuitorii săi practicau agricultura şi se ocupau de creştera oilor şi a caprelor[33]. Cercetările de suprafaţă au precizat că arealul locuibil a fost de circa 150x125 m. Sondajele arheologice au stabilit că stratigrafia aşezării nu a depăşit 2,50 m, fiind constatate maximum trei etape de construcţii. Locuinţele descoperite sunt şi în acest caz modeste fiind ridicate din cărămizi uscate la soare.

Procesul apariţiei de noi tell-uri nu înceteză nici la această vreme, când se constată şi o adevărată explozie demografică[34]. Unele tell-uri mai vechi însă, şi este de amintit aici cazul biblicul Megiddo (Tell el-Mutesellim-Armageddon), îşi pierd caracterul de aşezare civilă pe ele funţionând, începând cu bronzul timpuriu, temple din piatră[35].


La începutul eneoliticului în Bazinul Carpatic, perioadă ce poate fi plasată pe la 4500 a.Chr.[36], vechile tell-uri nu sunt în totalitate părăsite, ci, o parte dintre cele mai importante, continuă să fie locuite[37]. La Parţa sau Vésztő „Mágor“ au fost identificate mai multe niveluri Tiszapolgár şi case de suprafaţă cu pereţii din chirpic[38]. Chiar dacă teritoriul de răspândire a culturii Tiszapolgár este identic în Ungaria şi vestul României cu cel ocupat anterior de etapa târzie a culturilor Tisza-Herpály-Csöszhalom, tipul de habitat se schimbă fundamental[39]. Acest proces se generalizează în întregul Bazin Carpatic. Excepţie face doar arealul nelocuit de cei care au dezvoltat această cultură. Astfel o serie de aşezări multistratificate Petreşti AB şi B îşi continuă evoluţia anterioară până la acest orizont[40]. Excepţionale sunt de asemenea depunerile stratigrafice din tell-ul de la Ariuşd „Tyiszk-hegy”, în sud-estul Transilvaniei (fig. 5/1). Aici au fost scoase la iveală urmele unei aşezări fortificate cu un şanţ şi nu mai puţin de şase niveluri de locuire Cucuteni A. Locuinţele de suprafaţă aveau dimensiuni mari (40-44 m2), uneori cu două încăperi, fiind construite din lemn şi lut (fig. 5/2)[41].

Într-o altă zonă marginală a Bazinului Carpatic, ne ocupată de cultura Tiszapolgár, la Cuptoare „Sfogea”, în extremitatea sud-estică a Banatului, a fost investigată o aşezare ce aparţine culturii Sălcuţa, faza a II-a (IIb şi IIc) şi a III-a. Săpăturile mai vechi au identificat o stratigrafie de 40 până la 1,10 cm, mai multe niveluri de locuire reprezentate de locuinţe de suprafaţă precum şi a unui puţ ritual dispus în imediata apropiere a aşezării[42]. Reluarea cercetărilor de către A. Oprinescu (Radu) în 1991 a permis efectuarea de noi observaţii stratigrafice. Stratul de cultură, în zona sondată, a atins o grosime de 2,30-2,40 m, identificându-se cinci niveluri de locuire[43]. O situaţie asemănătoare s-a constatat şi în apropierea Dunării la Bapska „Gradac”. Aici tell-ul culturii Lengyel-Sopot îşi continuă evoluţia şi la orizontului fazei D a culturii Vinča, când se vor acumula aproape 2 m de depuneri arheologice[44].

La 200-300 km spre sud-est, în Oltenia, Câmpia Munteniei şi mai departe în Dobrogea ori la sud de Dunăre în Bulgaria, la aceiaşi vreme când în Bazinul Carpatic încetează practic modul de viaţă reprezentat de aşezările tell, ele apar în cultura Sălcuţa[45], dar mai cu seamă înfloresc în complexul Kodžadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI. Dintre monumentele cele mai reprezentative ale acestui complex cultural pot fi amintite tell-urile de la Drăgăneşti-Olt-Corboaica[46], Gumelniţa[47], Căscioarele-Ostrovel[48], Hârşova[49], Cernavodă[50] etc. în România sau Karanovo[51], Ovčarovo[52], Drama-Merdžumekja[53], Azmašga Mogila[54], Ezero[55] etc. în Bulgaria. Lor li se adaugă tell-ul cercetat de M. Petrescu-Dîmboviţa la marginea luncii Prutului pe „Cetăţuia” de la Stoicani[56]. În Moldova tell-urile nu sunt un fenomen caracteristic culturilor Precucuteni[57] şi Cucuteni[58]. Situaţiile de la Târpeşti[59], dar mai ales cea de la Poduri “Dealul Ghindaru”, cu stratigrafia sa de 4,5 m din Precucuteni II târziu până în faza Cucuteni B, constituie o excepţie. Trebuie însă precizat că la Poduri au fost descoperite şi 2 sanctuare, un fapt de asemenea deosebit pentru cultura Cucuteni[60]. Din Albania, Macedonia şi Grecia pot fi menţionate tell-urile contemporane ale culturii Malik I: Kamnik I[61], Maliq I[62] sau magulele de la Bakarno Gumno[63], Rachmani[64] ori Mandalo[65].

Având în vedere această realitate, nu se poate susţine faptul că doar schimbările climatice ar fi fost responsabile pentru încetarea aşezărilor tell din neoliticul Bazinului Carpatic. De când s-au păstrat datele cu privire la oscilaţiile climatice, nu au fost costatate diferenţe notabile între temperatura existentă la Bucureşti şi cea de la Szeged[66]. Se cunosc numeroase cazuri, din istoria mai recentă a Europei, când comunităţile umane au făcut faţă unor perioade climatice mai critice, de exemplu “mica glaciaţiune” de la sfârşitul evului mediu, adaptându-se noilor condiţii de mediu[67]. Cu siguranţă însă că răcirea treptată a climei şi diminuarea cantităţii de precipitaţii[68], au jucat un rol important în reorientarea comunităţilor Tiszapolgár spre o altă economie. Aceasta a avut implicit efecte şi asupra sistemului de relaţii interumane. De aceea nu putem exclude ipoteza că abandonarea modului de viaţă pe care îl presupune tell-ul să se datoreze şi unor drame interne care afectează în lanţ întregul teritoriu[69].

Aceiaşi situaţie se constată şi în eneoliticul mijlociu (aproximativ 4000 – circa 3500 a.Chr.)[70], cu toate că asistăm la o stabilizare şi chiar o îmbunătăţire a climei[71]. În cultura Bodrogkeresztúr, ca de altfel în toate grupele pe a căror ceramică apar aşa numitele „torţi pastilate” (Balaton-Lasinja, Hunyadihalom, Sălcuţa IV-Băile Herculane II-III-Cheile Turzii), tell-urile sunt practic inexistente[72]. Caracteristice sunt aşezările de scurtă durată şi locuinţele semiîngropate sau cele având o suprastructură uşoară din lemn[73].

În Oltenia tell-urile propriu-zise dispar la acest orizont. Probabil la începutul etape, dacă nu încă de la sfârşitul celei anterioare[74], ar putea fi plasată aşezarea de tip tell aparţinând culturii Sălcuţa (faza a III-a) de la Ostrovul Corbului[75]. Aici au fost constatate trei niveluri de locuire şi o stratigrafie de maximum 70 de cm[76]. La Sălcuţa „Piscul Cornişorului” se cunosc numai doua secvenţe de locuire din faza a IV-a, iar stratul de cultură nu este mai gros de 50-75 de cm[77]. În Muntenia şi la sud de Dunăre în Bulgaria, tell-urile complexul Kodžadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI îşi încetează evoluţia în faţa pătrunderii unor comunităţi „nomade” de tip Cernavodă I[78]. Este puţin probabil că acestea să fi pus capăt evoluţiei tell-urilor, de vreme ce noii veniţi vor prelua, în unele cazuri, modul de viaţă al predecesorilor[79], continuând să locuiască tell-uri mai vechi ca cele de la Chirnogi[80], Borduşani[81], Hârşova[82] sau Cernavodă[83]. Mai veridică pare ipoteza avansată în ultima vreme de H. Todorova[84]. Creşterea excesivă a temperaturii, reflectată şi de creşterea nivelului mării a provocat, pe lângă mişcările unor populaţii „stepice”, un adevărat colaps ecologic. Vechile terenuri agricole din preajma tell-urilor, transformate acum în zone aride, sunt adandonate. Din această cauză timp de aproape 1000 de ani, între Karanovo VI şi Ezero A, Tracia va fi practic nelocuită. Acelaşi fenomen se constată şi în Grecia.


În Orientul Apropiat începând cu etapa Jemdet Nasr (Ğamdat Naşr), sau perioada protoliterată, (circa 3100 – circa 2900 a.Chr.) se face saltul decisiv spre agregarea urbană. Din această cauză cele câteva exemple pe care le voi aduce, pentru respectiva secvenţă scurta de timp, sunt menite numai să puncteze diferenţele uriaşe care există între cele două spaţii analizate în acest articol.

