1.0 Introduction

Centimetre-sized, lightly fired clay figurines represent a group of artefacts that typically occur in the pre-pottery-Neolithic (PPNB) settlements of the Near East.

Mineralogical and chemical analysis of many clay figurines from the pre-pottery-Neolithic site of Nevali Çori, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey, has been carried out in order to identify whether fire was used to harden the clay, and also to investigate the nature and source of the raw materials. Although these figurines might be among the earliest examples of fired clay, it was not clear whether they all consisted of clay and if all of them, in fact, had been fired. Additionally, the possibility was investigated that burnt lime may have already been produced at this time and been used for making figurines.

The settlement, excavated by Prof. H. Hauptmann and his team from the University of Heidelberg, has been inundated since 1992 following the construction of the Atatürk dam on the Euphrates River.

The analyses reported here were carried out between 1993-1997 as part of a PhD thesis at the Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg, Germany (Affonso 1997), under the supervision of Prof. Dr Ernst Pernicka and with financial support from CAPES, an institution of the Brazilian Culture Ministry.


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Last updated: Tue Oct 24 2000