Arrowheads of Central Anatolia

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    I. CANEYA, C. LEMORINI. D. ZAr'dPETII. and P. BIAGI reds.), Beyond tools. SENEPSE < ) COOl). Berlin, "H)ri,~me.

    Variability in the neolithic arrowheads of Central Anatolia(typological, technological and chronological aspects)

    Nur Balkan-Ath, Nurcan Kayacan, Mihriban. IOzbasaran, Semra Yrldmrn

    Abstract. Recent excavations and surveys in Central Anatolia yielded new data about (he Pre-Pottery Neolithic.One of (he constituents of (his data is (he variability in the process of blade production Fttrthermore. this diversitya/so exists in the typology when these blades are trans/armed to arrowheads.

    IntroductionNew researches in the last decade have been illum inating for the Central Anatolian prehistory.

    Excavations such as Asikl: Hoyiik and Musular and numerous sites discovered in various surveys havebrought considerable information about this region long tim e neglected (F ig I). Our know ledge aboutthe Pre-Pottery Neolithic period of the region was restricted to Can Hasan III (F rench et al. 1972) andSuberde (Bordaz 1970) excavations and to the Central Anatol ian survey (Todd 1980). Consequently, i twas quite impossible to comprehend the neolith ization process of the reg ion. W hereas today, due to therecent intensive archaeological work, we start to have a clearer v ision of the region.

    Fig. I: M ap of the region (com posed by G . D uru ).

    I Uni versity of lsta nbu I, P rehistory S ec tion.


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    These late researches have also brought valuable inform ation in the domain of the chipped stoneindustries. The analyses are still going on how ever, w e already have clearer vision of the techno-culturaltradition of the chipped lithics. Our study is m ainly concentrated on [he eastern part of Central Anatolia,th e w es te rn Cappadocia: Asiklt Hoyuk excavations since 1989 (Esin et at. 1991), M usula r excavationssince 1996 (Ozbasaran 1997), site surveys (Giilcur 1995), raw material surveys (Cauvin & Balkan-Ath1996) and K aletepe obsidian w orkshop excavations (Balkan-A tli et al., 1998) fram e [he basis of OUfpaper.Excavated pre-pottery neolithic settlements

    Astkl: HiiyilkAsikh Hoyuk is a large pre-pottery m ound dated 81h mill . Be. It is situated 25 km southeast of

    Aksaray, in W estern Cappadocia, on the bank of the M elendiz river. The site --excavated since 1989-reveals three layers, of which layer 2 w ith its 10 building phases has been exposed extensively (Fig. 2).The intra site settlem ent pattern shows three functionally separated areas: the dwelling area in north; theritually functioning buildings in southwest and a surrounding wall and additional room s in east.

    Asikh Hoyiik exhibits a rich obsidian industry. The finds indicate that obsidian arrived to thesite in form of blocks or tablets where the whole process of knapping took place (Abbes et a l. 1999).The cores are nearly totally bipolar w ith naturally carinated or crested backs (Fig. 3, 4). The industryyields a large number of blades of different morphologies obtained by bipolar debitage (Fig.d: 2-6).

    A rrowheads are executed mainly on central blades. They are poorly represented form ing only0.8% of the retouched pieces. They display chiefly two coexisting typological form s: two shoulderedarrowheads (53% ) and one shouldered arrowheads (44 %). Pressure flaked oval arrowheads (3 %) wereonly found as surface finds (Yrldrnm 1999). One shouldered arrowheads display tangs formed by abruptretouch on one side thus form ing a single shoulder (Fig. 5: 1-4). The tip is rarely axial, m ore often it ism ore or less oblique. Two shouldered Byblos points exhibit various types of tangs: they are m ostlyform ed by direct abrupt retouch on each side (Fig. 5: 6-8), but tangs form ed by alternate abrupt retouch(Fig. 5: 6) and inverse sem i-abrupt or low retouches do also exist. Generally the tip is axial. A s statedabove pressure flaked points are only found on the surface thus belonging to the eroded upper layers.These points are unifacially retouched w ith invasive or covering low retouches (Fig. 5: 9-12). Oneexample displays a tang (Fig. 5: 10) and one bears inverse retouch on the proxim al part (F ig. 5 : 9 ).