Astfel aşezarea de la Uruk v-a ocupa acum o suprafaţă de 200 de ha, fiind de 5 ori mai mare decât oricare altă aşezare din Mesopotamia[85]. De asemenea este suficient să amintesc reconstruirea finală a Templului Alb (Anu) de la Uruk (fig. 6/1) sau ridicarea primelor cinci temple de la Tutub-Hafāği (Khafaje), la 15 km est de Bagdad[86] (fig. 6/2), pentru a avea o imagine asupra înaltului nivel tehnic atins de arhitectura epocii[87]. Mai vechile săpături din 1925-1926 ale lui Langdon din tell-ul cel mai mare (tell B) de la Jemdet Nasr au scos la iveală urmele unei clădiri de 92x48 m ridicată din căramizi desemnate ca tip Riemchen (20x8,5x8 cm) şi Flachziegel (29x9x6,5 cm), distrusă în urma unui incendiu puternic[88] (fig. 4/5). Ca tip arhitectonic ea nu diferă semificativ faţă de clădirile care se cunosc încă de la Eanna III în Uruk. Ceea ce face ca respectiva clădire să fie amintită în acest context este funcţionalitatea ei. Materialul arheologic descoperit (tăbliţe inscripţionate, sigilii, cereale şi alte seminţe depozitate în vase, lapis lazuli, obiecte din cupru etc.) ne indică faptul că ea a îndeplinit rolul unui centru administrativ şi comercial, un criteriu ce delimitează clar oraşul de restul aşezărilor[89].

Citând asemenea exemple, clasice de altfel, nu facem decât să privim vârful piramidei. Nu trebuie uitat că marea majoritate a tell-urilor din Orient reprezintă mici aşezări rurale, cu case modest construite din cărămizi uscate la soare pe o fundaţie din acelaşi material sau piatră. Tall Bdēri, Tall Melebīye, Tall Halāwa, Tall Abū Hafūr sunt doar câteva dintre siturile de acest fel din nordul Mesopotamiei[90].


Pentru cultura Baden, ori orizontul anterior Cernavodă III-Boleráz[91], tell-urile nu sunt un fenomen caracteristic[92]. Totuşi, ca şi în celelalte culturi ale eneoliticului târziu (circa 3500 – înainte de 2500 a.Chr.) Kostolac, Vučedol şi Coţofeni[93], la acestă vreme încep să apară şi primele excepţii. La Salgótarján „Pécskő”, aşezare ce se datează în etapa târzie din evoluţia culturii Baden, la o înălţime de circa 560 m s-a acumulat o stratigrafie de până la 2,40 m[94] (fig. 7/1). Faptul că într-o zonă muntoasă, locuinţe de suprafaţă patrulatere având podeaua din lut bătut şi pereţii din lemn făţuiţi sumar cu lut, suprapuse una peste alta, au dus la formarea unui asemenea strat de cultură, constituie un caz insolit pentru preistoria Bazinului Carpatic. Dacă ne gândim însă că aici, ca şi la Vučedol de altfel, au fost găsite tipare care denota o activitate metalurgică locală[95], atunci explicaţia formării unei asemenea stratigrafii este cât se poate de clară.

„Burg-ul=Gradac-ul” de la Vučedol, localizat pe malul drept al Dunării, la 5 km est de Vukovar, este bine cunoscut datorită cercetărilor lui R.R. Schmidt din timpul celui de-al doilea război mondial[96] (fig. 8/1). Aici stratul de cultură coboară până la 4 m (fig. 7/4), remarcându-se mai multe niveluri de construcţii. Cea mai veche locuire aparţine culturii Starčevo, dar tell-ul propriu-zis se formează începând cu etapă Baden-Kostolac. Ceva mai mult de 1 m de depuneri stratigrafice şi două niveluri de construcţii sunt caracteristice acestei culturi. Ridicarea unor case de suprafaţă cu absidă (fig. 8/2), o noutate în arhitectura perioadei, de dimensiuni deosebite, poziţia centrală pe care o deţin în cadrul aşezării, depunerea unor defuncţi sub acestea[97], sugerează conturarea unui elite născută poate sub influenţa unor elemente stepice.

În cultura Coţofeni, la un orizont cronologic apropiat, au fost descoperite la Basarabi-Calafat pe malul Dunării, suprapuse una peste alta, resturile a nu mai puţin de şase locuinţe de suprafaţă de formă dreptunghiulară cu podeaua din lut, pereţii din lemn şi probabil un acoperiş realizat din stuf sau paie. Din nefericire această importantă aşezare, cu o stratigrafie de peste 1 m, este doar sumar publicată[98]. O situaţie asemănătoare a fost constatată şi la Ostrovul Corbului, unde au fost surprinse cel puţin cinci niveluri de locuire Coţofeni[99]. Depunerile arheologice de peste 4 m, dovedesc că procesul de formare a tell-urilor nu ocoleşte insulele (fig. 7/2-3). De altfel şi toumba de la Kastanas, din Macedonia grecească, a fost în timpul celei mai vechi locuiri o insulă aflată la circa 70 de m depărtare de malurile râului Axios[100]. În centrul Transilvaniei, în punctul  „Gorgan“ de la Şeuşa - un promotoriu cu altitudinea de 463 m -, a fost recent investigată (2000-2003) o aşezare Coţofeni târzie cu o stratigrafie impresionantă pentru această cultură. Case de suprafaţă de dimensiuni relativ mari, de formă dreptunghiulară (3x1,8 m), construite din lemn şi chirpic pe podine din lut bătut, ar marca o locuire stabilă urmată de ulterioare locuiri sezoniere (colibe din lemn şi bordee). Depunerile arheologice de circa 1,40 m sunt caracteristice fazei a III-a a culturii Coţofeni[101].

Întorcându-ne la situl de la Vučedol, casele descoperite de către R.R. Schmidt pe „Gradac“ vor avea, la vremea culturii eponime, o formă dreptunghiulară[102] (fig. 8/3). Prin formă şi dimensiune ea a fost comparată cu un „megaron“ (Megaron des Kupfergiessers). Săpăturile ulterioare ale lui S. Dimitrejević (1966-1967) au vizat o serie de aşezări care înconjoară situl principal („Acropola“): „Štrajmovom kukuruzištu“, „Vinogradu“, „Vinograd Karasović“[103] (fig. 9/2). Reluarea cercetărilor în 1984 în tell-ul de la „Streimov vinograd“ au dus la descoperirea a nu mai puţin de 20 de construcţii dreptunghiulare şi a numeroase gropi de provizii. Casele de suprafaţă realizate din lemn şi lut aveau un plan rectangular cu dimensiunile de 5,6-6,3 m lăţime şi 7,3-8,3 m lungime (fig. 9/1). Majoritatea au o singură încăpere şi o vatră centrală. Conform dispunerii gropilor de provizii, S. Forenbaher presupune că fiecărei case îi corespundeau două asemenea amenajări. Cel puţin trei niveluri de construcţii aparţinând eneoliticului târziu au fost distruse de câte un incendiu accidental. Casele au fost reconstruite respectându-se acelaşi plan şi amplasare. Zona centrală („Gradac“-ul), excavată de către R.R. Schmidt, apare ca un spaţiu cu o destinaţie specială, delimitat de restul arealului printr-un şanţ. Aici era plasată o singură casă având dimensiuni aproape duble faţă de locuinţele din restul aşezării (15,5x9,6 m). Urme ale unei intense activităţi metalurgice s-au găsit atât în acestă zonă cât şi în afara ei. Întreaga suprafaţă locuită (exceptând „Gradac“-ul) este de 2,85 ha. Populaţia a fost estimată la 1100-1500 de locuitori, plecându-se de la densitatea locuinţelor (fiecărei case fiindu-i atribuit un spaţiu de 100 m2) şi repartizarea a 4–5 persoane pe fiecare casă. Este cât se poate de clar că acest sit se remarcă ca un centru regional major, cu o clară organizare ierarhică[104].

La acest orizont cronologic tell-urile reapar şi la sud de Dunăre, în Bulgaria, Bosnia Herţegovina şi Grecia. Monumentele reprezentative sunt aşezările caracteristice culturii Ezero: Djadovo[105], Junacite[106], Nova Zagora[107] sau Ezero[108] ori siturile de la Varvara[109], Argissa Magula[110], Dikili Tash[111], Emporio[112], Eutresis[113], Lerna[114], Manika[115], Pevkakia Magula[116], Poliochni[117] etc.


Cele mai importante acumulări stratigrafice încep în Mesopotamia odată cu perioada urbană[118]. Urbanizarea în Orient a avut la bază tell-urile fortificate[119]. Inventarea scrisului constituie una din principalele achiziţii ale societăţii summeriene[120]. Oraşele-state summeriene din timpul primei dinastii (circa 2900 – circa 2350 a.Chr.) sunt astfel binecunoscute din izvoarele scrise sau cercetările arheologice[121].

