From near and far: Stone procurement and exchange at Çukuriçi Höyük in Western Anatolia
The focus of this paper are the stone tools of Çukuriçi Höyük, a prehistoric site situated at the central Aegean coast of Anatolia. The settlement was inhabited from the Neolithic, through the Late Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age 1 periods, a period lasting from the early 7th to the early 3rd millennium BCE. A long-term interdisciplinary study of the excavated lithics with different scientific methods on various stone materials (thin section analysis, pXRF, NAA, LA-ICP-MS) offer new primary data about the procurement strategies of prehistoric societies from a diachronic perspective. The results will be presented for the first time with an overview of all source materials and their distinct use through time.
The lithic assemblages from Çukuriçi Höyük consist of a considerable variety of small finds, grinding stones and chipped stone tools. The high variability of raw materials within the different categories of tools is remarkable. In addition to stone tools manufactured from sources in the immediate vicinity of the settlement (i.e. mica-schist, limestone, marble, amphibolite, serpentinite), others are of rock types such as chert, which indicate an origin within the broader region. Moreover, volcanic rocks, notably the exceptionally high amount of Melian obsidian found at Çukuriçi Höyük, attest to the supra-regional procurement of distinct rock types. Small stone axes made of jadeite presumably from the Greek island of Syros, also indicate these far-reaching procurement strategies.
The systematic and diachronic analyses of the stone tools found at Çukuriçi Höyük has demonstrated that as early as the Neolithic period extensive efforts were made to supply the settlement with carefully selected raw materials or finished goods procured from distinct rock sources.
This is an Open Access journal. All material is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence, unless otherwise stated.
Please read our Open Access, Copyright and Permissions policies for more information.