Remodeled human skulls in Kosk Hoyuk (Neolithic age, Anatolia): a new appraisal in view of recent discoveries

Ozbek M.

JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE, vol.36, no.2, pp.379-386, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 36 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jas.2008.09.032
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.379-386
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Between 1985 and 2007 overall nineteen human skulls dating to the Late Neolithic period were recovered at Kosk Hoyuk, which lies within the borders of Bor, a district of the Nigde Province in Central Anatolia. One of these skulls belongs to a child and the remainder to adult males and females. The plastered skulls may have been laid on or wrapped in mats and exposed either singly or in groups on a plaster surface inside the house. Among thirteen of these skulls the mouths, noses, eyes and ears were depicted with clay and painted with red ochre, while the remaining six were untreated. Two headless skeletons were also found in situ underneath the floor inside the house. One of these skeletons belongs to a child aged approximately 15-16 years old and the other belongs to an adult female. The modeled human skulls were encountered in the second and third cultural levels of the Late Neolithic period indicating that this characteristic mortuary practice lasted for quite a long time and likely disappeared by the Chalcolithic at Kosk Hoyuk. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.