Ca o caracteristică a acestei perioadei, este creşterea considerabilă a suprafeţei oraşelor. Procesul de concentrarea a populaţiei în oraşe se datorează atât securităţii pe care o ofereau zidurile lor cât şi a posibilităţii de a găsi condiţii de muncă mai puţin opresive[122]. Exemplul cel mai bun îl oferă din nou Uruk-ul cu cele 400 de ha ale sale şi o populaţie de 40-50.000 de locuitori[123]. Aici zidul oraşului a împrejmuit o suprafaţă de circa 5,5 km2. H.J. Nissen a comparat situaţia de la Uruk cu cei 2,5 km2 atât cât avea teritoriul Atenei în vremea lui Temistocle sau cu Ierusalimul din timpul lui Herodes Agrippa (în jur de 43 d.Chr.), care abia dacă a atins 1 km2. Oraşul Roma, sub împăratul Hadrian, era numai de două ori mai mare decât Uruk cu 3000 de ani înainte[124]. Pentru a vedea la cât s-au putut ridicat depunerile arheologice, trebuie spus că tell-ul Al-‘Ubaid, despre care L. Woolley vorbeşte ca despre o “little mound” situată la nord-vest de Ur, este de fapt un templu cu platformă de 80 m lungime şi 65 m lăţime. El a fost construit din cărămizi de formă plan-convexă, o invenţie a acestei perioade, şi înconjurat de o fortificaţie puternică[125]. Rămânând tot la Ur, ulterior, în vremea celei de-a treia dinastii (2112-2004 a.Chr.)[126], este construit zigguratul Ur-Nammu, un templu impozant cu trei etaje şi trei rampe de acces[127] (fig. 6/3).

Arhitectura civilă de la Ur a fost recent sistematizată de către L. Battini-Villard[128]. Machetele din lut şi alte reprezentări a unor astfel de case permit reconstituirea exactă a locuinţelor[129]. Cele mai impresionante construcţii laice ale perioadei dinastice timpurii sunt aşa numitele “palate”: Mari, Kis, Uruk, Eridu[130]. În acel palat pre- sargonic de la Mari, cercetat de A. Parrot[131], pe lângă spaţiul privat al „regelui” a funcţionat şi un templu, demonstrând funcţia duală, politică şi religioasă, pe care o avea suveranul[132]. Este cât se poate de clar ca aceste oraşe-state erau conduse de dinastii ereditare înconjurate de curţi regale. Principalul templu era dedicat zeităţi care patrona oraşul, dar avea şi funcţii economice[133].

Mai interesante poate pentru subiectul articolului de faţă sunt de urmărit inovaţiile apărute în arhitectura civilă a unor aşezări de mai mică importanţă. Pe baza situaţiei identificate la Tall Chuēra în nord-estul Siriei, a fost recent definit conceptul de „Parzellenhäuser”. Acesta presupune un nou model de locuinţă cu o lăţime a frontului casei la uliţă bine normat, cu un plan standardizat având ca elemente arhitectonice principale un coridor la intrare şi paralel cu acesta, la frontul străzii, o cameră principală[134]. Centrul oraşului de la Tall Chuēra constă dintr-o piaţă mare traversată de strada principală ce leagă, într-o linie dreaptă, zonă religioasă de arealul rezidenţial. În jurul pieţei a fost ridicat cartierul de locuinţe, acele „Parzellenhäuser”, care comunicau cu centrul oraşului prin străzi ce se terminau în curţile caselor[135] (fig. 10/2).

Vechile tell-uri neolitice Jericho, Megiddo, Tell el Far’ah devin la începutul epocii bronzului din Palestina oraşe prospere[136], unele dintre ele continuându-şi evoluţia şi de-a lungul epocii fierului[137].

Sfârşitul primei dinastii este marcat de cucerirea oraşelor-state mesopotamiene de către Sargon, primul rege al dinastiei sargonice. Perioada akkadiana (2350-2100 a.Chr.), după numele capitalei fondate de către Sargon (sau Agade), se caracterizează, în primul rând, prin crearea unui prim sistem centralizat ce presupunea controlarea politică a unui teritoriu larg[138]. Din punct de vedere al habitatului se constată o continuare, din perioada anterioară, a vechiului tip de aşezări şi a arhitecturii domestice[139]. Criza interna a dinastiei de la Agade a dus la prabuşirea imperiului pe care la creat[140]. Aşa numita dinastie a III-a de la Ur, sau Ur III, care i-a urmat între 2112-2004 a.Chr., a continuat politica de întărire a puterii regale exemplificată, aşa cum am menţionat mai sus, prin iniţierea unui program de construcţii monumetale cum este zigguratul Ur-Nammu. Perioada veche babiloniana din sudul Mesopotamiei şi cea veche assiriana în nordul aceluiaşi areal dureaza de la sfârşitul etapei Ur III până la apariţia primei dinastii de la Babilion (1595 a.Chr. după „cronologia mijlocie”). Informaţiile istorice sunt generoase şi permit reconstiuirea societăţii atât în marile oraşe cât şi în mai micile aşezări. Impresionanta arhivă de la Mari (actualul Tell Hariri circa 1800-1760 a.Chr.), cea de la Kültepe (anticul Kanesh), în Anatolia, ori cele de la Shemshara (nord-estul Iraqului) şi Rimah (regiunea Sinjar) ilustreaza relaţiile politice şi politice ale acestei perioade[141].

În Anatolia, în bronzul timpuriu şi mijlociu, chiar dacă nu asistăm la o asemenea dezvoltare pe plan arhitectonic, boomul demografic este demonstrat de numărul impresionant de aşezări înregistrate[142]. H. Hauptmann, rezumând rezultatul campaniilor arheologice de la Norşuntepe, prezenta sumar diferenţele existente între siturile mileniului al III-lea a.Chr. din Anatolia. Astfel el amintea, alǎturi de sate cu gospodării simple având o singura încăpere (Etiyokuşu, Polatlı, Yarıkkaya), mici centre regionale de putere (Karataş sau Ahlatlıbel) şi rezidenţe princiare cum ar fi Troia sau Kültepe[143]. Momentul apariţiei oraşelor, şi implicit a unei mai rapide dezvoltări pe verticală a tell-urilor, constituie şi aici o problemă îndelung discutată. Pentru estul Anatoliei s-a propus acelaşi scenariu ca şi pentru Mesopotamia, exemplul pe care îl oferă evoluţia, în epoca bronzului, a aşezărilor de la Arslantepe[144] (fig. 11/1) sau Norşuntepe fiind relevant.

Cercetărilor întreprinse între 1968-1974 la Norşuntepe au demonstrat convingător modul în care se transformă arhitectura şi funcţia economică a unei aşezări a bronzului timpuriu din zonă[145]. La început casele au fost ridicate dintr-o structură din lemn în aşa numita Blocktechnik iar economia era axată în principal pe vânătoare şi pe exploatarea resurselor naturale ale zonei (inclusiv prelucrarea metalului). Ulterior, eliberându-se prin defrişări suprafeţe mari din preajma tell-ului, se va trece la o producţie agricolă intensă. Planul aşezări se va schimba şi el radical, apărând cu orizontul VI un centru palaţial cu depozite ce putea adăpostii, doar în vasele de provizii, circa 200 de tone de grâne[146]. (fig. 10/1).

Aşezări fortificate ca cele de la Arslantepe, Norşuntepe, Korucutepe, Imikuşağı sau Hüyük vor funcţiona ca centre de putere până când vor dispărea odată cu apariţia hitiţilor în al doilea sfert al mileniului al II-lea a.Chr.[147]

În vestul Anatoliei, urbanizarea regiunii de coastă poate fi urmărită mai greu datorită cercetărilor mai puţin intense[148]. Procesul poate fi totuşi reconstituit luându-se ca modele Troia, Bakla Tepe sau Liman Tepe. Apariţia unor puternice elemente de fortificare, ce presupun existenţa unei autorităţi politice, a unor clădiri impozante, ca megaronul, sugerează naşterea unor adevărate oraşe odată cu Bronzul Timpuriu II. La Liman Tepe, pe coasta sudică a golfului Izmir, un bastion în formă de potcoavă cu lungimea de cca. 15 m şi cel puţin 6 m înălţime completa un complex sistem de apărare[149]. În cazul Troiei, cercetările mai vechi şi mai noi demonstrează o evoluţie mai târzie. Troia VI şi VII (1700-1050 a.Chr.) funcţiona însă, cu siguraţă, ca o citadelă ce se remarca în peisajul înconjurător prin impozantele ziduri de piatră[150] (fig. 11/2-3).