    The chem ical analyses were applied to 38 sam ples from A~lkll Hoyuk. 15 samples wereanalyzed by the Orleans laboratory and of these 12 sam ples were attributed to the Kayirh source and 3 tothe Nenezi Dag source (Gratuze et al. 1994). 23 samples were analyzed by Berlin laboratory and 19were attributed to Gollii Dag, 3 to Bozkoy and 16 to Kornurcu (the distinction between Kayirh andKornurcil obsidians was not determ ined), 2 to Nenez: Dag and 2 to an unknown source (Schneiderposter presentation, A rchaeornerry 1994, A nkara).

    MusularM usular is a Neolithic site , located in the sam e region, on the W est of the Melendiz river, acrossAsikh, ca. 400 m in distance (Ozbasaran 1997).Two years of excavations at the site revealed two m ain settlem ent phases (Fig. 6). The earliest,

    being a Pre-Pottery Neolithic settlem ent lies directly on the bedrock and in some architectural aspectshas sim ilarities w ith the southwestern ritual buildings of Asikh Hoyuk, The next phase, PotteryNeolithic (?), is represented by a single building complex w ith four room s, exposed in its foundationlevel.

    Chipped stone industry of Musular is represented largely by obsidian. Flint is present in form ofimported blades used as sickles. The obsidian industry has not been analyzed yet, therefore thedifference between the pottery and the pre-pottery phases is not clear. The prelim inary observations ofabout 5,000 pieces indicate that it is prim arily < I blade industry where bipolar technology was used. Therelative rarity of cortical flakes m ay suggest that the raw material was brought to the settlem ent in form


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    Fig. 2: Asrkl: Hoyllk, plan of Layer 2 (Esin, 1998)


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    wca. I a w e e e


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    Fig. 3: Bipolar cores of A~lldl Hoyul{ (Inked by Der Aprahamian)


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    \ '\ \\ \\ \ .i \\'. II' ) I ''


    Fig. 4; Bipolar cores and blades of A sikh H oyilk (n02 inked by Der Aprahamian)



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    ~ 10

    I ,I. I

    Fig. 5: A}lkh Hoyuk arrowheads (n" 1,2,3,7,9 inked by Der Apraharnian)


    ~1 2

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    I I~

    i I. . . ! > ! l ~I .Fig. 6: Musular: prepottery and pottery phases.

    of roughed out blocks. On the other hand, the abundance of thin flakes of shaping indicates that thepreform s of the cores were realized in the settlem ent. The cores are few (Fig. 7: 5) and found inexhausted states however, the presence of crested blades, tablets, lateral blades and central blades,especially upsilon blades (Fig . 7: 6), points out the bipolar tradition. This assumption is supported by thesurface finds. These finds yield a certain number of very regular bipolar cores. A ll of them 3re brokenand this fracture appears on the same level of the cores (F ig . 7: 1 , 3). These cores present a strongresem b lance to the Kalerepe cores of Kayrrh. Besides m acroscopic observat ion of the obsidian qual ity(highly transparent brownish gray) which is typical of the Kayirh source, these cores bear relics ofnatural surfaces as the ones found at Kayrrh. Furtherm ore, the surface finds yield numerous bladeswhich are probably products of these cores (F ig . 7: 2 , 4). This assumption has to be verified in thefuture.

    Arrowheads are quite numerous in the Musular assemblage (4.6% of the retouched pieces).M usular arrowheads are m ostly unifacially pressure retouched (Fig. 8 .: 7-10). Some bear also inverseretouch lim ited to the proxim al end (Fig. 8: 7 , 10) and one example inverse invasive retouch applied toone side (Fig . 8: 8). Two shouldered arrowheads of Byblos type do also exist but in smaller quantities(F ig . 8: [-6). The tangs are formed by abrupt retouch on each side (Fig . 8: l , 3, 5,6), som e of them havealso inverse low retouche (Fig . 8: 1,5) whereas some are only inversely retouched (Fig. 8: 2 , 4).Surveyed pre-pottery neolithic sites

    Recent surveys pointed the presence of several Pre-Pottery N eolith ic sites of w hich three attractespecially attention: A ciyer, Yellibelen and Sircan Tepe (Gulcur 19953 & b).

