2. Domuztepe

A particular case in point is the situation at the site of Domuztepe in south-east Anatolia, where over 10,000 obsidian artefacts have been recovered. Overall the obsidian accounts for about 18-20% of the chipped stone artefacts, though this varies markedly from context to context. We know from the geochemical analysis of only a small proportion of the artefacts that they are made of obsidian originating from many different sources, themselves sometimes geographically far apart. These wide-ranging contacts are not altogether unexpected. Domuztepe dates to a time (c. 6000 and 5500 cal. BC) when the Halaf area of cultural influence spread across the northern part of the Fertile Crescent and contacts between sites, both through materials and ideas, is likely to have been strong.

Figure 1

Figure 1: Map showing the location of Domuztepe in relation to the obsidian sources. Source names are given where mentioned in the text

The site is located between the modern cities of Gaziantep and Kahramanmaraş in south-east Turkey. It is a large site (c. 20 ha) and situated in the Maraş plain between the Taurus and the Amarnus mountains (Fig. 1). It was discovered in 1994 and was excavated between 1995 and 2006 by a joint team from the University of Manchester and UCLA, under the direction of Stuart Campbell and Elizabeth Carter; since 2008 the project has been continued by the University of Manchester and the British Museum. These excavations have revealed complex architectural and other features as well as a rich material culture, including a high proportion of painted ceramics, which themselves show widespread affinities, animal and human figurines, incised stamp-seals, sealing, a series of finely made stone bowls as well as the more mundane ground stone implements, bone tools and a substantial chipped stone assemblage of flint and obsidian (Campbell et al. 1999; Carter et al. 2003).


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