Ceva mai târziu decât ne interesează acum, pe parcursul mileniului al II-lea a.Chr., formarea de noi tell-uri atinge şi teritorii ca vestul Georgiei sau sudul Usbechistanului. Astfel Namčeduri este un tell aflat la vărsarea râurilor Očxamuri şi Čoloki în Marea Neagră. Cele şase niveluri de locuire, acumulate de la mijlocul mileniului al II-lea până în sec. al II-lea a.Chr., au dus la formarea unei stratigrafii de circa 10 m[151]. Kučk-Tepe se află în câmpia îngustă formată de Amu-Darja, unul dintre cele mai mari râuri din Asia Centrală, un fost deşert. Peste 7 m de depuneri arheologie şi şase niveluri principale de locuire s-au format de-alungul bronzului târziu până în perioada timpurie baktriană. Construcţiile, înconjurate de o fortificaţie puternică, au fost ridicate din cărămidă[152].


Una dintre caracteristicile perioadei bronzului timpuriu şi mijlociu din Bazinul Carpatic este tocmai înflorirea modului de viaţă reprezentat de tell-uri[153] (fig. 12). Procesul debuteză timid, prin tell-ul de la Vinkovci, undeva pe la 2500 a.Chr. Cel de-al doilea orizont corespunde, în cronologia relativă, etapei a II-a a bronzului timpuriu (aproximativ 2400 – circa 2300 a.Chr.). La acest moment iau naştere în zona Dunării o serie de tell-uri caracteristice culturii Nagyrév. Aceleaşi condiţii favorabile practicării agriculturii au fost găsite de către comunităţile Nagyrév şi în zona Tisei Mijlocii. Acum este este fondat primul sat de la Tószeg şi ceva mai târziu cel de la Nagyrév. Procesul gradual de sedentarizarea a populaţiei nu este propriu doar culturii Nagyrév, aşezările de tip tell de la Tiszalúc şi Săcuieni, caracteristice grupelor Nyírseg şi Sanislău, reflectă un fenomen ce va cuprinde treptat întregul Bazin Carpatic. În privinţa arhitecturii, locuinţe de suprafaţă, deocamdată modeste ca dimensiuni, având o structură din lemn, podeaua în unele cazuri lutuită de mai multe ori, pereţii dintr-o structură uşoară din lemn, ulterior lutuită (la Dunaföldvár aceştia au fost pictaţi), acoperişul realizat din materiale uşoare aflate la faţa locului (stuf, paie), pot fi întâlnite peste tot. Orizontul al treilea (bronz timpuriu III-bronz mijlociu I) este cel care marchează momentul formării majorităţii tell-urilor epocii bronzului în această zonă. De-a lungul a circa 300 de ani (între aproximativ 2300 şi 1950 a.Chr.) am înregistrat peste 100 de noi movile artificiale în care au fost găsite urmele unor aşezării. Tell-urile se grupează atât în zonele joase din Câmpia Mureşului, Tisei, Crişurilor, Barcăului/Berettyó şi Er-ului, terasa înaltă a Dunării din centrul Ungariei, cât şi în zona colinară de la nord-est de Budapesta (Gödöllő) sau cea de la poalele munţilor Bükk. Explozia demografică, sugerată de numărul mare de noi aşezări fondate, se datorează cu mare probabilitate, debutului unui nou optimum climateric. Faţă de perioada anterioară a eneoliticului final, asistăm la un proces de încălzire a climei şi de creştere a cantităţii de precipitaţii. Noua situaţie climaterică a făcut posibilă introducerea treptată în circuitul agricol, cel puţin în zona de câmpie, a unor noi suprafeţe cultivabile ce fuseseră până atunci nerentabile. Noile aşezări vor exploata astfel condiţiile locale, terasele şi grindurile ce se ridicau deasupra câmpiei joase, fiind de asemenea amplasate pe principalele căi de circulaţie sau la vadurile obligatorii de trecere.

       Locuirea îndelungată a aceluiaşi areal va da naştere şi la stabilirea de noi relaţii interumane, ce presupun o mai complexă organizare socială, un sistem ierarhic bazat pe competenţă şi putere şi evident o mai adâncă integrare a individului în comunitate. Toate acestestea se vor reflectate, cum nu se poate mai bine, în noul tip de habitat: aşezările sunt fortificate cu unul sau mai multe şanţuri de apărare (fig. 13), casele sunt în numeroase cazuri de dimensiuni relativ mari, cu podeaua din lut bătut, o structură din lemn umplută cu lut amestecat cu paie şi alte resturi organice şi acoperişul, în două ape, confecţionat din stuf sau paie (fig. 14).

Orizontul al patrulea (bronz mijlociu II) corespunde, din punct de vedere cronologic, perioadei A2 din sudul Germaniei şi Austria (circa 1900 - după 1700 a.Chr.). Multe dintre tell-urile fondate anterior îşi continuă neîntrerupt evoluţia şi în această etapă. Acum asistăm la cea mai mare răspândire a fenomenului tell-urilor în Bazinul Carpatic, prin apariţia lor şi în arealul culturii Maďarovce. Cel mai vestic tell din Europa acestei vremi este cel de la Ivanovce pe râul Váh în vestul Slovaciei, iar cea mai nordică aşezare de tip tell este cea de la Spišský Štrvtok în piemontul munţilor Tatra. În arealul sudic, în preajma Dunării, se remarcă tell-urile culturii Vatina de la Mošorin şi Orešac. Limita estică a fenomenului tell-urilor se plasează în nord-vestul României, în Câmpia Someşului (Medieşul Aurit) şi pe valea Crasnei (Derşida).

Structura habitatului păstrează, în mare, aceleaşi caracteristici ca şi în orizontul anterior. Dezvoltarea pe orizontală a acestor aşezării, face ca sistemul defensiv, în unele cazuri, să fie la un moment dat abandonat în favoarea câştigării unui teren suplimentar construcţiei de locuinţe. Pentru a suplini aceiaşi lipsă de spaţiu, se constată o mai bună organizare a intravilanului. Casele sunt astfel construite respectându-se un plan prealabil aşa cum a fost identificat în tell-urile de la Košice-Barca (fig. 15/1), Mošorin (fig. 15/2) sau Füzesabony (fig. 15/3). Sunt de remarcat unele construcţii de dimensiuni deosebite. Este cazul unei locuinţe cercetate la Túrkeve cu nu mai puţin de patru încăperi (fig. 14/1), sau a unei platforme din lut cu dimensiunile de 25,50x12,50 m şi nu mai puţin 8 vetre de foc descoperită la Otomani „Cetatea de pământ“.

În cel de-al cincelea orizont (bronz mijlociu III), o perioadă ceva mai scurtă de timp decât precedentele două etape (circa 1650 – înainte de 1500 a.Chr.), sunt fondate doar foarte puţine noi tell-uri. În marea majoritatea a cazurilor apariţia de noi tell-uri se leagă de procesul de răspândirea spre est şi spre vest a purtătorilor culturii Vatya. Cel mai reprezentativ tell pentru această perioadă este cel de la Tiszaalpár=Alpár. Sistemul de apărare de aici proteja o suprafaţă de circa 0,22 ha, în interiorul căreia au fost surprinse patru orizonturi de locuire şi o stratigrafie de circa 1 m.

La sfârşitul bronzului mijlociu, ca şi în neoliticul târziu, cu mai bine de 2000 de ani înainte, modul de habitat pe care-l reprezintă tell-ul pare să înceteze brusc. Prezentând sumar cauzele care au determinat sfârşitul tell-urilor neolitice şi din epoca bronzului din Bazinul Carpatic, am discutat şi despre rolul decisiv pe care l-au avut factorii climaterici[154]. Câţiva ani ploioşi de-a rândul pot avea efecte dezastroase asupra recoltelor, ducând la părăsirea zonelor joase, mlăştinoase, din apropierea Tisei, Mureş-ului sau a Criş-ului. Aici se concentrează de altfel şi marea majoritate a tell-urilor epocii bronzului. Alte catastrofe naturale ca seceta, invaziile de insecte, cutremurele etc. au jucat şi ele un rol important în dispariţia unor aşezări sau chiar a unor civilizaţii. Atunci când analizăm motivele care au stat la baza părăsirii unor tell-uri, evident că nu putem exclude ipoteza existenţei unor evenimente violente. Situaţia de la Jászdózsa este relevantă pentru distrugerea tell-ului de către noii veniţi[155]. La cauzele externe, sau câte o dată în strânsă legătură cu ele, trebuie să adăugăm şi unii factori interni care determină abandonarea unor localităţi: o motivaţie religioasă sau de natură igienică, epidemii etc.[156].

Precizând ca de obicei, pe scurt, care este situaţia în siturilor multistratificate din zonele învecinate, remarcăm că în Bulgaria şi Grecia cea mai mare parte a aşezărilor fondate în bronzul (respectiv helladicul) timpuriu îşi continuă evoluţia şi pe parcursul perioadei următoare: Argissa Magula, Dikili Tash, Emporio, Eutresis, Ezero, Djadovo, Junacite, Lerna, Manika, Pevkakia Magula, Poliochni etc. La acestea se adugă constituirea de noi tell-uri sau magule cum sunt cele de la Gălăbovo[157], Razkopanica[158] sau Veselinovo[159] în Bulgaria sau Archontiko[160], Axiochori[161], Hagios Mamas[162], Kritsana[163], Lefkandi[164], Lithares[165], Pelikata[166] etc. în Grecia.