    Yell ibeJen is a slope settlement situated very near to Musular (Fig. J) . Surface finds yielded arich obsidian industry w ith a bipolar blade production (Balkan-A ll! [998). A rrowheads are quitenumerous w ith two types: tanged points as Byblos and unifacial pressure flaked points. Tanged pointsare two shouldered where the tang is form ed by steep short retouch (Fig. 9: 4 , 5). Pressure flaked pointsare oval w ith unifacial pressure retouch. The retouch m ay be oblique covering or invasive (Fig . 9: 1 ,2).Some examples show retouch lim ited to the proxim al part on the inverse face (Fig . 9: I). Som eexamples bear the pressure retouch on the proxim al part (F ig . 9: 3).


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    5 6

    Fig. 7: Bipolar cores and blades of I....nsular (n? 5 and 6 drawings by Der Aprahamian)


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    6 5

    Fig. 8: Musular arrowheads (n 1-3 and 7 drawings by Der Aprahamian)




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    Fig. 9, Y,mhelen' I _ 9. -o ; AC lyer 6 7' S, 11'''3 Tn ope: 8-10.


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    Acryer is located in the d istrict of Aksaray , in the village of Agzikarahan (Fig. I). The obsid iansurface finds are very homogeneous exhibiting an exceptional sim ilarity to the Asikl: H oyu k ind ustry(Balkan-Ath ibid) The debitage products and the cores indicate the sam e blade production as at AsikhHoyuk (Fig. 9: 6). The arrowheads found are quite few and enter to the category of one shoulderedarrowheads of Asiklr Hoyuk. They are executed on central b lades, the tip is modified w ith sem i-abruptoblique retouch on one side and the lang is form ed by abrupt retouch one one side (Fig.9: 7).

    Srrcan Tepe is also located in the Aksaray distric t, situated more 10 the North of the sitesm entioned above (Fig. 1). Debitage products show a bipolar b lade production (F ig . 9 : 9). Thearrowheads display two categories: two shouldered arrowheads w ith a tang form ed by abrupt retouch onboth sides (Fig.9: 8) and unifacial pressure flaked ones (Fig. 9: (0).Raw material survey

    As seen above, obsid ian constitutes the main raw material fo r the ch ipped lithics. C onsideringth is, an obsidian research project was undertaken in Cappadocia . The aim was to fo llow this rawmaterial from the models of its acquisition at the source areas to its use as fin ished item s at thesettlem ents. The project was based on a multi-discip linary approach combining three d isciplines:geo logy and geom orphology, geochem istry and archaeology.The archaeolog ical approach linked several goals: the search for corresponding workshops orknapping areas near the obsidian sources; the study of the workshop material to conceive the knappingstrategies; the coordination of these workshops w ith the preh istoric settlem ents; [he diffusion patternsfrom the sources and workshops to the regional and distant settlem ents. The survey was concentratedaround GbllC i Dag (known as C iftlik obsid ians) and N enezr Dag volcanoes that produced obsidian (Fig .10).

    Fig. 10; Map of obsidian sources and workshops (composed by G. Duru)

    Nenezi DagNenezi Dag is a big rhyolitic dome situated east of the sites m entioned above. It has an iso latedsituation compared to other vo lcanoes and it dom inates the p lain w ith more than s a o rn. O n its w estern


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    flank exists an important flow of obsidian w ith perlites. Obsidian is generally black, but locally red orbluish gray obsidian is also present (Poidevin 1998).

