Absolute and relative dating of Hallan Çemi Tepesi

Date
2007
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Gates, Marie-Henriette
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Bilkent University
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English
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Abstract

This thesis challenges the claim that Hallan Çemi (near Batman in Southeastern Turkey) was occupied during the Epipaleolithic (11th millennium BP). While techno-typological analyses of some objects, chipped stone in particular, appear to place the site’s occupation within the 11th millennium, the iconography etched into ground stone and worked bone is too similar to PPNB sites in the Urfa Plain to ignore. The excavator himself has provided various descriptions of the site, from Epipaleolithic to Aceramic Neolithic. This terminological discrepancy reflects not only on the problem of dating Hallan Çemi, but also on the larger issue of how one should describe the prehistory of Southeastern Anatolia. The latter problems are claimed to be the combined product of a) the relatively few sites within the region with which to contextualize Hallan Çemi and construct a local chrono-cultural scheme, and b) the related issue of imposing terminologies from other regions which may not be appropriate for Southeastern Anatolia.

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