La nord de Dunăre numărul aşezărilor cu o stratigrafie complexă este foarte mic. Caracteristice culturi Glina sunt siturile cu depuneri arheologice modeste[167], chiar dacă, aşa cum se pronunţa C. Schuster, majoritatea complexelor de locuit din arealul culturii o formează locuinţele de suprafaţă. Lipsa unor acumulari stratigrafice consistente se datorează permanentei mişcări a comunităţilor Glina. Posibil ca locuinţele de suprafaţă să fi fost folosite în anotimpurile mai călduroase iar bordeele în cele răcoroase[168]. Excepţie fac tell-urile de la Odaia Turcului[169], situl eponim  Glina[170] şi Valea Calului[171]. Mai spre nord, în arealul culturilor Monteoru tipul de habitat nu este cu mult diferit[172]. Pe lângă aşezări cu un singur nivel de cultură există şi câteva situri multistratificate (Sărata Monteoru[173], Năeni „Zănoaga”[174] ). Ele nu au aspectul unor tell-uri „clasice”, datorită stratigrafiei în pantă şi a lipsei unui tip de habitat caracteristic, dar trebuie aici consemnate prin depunerile importante care s-au acumulat în acelaşi loc. Manifestărilor bronzului timpuriu din Moldova sunt cunoscute, cu precădere, pe baza descoperirilor funerare. În ceea ce priveşte aşezările, se pare că ele au avut un caracter modest din punct de vedere arhitectonic şi al depunerilor arheologice[175]. Ca şi în etapa timpurie, aşezările culturilor bronzului mijlociu din Oltenia, Muntenia şi Moldova (Verbicioara[176], Gârla Mare[177], Tei[178], Costişa[179]) au în general un singur strat de cultură. Există însă şi câteva excepţii (Ghidici, Ostrovul Corbului etc.), semn că acolo unde condiţiile de mediu sunt favorabile este posibilă apariţia unor tell-uri.


Aşa cum am precizat, odată cu debutul bronzului târziu în Bazinul Carpatic, tell-ul încetează pentru totdeauna a mai fi un tip de habitat caracteristic acestui areal geografic. De aceea şi comparaţia făcută cu monumentele similare ale Orientul Apropiat se opreşte undeva pe la anul 1500 a.Chr. Cu ceea ce am rămas dator este prezentarea caracteristicilor care aproprie sau deosebesc tell-urile din Orientul Apropiat de cele din Bazinul Carpatic. Ultima parte a acestei analize, cea de-a III-a, are ca scop prezentarea acestui din urmă aspect. 


[1] Precizez şi cu această ocazie că lucrarea a fost redactată în timpul bursei Alexander von Humboldt la Freie Universität Berlin, Institut für Prähistorische Archäologie. Mulţumirile mele se îndreaptă către Fundaţia Alexander von Humboldt (Bonn/Bad Godesberg) şi profesorul Bernhard Hänsel care a condus proiectul meu de cercetare. Pentru observaţii şi corecturi aduse manuscrisului le sunt de asemenea îndatorat lui Tudor Soroceanu, Rodica şi Nikolas Boroffka. Unele completări bibliografice au fost făcute şi pe parcursul anului 2004.

[2] Gogâltan 2004a, p. 43 sqq.

[3] Gogâltan 2002, p. 23 sq. Pentru varianta în limba română vezi Gogâltan 2003b, p. 45 sqq.

[4] Collins 2000. Acelaşi termen a fost folosit şi de către profesorul berlinez H.J. Nissen (Nissen 1999, p. 145 “Das Uruk-Phänomen”). Pentru J.-D. Forest cultura Uruk înseamnă “la cité-état triomphante” (Forest 1996, p. 117 sqq.).

[5] La lucrările mai vechile ale lui Adams, Nissen 1972, p. 97 sqq.; Johnson 1980, p. 233 sqq.; Adams 1981, mai ales p. 94 sqq.; Finkbeiner 1991, mai ales p. 193 sq.; Algaze 1993, p. 11 sqq., se adaugă recenta sinteză a lui Ch. Grewe (Grewe 2002, p. 49 sqq.).

[6] În câmpia Deh Luran, de exemplu, cercetările au demonstrat existenţa unor aşezări de mici dimensiuni. Din această cauză se consideră că întreaga populaţie din zona nu a depăşit 2000 de locuitori în etapa timpurie şi mijlocie Uruk. În etapa târzie a perioadei Uruk au fost identificate doar două situri, populaţia ridicându-se la circa 600 de locuitori, majoritatea concentrându-se la Tepe Farukhabad (Wright 1981, p. 184 sqq., fig. 79-80). Pentru S. Pollock dovezile privind sedentarizarea populaţiei nomade nu sunt extrem de convingatoare (Pollock 1999, p. 69), creşterea numărului de locuitori în unele aşezări datorându-se schimbărilor condiţiilor de mediu (Pollock 1999, p. 71 sq.).

[7] Adams 1981, p. 69. Populaţia a fost calculată plecându-se de la un standard de 100 de persoane pe hectar.

[8] Adams 1981, p. 71; Maisels 1990, p. 136 sq.

[9] După U. Finkbeiner suprafaţa Uruk-ului ar fi atins la această vreme circa 250 de ha (Finkbeiner 1991, p. 194).

[10] Collins 2000, p. 20 sq., cu bibliografia mai veche

[11] Lupton 1996, p. 20 sqq., unde poate fi găsită şi bibliografia problemei. Vezi şi tabelele publicate de G. Algaze (Algaze 1993, p. 58 sqq.).

[12] Gibson şi colab. 2002, p. 11 sqq.

[13] Ur 2002, p. 57 sqq.

[14] Ur 2002, p. 64, 69.

[15] Pollock 1999, p. 6.

[16] Eichmann 2001, p. 121 sqq.

[17] Werner 1994, p. 116 sqq.; Collins 2000, p. 31 sqq.

[18] Finkbeiner 1991, p. 1.

[19] Jordan 1930.

[20] Eichmann 1989, cu literatura mai veche.

[21] Heinrich 1982, p. 35 sqq.

[22] Finkbeiner 1991, p. 194.

[23] Heinrich 1984, p. 10 sqq. Maisels 1990, p. 134 sqq.

[24] Maisels 1990, p. 134 sqq.

[25] Strommenger 1980, p. 65.

[26] Vallet 1996, p. 47 sqq.

[27] Ludwig 1977, p. 72 sq.

[28] Oates şi colab. 1997; Oates şi colab. 2001.

[29] Mallowan 1947, p. 1 sqq. O lectură plăcută despre acest sit este cartea scrisă de celebra sa soţie Agatha Christie Come, Tell Me How You Live, London, 1976.

[30] Oates şi colab. 2001, p. XXX.

[31] Wright 1981.

[32] Wright 1981, p. 76 sqq.

[33] Killick 1988, p. 136.

[34] Roaf 1991, p. 58 sq.

[35] Busch 2002.

[36] Raczky 1995, fig. 1; Lichter 2001, p. 156 sq., fig. 72 – orizontul 5.

[37] Chapman 1994, p. 83 sqq.

[38] Lazarovici şi colab. 2001, p. 181 sqq.; Hegedűs, Makkay 1987, p. 89.

[39] Bognár-Kutzián 1972, p. 164 sqq.; Kalicz 1995, p. 68, fig. 2. N. Kalicz vorbeşte despre existenţa, în arealul sudic de răspândire a acestei culturi, a unor aşezări de tip tell, fără a preciza care ar fi acestea (Kalicz 1998,  p. 331).

[40] Este vorba de siturile de la Pianul de Jos (Paul 1965, p. 5 sqq.; Paul 1981,  p. 205 sq., Abb. 9-10) ori Daia Română (Paul 1981, p. 201 sqq., Abb. 4-5; Paul 1992, p. 139 sq.).

[41] László 1914, p. 287 sqq.; László 1924, p. 1 sqq.; Monah, Cucoş 1985, p. 55 cu completări bibliografice. Pentru săpăturile din 1968-1985 vezi Zaharia, Székely 1988, p. 101 sqq.

[42] Lazarovici 1979, p. 173 sqq.; Lazarovici 1981, p. 35 sqq.

[43] Oprinescu 1995, p. 139 sqq., cu literatura mai veche; Radu 2002, p. 32 sqq. Cu cei peste 2 m de stratigrafie şi numeroase locuinţe de suprafaţă cu podina şi pereţii din chirpic, ce se suprapun una peste alta, aşezarea nu este considerată un tell de către autoarea săpăturilor (Radu 2002, p. 36 sq.).

[44] Schmidt 1945, p. 121 sqq.; Dimitrijević 1968, p. 12 sqq.

