Diversity of obsidian sources in the northwest Anatolian site of Bahçelievler and the dynamics of Neolithisation


Quaternary Science Reviews, vol.329, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 329
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2024.108543
  • Journal Name: Quaternary Science Reviews
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Artic & Antarctic Regions, Compendex, INSPEC, DIALNET
  • Keywords: Anatolia, Bahçelievler, Cappadocia, Galatia, Holocene, Melos, Neolithic, Obsidian sourcing, pXRF
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Recent excavations at the site of Bahçelievler (in modern Bilecik, northwest Anatolia) revealed a Neolithic settlement that was established during the late 8th/early 7th millennium BCE and continuously occupied until ca. 6000 BCE. One of the earliest Neolithic villages known in the region, its obsidian assemblage offers a good opportunity to investigate regional networks and obtain a better understanding of the mechanisms behind the spread of farming to regions peripheral to the earliest Neolithic communities in southwest Asia. To this end, we present here the results of a portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) analysis conducted on obsidian artefacts representing the entire sequence in Bahçelievler. Results indicate that a wide variety of obsidian sources were utilised, ranging from outcrops in central and northwest Anatolia to the Aegean islands. Even though the majority of the obsidians originated in Nenezi Dağ in central Anatolia, some of the other obsidian artefacts in Bahçelievler are from sources known to be only rarely used in prehistory such as Acıgöl, Hasan Dağ, and Yağlar. Contextualisation of Bahçelievler results within analytically sourced obsidians from Neolithic sites in the region indicates that a coastal colonisation along the Mediterranean shore might not have played a major role in the Neolithisation of west Anatolia.