[45] Sălcuţa - Berciu 1961, p. 156 sqq.; Verbicioara - Berciu 1950, p. 103 sqq.

[46] Nica şi colab. 1995, p. 9 sqq.

[47] Dumitrescu 1925, p. 29.

[48] Ştefan 1925, p. 138 sqq.; Dumitrescu 1965, p. 215 sqq.; Dumitrescu 1986, p. 73 sq.

[49] Galbenu 1962, p. 285 sqq.; Haşotti 1997, p. 79 sqq., cu literatura mai veche. Pentru noile cercetări interdisciplinare vezi Popovici şi colab. 2000, p. 13 sqq.

[50] Schuchardt 1924, p. 9 sqq.; Haşotti 1997, p. 77, cu literatura mai veche.

[51] Hiller, Nikolov 1997, cu literatura mai veche.

[52] Todorova 1982, p. 111 sqq.; Bailey 1996, p. 149 sqq., cu literatura mai veche

[53] Lichardus şi colab. 2000, p. 45 sqq., cu literatura mai veche.

[54] Georgiev 1965, p. 6 sqq.; Görsdorf, Bojadžiev 1996, p. 134 sqq.

[55] Georgiev şi colab. 1979; Görsdorf, Bojadžiev 1996, p. 137 sqq.

[56] Petrescu-Dîmboviţa 1953, p. 13 sqq.

[57] Marinescu-Bîlcu 1974, p. 17 sqq.; Ellis 1984, p. 20; Marinescu-Bîlcu 2000, p. 321 sqq.

[58] Ellis 1984, p. 48 sqq.; Monah, Cucoş 1985; Monah 1992, p. 391 sqq.; Monah, Monah 1997, p. 53 sqq.; Cucoş 1999, p. 25 sqq.; Popovici 2000, p. 32 sqq.

[59] Marinescu-Bîlcu 1981. La „Râpa lui Bodai“ pe lângă un nivel neolitic (ceramică liniară) şi alte materiale ulterioare perioadei eneolitice, au fost identificate două niveluri Precucuteni (unul de la sfârşitul fazei a II-a şi altul din faza a III-a şi un nivel Cucuteni A1-A2. 

[60] Monah, Cucoş 1985, p. 131; Popovici 2000, p. 55 sq., cu literatura mai veche. Pentru ultimele săpături vezi Monah şi colab. 2003, p. 243 sqq.

[61] Prendi, Aliu 1971, p. 13 sqq.

[62] Prendi 1976, p. 62 sqq.

[63] Kitanovski 1971, p. 139 sqq.

[64] Wace, Thompson 1912, p. 25 sqq.

[65] Alram-Stern 1996, p. 392 sqq., cu literatura mai veche

[66] Informaţie bibliografică preluată după Link 2001 (

[67] Strahm 2001, p. 17

[68] Kordos 1987, fig. 2-3

[69] Intersante opinii privind sfâşitul tell-urile neolitice pot fi găsite la Tringham 1992, p. 135 sqq.; Chapman 1994, p. 82. După M.K. Kenyon întreruperea locuirii pe tell-ul de la Jerichon se datorează distrugerilor provocate de cutremurele de pământ (puţin probabil pentru Bazinul Carpatic) şi bolilor (Kenyon 1981, p. 1).

[70] Kalicz 1982, fig. 1; Raczky 1995, fig. 1; Lichter 2001, p. 157 sq., fig. 72 – la el orizontul 6.

[71] Kordos 1987, fig. 2-3.

[72] S.A. Luca, publicând cercetările sale de la Pecica-Forgaci (Luca 1993, p. 49 sqq.), vorbeşte despre existenţa a două tell-uri (Luca 1999, p. 13). Chiar dacă depunerile arheologice ating 0,90 m şi există două niveluri caracteristice culturii Bodrogkeresztúr, o situaţie deocamdată unică pentru această cultură, puteam presupune, cel mult, existenţa aici a unei aşezări de tip tell.

[73] Roman 1971, p. 31 sqq.; Patay 1975, p. 31; Kalicz 1998, p. 331 sqq., cu completări bibliografice; Luca 1999.

[74] Vezi Roman 1986, p. 14; Roman, Dodd-Opriţescu 1989, p. 11 sqq. (pentru cimitirul eneolitic ce suprapune aşezarea Sălcuţa). Mai nou, pentru N. Kalicz, Cernavodă I evoluează paralel cu faza A a culturii Bodrogkeresutúr (Kalicz 1998, p. 335).

[75] Simon 1989, p. 107 sqq.

[76] Roman 1987, p. 345; Roman 1996, p. 30, 61

[77] Berciu 1961, p. 161, 164

[78] Haşotti 1997, p. 119 sqq. cu literatura mai veche; Parzinger 1998, p. 123 sqq.; Manzura 1999, p. 95 sqq.

[79] Pentru C. Bem sfârşitul culturii Gumelniţa în Dobrogea (faza Gumelniţa A2) este marcat de o coabitare cu primele populaţii Cernavodă I. De asemenea se presupune o contemporaneitate, în sudul Munteniei, între aşezările Gumelniţa B1 şi faza Cernavodă Ia (Bem 2000, p. 345). 

[80] Morintz, Ionescu 1968, p. 105 sqq.; Morintz, Roman 1968, p. 56 sqq. Din cei 6 m de stratigrafie arheologică (Boian, Gumelniţa), nivelului Cernavodă I îi aparţin depuneri de până la 1 m.

[81] Haşotti 1997, p. 125, cu literatura mai veche

[82] Haşotti 1997, 126 sqq., cu literatura mai veche. Stratul Cernavodă I de aici începe la –0,40 m şi coboară până la 1,65 m, constatându-se două niveluri de locuire

[83] Schuchardt 1924, 9 sqq.; Roman 2001, 345 sqq., cu literatura mai veche. Cercetările din anii ’50 efectuate pe “Dealul Sofia” au dus la descoperirea unei depuneri Cernavoda I, în sectorul a, de până la 3,30 m şi a nu mai puţin de 14 orizonturi de locuire.

[84] Todorova 1993, p. 79; Todorova 1998, p. 68.

[85] Adams 1981, p. 82; Collins 2000, p. 21.

[86] Heinrich 1982, p. 93 sq., cu literatura mai veche.

[87] Burney 1977, p. 63 sqq.; Lloyd 1978, p. 54 sqq.; Heinrich 1982, p. 55 sqq.; Roaf 1991, p. 62, 68 sq.

[88] Moorey 1976, p. 95 sqq.

[89] E. Heinrich o încadrează în categoria “palatelor” (Heinrich 1984, p. 13).

[90] Pfälzner 2001, p. 112 sqq.

[91] Vezi noile sinteze din volumul Cernavodă III-Boleráz...La acesta se adaugă recenta analiză a lui S. Oanţă-Marghitu  (Oanţă-Marghitu 2003).

[92] Roman, Németi 1978, p. 22 sq.; Durman 1995, p. 156; Němejcová-Pavúková 1998, p. 393, cu completări bibliografice.

[93] Pentru o imagine orientativă asupra perioadei şi a respectivelor culturi arheologice vezi recentele sinteze: Tasić 1995 p. 59 sqq. (culturile Kostolac şi Coţofeni sunt analizate în capitolul referitor la „Middle Eneolithic“!); Nikolić 2000; Ciugudean 2000.

[94] Korek 1968, p. 37 sqq.

[95] Korek 1968, p. 55 sq., pl. XII.

[96] Schmidt 1945, p. 5 sqq.

[97] Garašanin 1967, p. 27 sq.

[98] Roman 1976, p. 16, pl. 5-6

[99] Roman 1987, p. 348, 351;  Roman 1996, p. 19.

[100] Aslanis 1985, p. 15; Hänsel 1989, p. 27; Schulz 1989, p. 375 sqq.

[101] Ciută, Gligor 2003, p. 1 sqq.

[102] Schmidt 1945, p. 5 sqq.

[103] Dimitrijević 1979, p. 271, 283.

[104] Forenbaher 1995, p. 17 sqq.

[105] Fol şi colab. 1989; Görsdorf, Bojadžiev 1996, p. 164.

[106] Katinčarov şi colab. 1995; Görsdorf, Bojadžiev 1996, p. 158 sqq.

[107] Katinčarov 1973, p. 66 sqq.; Görsdorf, Bojadžiev 1996, p. 160 sq.

[108] Georgiev şi colab. 1979; Görsdorf, Bojadžiev 1996, p. 137 sqq.

[109] Čović 1978, p. 5 sqq.

[110] Tsountas 1908, p. 168; Hanschmann, Milojčić 1976; Hanschmann 1981.

[111] Treuil 1992, cu literatura mai veche.

[112] Hood 1981, p. 83 sqq.; Hood 1982, p. 427 sqq.; Kouka 2002, p. 260 sqq.

[113] Treuil 1983, p. 63 sqq., cu literatura mai veche.

[114] Treuil 1983, p. 49 sqq., cu literatura mai veche.

[115] Maran 1998, p. 89 sqq., cu literatura mai veche.

[116] Christmann 1996.

[117] Bernabò-Brea 1964; Kouka 2002, p. 46 sqq.

[118] Kenyon 1960, p. 101 sqq.

[119] Falconer 1994, p. 305 sqq.

[120] Cooper 1996, p. 37 sqq.

[121] Orthmann 1975, p. 28 sqq.; Maisels 1990, p. 131 sqq; Kuhrt 1995, p. 27 sqq.; Forest 1996, p. 175 sqq.; Bauer şi colab. 1998, p. 18 sqq.; Nissen 1999, p. 50 sqq.; Maisels 1999, p. 160 sqq.

[122] Pollock 1999, p. 72 sq.

[123] Maisels 1990, p. 141. Plecând de la analogiile etnografice din Khuzestan, a textelor din timpul primei dinastii şi a teoriilor geografice moderne, R.McC. Adams a calculat că pentru supravieţuirea unui individ adult timp de un an era nevoie de un teritoriu agricol de 1,5 ha. În acest caz suprafaţa cultivată în jurul Uruk-ului a fost estimată ca având o lungime radială de 14 km din centrul oraşului (Adams 1981, p. 86 sq.).

[124] Nissen 1983, p. 79.

[125] Woolley 1982, p. 104 sqq.

[126] Kuhrt 1995, p. 56 sqq.

[127] Woolley 1982, p. 137 sqq.; Nissen 1999, p. 66 sqq.

[128] Battini-Villard 1999, p. 3 sqq., şi în special cel de-al doilea volum al lucrării.

[129] Muller 2002.

[130] Heinrich 1984, p. 14 sqq.

[131] Parrot 1965, p. 199 sqq., fig. 4.

[132] Parrot 1965, p. 206 sq.

[133] Kuhrt 1995, p. 33; Pollock 1999, p. 9.

[134] Dohmann-Pfälzner, Pfälzner 2002, p. 13.

[135] Dohmann-Pfälzner, Pfälzner 2002, p. 14.

[136] Kenyon 1960, p. 111 sqq.; Mazar 1990, p. 91 sqq.

[137] Braemer 1982.

[138] Kuhrt 1995, p. 44 sqq.

[139] Pollock 1999, p. 9 sq., 75.

[140] Kuhrt 1995, p. 56 sqq.

[141] Kuhrt 1995, p. 74 sqq.

[142] Korfmann şi colab. 1994.

[143] Hauptmann 1976, p. 9.

[144] Frangipane 1996, p. 60 sqq; Di Nocera 1998, p. 25 sqq.

[145] Tell-ul de aici are o stratigrafie impresionantă de 35 de m. Ea a fost acumulată din mileniul al V-lea a.Chr. până la mijlocul mileniului I a.Chr. Grosimea stratului de cultură aparţinând epocii bronzului este de 18 m. Pentru perioada cuprinsă între 3000 şi 2200 a.Chr. au fost constatate nu mai puţin de 33 de orizonturi de construcţie şi 40 de faze diferite (Hauptmann 1976, p. 10).

[146] Hauptmann 1976, p. 12, 16.

[147] Di Nocera 2001, p. 87.

[148] Erkanal 1996, p. 70 sqq.

[149] Kouka 2002, p. 6 sq., cu literatura mai veche.

[150] Korfmann 1996, p. 83 sqq. Vezi şi recenta sinteză Troia. Traum und Wircklichkeit, Stuttgart, 2001.

[151] Mikeladze, Chachutaišvili 1984, p. 199 sqq.

[152] Askarov 1982, p. 1 sqq.

[153] Literatura şi toate informaţiile cu privire la problemele de cronologie şi habitat ale tell-urile epocii bronzului din Bazinul Carpatic se găsesc la Gogâltan 2004b.

[154] Gogâltan 2003a, p. 245 sq. Vezi şi Gogâltan 2004b.

[155] Stanczik, Tárnoki 1992, p. 123 sqq.

[156] Mühlmann 1964.

[157] Panayotov şi colab. 1991, p. 139 sqq.; Görsdorf, Bojadžiev 1996, p. 163 sq.

[158] Detev 1981, p. 141sqq.; Görsdorf, Bojadžiev 1996, p. 163.

[159] Lichardus, Iliev 2000, p. 76, cu bibliografia mai veche.

[160] Pilali-Papasteriou, Papaefthymiou-Papanthimou 2002, p. 137 sqq.

[161] Aslanis 1985, p. 207 sqq., cu bibliografia mai veche.

[162] Aslanis 1985, p. 240 sqq., cu bibliografia mai veche.

[163] Heurtley 1939, p. 17 sqq.; Aslanis 1985, p. 228 sqq, cu bibliografia mai veche

[164] Maran 1998, p. 30 sqq., cu bibliografia mai veche.

[165] Tzavella-Evjen, Rohner 1990, p. 115 sqq., cu bibliografia mai veche.

[166] Maran 1998, p. 30 sqq., cu bibliografia mai veche.

[167] Schuster 1995, p. 129 sqq.; Schuster 1997a, p. 29 sqq.

[168] Schuster 1997b, p. 103. Vezi şi Comşa 1991, p. 21 sq.

[169] Tudor 1982a, p. 57 sqq.

[170] Nestor 1933, p. 226 sqq.; Petrescu-Dîmboviţa 1974, p. 277 sqq., cu literatura mai veche.

[171] Tudor 1982b, p. 94 sqq.

[172] O ultimă sinteză la Motzoi-Chicideanu 2003, p. 37 sqq.

[173] Zaharia 1987, p. 21 sqq., cu istoricul cercetărilor.

[174] Motzoi-Chicideanu, Şandor-Chicideanu 1999, p. 59 sqq.

[175] Burtănescu 2002, p. 97 sqq.

[176] Morintz 1978, p. 22 sqq.; Ridiche 2000, p. 41 sqq.

[177] Şandor-Chicideanu 2003, p. 40 sqq.

[178] Leahu 1966, p. 47 sqq.

[179] Vezi recentă sinteza coordonată de V. Cavruc şi Ghe. Dumitroaia (Cavruc, Dumitroaia 2001).



The Theory of Devolution

San Diego, CA Human Devolution: A Vedic Alternative to Darwin’s Theory (Torchlight Publishing,
September 2003), the highly anticipated sequel to the controversial bestseller Forbidden Archeology,
continues the literary drama with the same astute attention to detail and ground breaking revelations
as its predecessor.

Forbidden Archeology documented a massive amount of evidence showing that humans have existed on
earth for hundreds of millions of years. Such anomalous evidence, contradicting Darwinian evolution,
catalyzed a global inquiry, "If we did not evolve from apes, then where did we come from?" Human
is author Michael A. Cremo's definitive answer to this question.

"We did not evolve up from matter; instead we devolved, or came down, from the realm of pure
consciousness, spirit," says Cremo. He bases his response on modern science and the world's
great wisdom traditions, including the Vedic philosophy of ancient India. Cremo proposes that
before we ask the question, "Where did human beings come from? we should first contemplate,
"What is a human being?" Cremo asserts that humans are a combination of matter, mind, and
consciousness (or spirit).

Human Devolution contains solid scientific evidence showing how a subtle mind element and a
conscious self that can exist apart from the body have been systematically eliminated from
mainstream science by a process of knowledge filtration. "Any time knowledge filtration takes
place you can expect a great deal of resistance, criticism, and ridicule when it is exposed and
challenged," says Cremo.

Michael Cremo is no stranger to resistance. In 1993 when Forbidden Archeology was released
there was a vast array of response. From anthropologist Richard Leakey calling it "...pure humbug"
to Fingerprints of the Gods author Graham Hancock referring to it as "One of the landmark
intellectual achievements of the late 20th century," it has received both positive and negative
international attention. In addition, in 1996 when NBC aired its special The Mysterious Origins
of Man
, hosted by Charlton Heston, and featured the book, establishment scientists felt so
threatened by this program that they lobbied the Federal Communications Commission to
censure and fine NBC for airing it (read the complete story in Forbidden Archeology's Impact).

Despite the criticism surrounding it, Forbidden Archeology is a huge success. Both it and Human
present human origins in a new perspective. The two books are the culmination of
eighteen years of research. The result, unlike the early creationist perspective, offers a new
scientifically based take on human origins. Forbidden Archeology gave us the cover-up and now
Human Devolution brings us the true story.

Michael Cremo at the Darwin Museum in Moscow
Michael Cremo at the Darwin Museum in Moscow standing in front of paintings of Charles
Darwin and Alfred R. Wallace, cofounders of the theory of evolution by natural selection


Devolution (biology)

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In common parlance, "devolution", "de-evolution", or backward evolution is the notion that a species can change into a more "primitive" form. It is associated with the idea that evolution is supposed to make species more advanced, and that some modern species have lost functions or complexity and seem to be degenerate forms of their ancestors. This view is rejected by modern evolutionary theory, in which adaptation arises from natural selection of forms best suited to the environment, and so can lead to loss of features when these features are costly to maintain. Thus for cave dwelling animals the loss of eyes arises because it is an advantage, not degeneracy.[1] In pre-evolutionary ideas of essentialism following on from Plato's Theory of Forms, species were seen as pure unchanging types. Essentialism is rejected when genetic variation within kind is understood. The concept of created kinds can lead creationists to argue that genetic mutations are "devolution" away from the created type. Evolutionists prefer population genetics and what Ernst Mayr calls "population thinking" in defining species.[2]

The idea of devolution can arise from thinking that "evolution" requires some sort of purposeful direction towards "increasing complexity". Modern evolution theory accepts the possibility of decreasing complexity, as in vestigiality, in the course of evolutionary change,[3] but earlier views that species are subject to "racial decay"or "drives to perfection" or "devolution" have been rejected.[4] Early scientific theories of transmutation of species such as Lamarckism and orthogenesis perceived species diversity as a result of a purposeful internal drive or tendency to form improved adaptations to the environment, but in the modern evolutionary synthesis evolution through natural selection comes about when random heritable mutations happen to give a better chance of successful reproduction in the environment they arise in, while the many disadvantageous mutations are lost.

[edit] Concepts underlying ideas of devolution

Devolution presumes that there is somehow a preferred hierarchy of structure and function, and that evolution must mean "progress" to "more advanced" organisms. For example, it could be said that "feet are better than hooves" or "lungs are better than gills", so that change to the "less advanced" structure would be called "devolution". A modern biologist sees all such changes as evolution, since for the organisms possessing the changed structures, each is a useful adaptation to their circumstances. For example, hooves have advantages for running quickly on plains, which benefits horses, and feet have advantages in climbing trees, which ancestors of humans did.[3]

The concept of devolution as regress from progress relates to the ancient idea that humans are the ultimate product or goal of evolution. This belief is related to anthropocentrism, the idea that human existence is the point of all universal existence. Such thinking can lead on to the idea that species evolve because they "need to" in order to adapt to environmental changes. Biologists refer to this misconception as teleology, the idea of intrinsic finality that things are "supposed" to be and behave a certain way, and naturally tend to act that way to pursue their own good. From a biological viewpoint, when species evolve it is not a reaction to necessity, but rather that the population contains variations with traits that favour their natural selection. This view is supported by the fossil record which demonstrates that roughly ninety-nine percent of all species that ever lived are now extinct.[3]

People thinking in terms of devolution commonly assume that progress is shown by increasing complexity, but biologists studying the evolution of complexity find evidence of many examples of decreasing complexity in the record of evolution. The lower jaw in fish, reptiles and mammals has seen a decrease in complexity, if measured by the number of bones. Ancestors of modern horses had several toes on each foot; modern horses have a single hoofed toe. Modern humans may be evolving towards never having wisdom teeth, and already have lost the tail found in many other mammals - not to mention other vestigial structures, such as the vermiform appendix or the nictitating membrane.[3]

[edit] Dollo's law

Complex organs evolve in a lineage over many generations, and once lost they are unlikely to re-evolve. This observation is sometimes generalized to a hypothesis known as Dollo's law, which states that evolution is not reversible. This does not mean that similar engineering solutions cannot be found by natural selection. For instance the tail of the cetacea--whales, dolphins and porpoises which are evolved from formerly land-dwelling mammals—is an adaptation of the spinal column for propulsion in water. Unlike the tail of the mammal's marine ancestor, the Sarcopterygii, and the other teleosts, which move from side to side, the cetacean's tail moves up and down as it flexes its mammalian spine, but the function of the tail in providing propulsion is remarkably similar.

[edit] Use of the term by proponents of creationism

Creationism and intelligent design sometimes discuss a concept called devolution. Examples include Mastropaulo,[5] who argues that "Change over time, 'definition one' of evolution, actually describes devolution to extinction, the exact opposite of evolution.... actual epidemiological data from human genetic disorders and fatal birth defects, identify 'natural selection,' the alleged 'primary mechanism' for evolution, as actually a mechanism for devolution to extinction, the exact opposite of evolution." and elsewhere,[6] "Evolution is the development of an organism from its chemicals or primitive state to its present state. Devolution is the sequence toward greater simplicity or disappearance or degeneration."

The term was used in the play Inherit the Wind (a parable that fictionalizes the 1925 Scopes "Monkey" Trial), when the character of Matthew Brady (representative of William Jennings Bryan) argued that "Ladies and gentleman, devolution is not a theory but a cold fact ... the ape devolved from man",[7] mocking evolutionary theory by offering an alternative he considers just as plausible. During the Scopes Trial itself, a report in The New York Times said "After flocking to view the monkeys, Dayton has decided that it was not man who evolved from the anthropoid, but the anthropoid which devolved from man; and it points now at the two chimpanzees and the "missing link" to prove the assertion".[8] The suggestion of ape degenerating from "man" had already been brought up by the early young-earth creationist George McReady Price in a work published before the trial:

Accordingly, by every just rule of comparison and analogy, we may well declare that if there is any blood relationship between man and the anthropoid apes, it is the latter which have degenerated from the former, instead of the former having developed from the latter. I do not say that this is the true solution of this enigma; but I do say that there is far more scientific evidence in favour of this hypothesis than there ever has been in favour of the long popular theory than man is a developed animal.[9]

[edit] Streamlining evolution

"Devolution", the verb "devolve" and the past participle "devolved" are all common terms in science fiction for changes over time in populations of living things that make them less complex and remove some of their former adaptations. The terminology used herein is nontechnical, but the phenomenon is a real but counter-intuitive one, more accurately known as streamlining evolution. Since the development and maintenance of a feature such as an organ or a metabolite has an opportunity cost, changes in the environment that reduce the utility of an adaptation may mean that a higher evolutionary fitness is achieved by no longer using the adaptation, thus better using resources. This requires a mutation that inactivates one or more genes, perhaps by a change to DNA methylation or a methionine codon. Streamlining evolution allows evolution to remove features no longer of much/any use, like scaffolding on a completed bridge.

However, "devolution" in practice typically refers to changes that occur from a problem no longer existing rather than superior solutions existing. For instance, of the several hundred known species of animal that live their entire lives in total darkness, most have non-functional eyes rather than no eyes. This is due, for instance, to deterioration of the optic nerve. It occurs because mutations that prevent eye formation have low probability. However, several eyeless animal species, such as the Kauai cave wolf spider, who live in total darkness, and whose ancestry mostly had eyes, do exist. Together with gene duplication, streamlining evolution makes evolution surprisingly able to produce radical changes, despite being limited to successive, slight modifications.

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes and citations

  1. ^ TalkOrigins Archive response to Creationist claims - Claim CB932: Evolution of degenerate forms
  2. ^ "Evolution and Philosophy: Why are natural kinds supposed to stay fixed?". Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  3. ^ a b c d Michael J. Dougherty. Is the human race evolving or devolving? Scientific American July 20, 1998.
  4. ^ "Darwin's precursors and influences: Glossary". Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  5. ^ Biology vs Evolution, Joseph Mastropaolo, Ph.D., Creation Research Society Quarterly 38: 151-158, 2001
  6. ^ Biology Eliminates Evolution and Confirms Genesis (pdf) (google cache [1])
  7. ^ Raymond Weschler (2005). "Inherit the Wind (Drama) ( 1960)" (PDF). – The English Learner Movie Guides. p. 10. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  8. ^ Curator (1995). "The Scopes "Monkey Trial," or "A 1925 Media Circus"". Borndigital. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  9. ^ George McReady Price, The Phantom of Organic Evolution, New York: New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1924, reprinted in Selected Works of George McCready Price, ed. Ronald L. Numbers, New York: Garland Publishing, 1995, ISBN 0-8153-1808-1. volume 7 of the series Creationism in Twentieth Century America. Chapter IX Section V, page 210-211 (pages 446-447 of reprint). Italics in original.

Jerf el-Ahmar 9,000 Proto Writing?

Before proto writing: symbolic pictures from Jerf el-Ahmar 9,000 BP



On the left bank of the Euphrates River, 100 km (60 mi) of Aleppo (Syria), in the archaeological site of Jerf el-Ahmar (in Arabian “Red Bank”), a Syrian-French team discovered, in 1996, some very old stone slates bearing engraved graphics.

The plates were considered to date from the Neolithic  being 9,000 years old. The plates pre-date with 4,000 years the oldest known writing, the Sumerian (in southern Iraq), believed to have appeared 5,000 years ago.

I can tell you that the the strange loops with dots in them on stone c look like humans depicted from above in Australian Aboriginal art. The ‘u’ shapes represent the legs or arms of someone sitting cross legged on the ground, and the dot inside the head. The site is a PPNA site that falls within the within the Mureybetian culture. I don’t think these are just plain drawings, they look as if they have some kind of narrative function (long lost). There’s a descritpion of the stones in this book link, page 89.


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