    On the western side, on the lower of plateau of the Nenezt Dag a workshop exists yielding bignumbers of very dense knapping products. Eroded obsidian artefacts are also found on slopes, and on thesurrounding fields at the base of the dome.

    Obsidian artefacts consist of debitage products, especially cortical flakes, cores, bifacialpreforms and bifacially retouched oval points (Fig. II :2). The cores are predom inantly uni-directionaland pyram idal w ith flat or cortical backs. Bi-directional cores are fewer including short bipolar coresw ith crested backs (Fig. 11: 1).

    The chem ical analyses of various samples displaying the variations of colors of Nenezrobsidians, com ing from the western flank and the dome, were realized by different laboratories(Poidevin ibid). The results show that all these samples have homogeneous chem ical compositions. Thecomparison of these analyses w ith the chem ically analyzed artefacts from the settlements indicates thatNenezi Dag obsidian was used as a source by the Asikh and Catal inhabitants. Among the 35 analyzedsamples of Asikh 5 samples are attributed to this source (Chataigner 1998). Besides, the presence of bi-directional cores w ith crested backs very sim ilar to those of Asikh supports this source distribution.V ery few samples, from surface finds, have been analyzed from Catal Hoyiik and among these 10samples 4 are attributed to Nenezi Dag.The bifacially retouched oval points found at this workshop havestrong sim ilarities w ith those of Catal Hoyuk (Balkan-Atli 1994a, Bialor 1972 and Conolly 1996).

    Golla DagGol lf Dag is one of the most important obsidian sources in Cappadocia. It is situated on the

    North of the Ciftlik-Golcuk road. It is a strata-volcano with about 12 km in diameter w ith its highestp oint, B uyu k G611U, at 2143 m high (Poidevin 1998). Six obsidian sources are known from Gol lu Dagand they are essentially dom e-flow obsidians: Kay irh , K ay irh -V illage, Srrca Deresi, Bozkoy, Kornurcuand Gosterli. Chem ically , they form two main groups w ith distinctions in each group: East Gdlli.i Dagwith Kornurcu, Kayirh and Sirca Deresi and W est Gal iU Dag with Kayirh -V illage, Gosterli and Bozkoy(Poidevin ibid). Two of these sources had workshops nearby that yielded pre-pottery blade productions:K ayrrlr and K orn urcu.

    Kaytrl:Kayrrlr is a vast dome-flow of 1700 m of altitude. The flow is very thick where successi ve bands

    of obsidian and perlite are easily seen. The obsidian is shiny, transparent brownish black presenting ahigh quality for knapping (Der Apraharnian, pel's. com .). Obsidian is abundant and accessible < It th isworkshop yielding alternative blocks for the knappers' option.

    The workshop yielded a considerable number of rough outs, bifacial rectangular and almondshaped preforms, pyramidal unipolar cores w ith a natural or flat back, bi-directional cores sim ilar toA~ rkh ones (Fig . I 2: 2 , 3).

    The workshop also yielded standardized unipolar and bipolar cores. The unipolar cores havecentered crested back and plain and very oblique strik ing platform s. The negatives of the extractedblades are parallel and very regular which m ight indicate the pressure technique (Cauvin & Balkan-Ath1996). The bipolar cores (Kaletepe naviform cores) are long and thin w ith triangular sections (Fig. 12:I). The back crest is often centered and regular and sometimes natural surface is seen on the lateralsides. This m ight be the result of the suitable forms of the Kayrrh obsidian in its natural state. Thedebitage surface often shows accidents of hinge fracture (Balkan-A tli & Der Apraharnian 1998).

    As mentioned above, the chem ical analyses of the Asrkh obsidians indicate Kayrrh as one of itsraw material procurement sources. The presence of bipolar cores sim ilar to those of Asikh supports thisso urc e in dic atio n. F urth erm ore , Kayirh presents itself also as the source lone of the sources for Musularfor the reasons m entioned (supra).


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    t~- . . . . . . . : : : : .- - -

    - ' f~I-=---r t : : : : .~~.

    \Q 32F ig . 12: K aY lrII finds (D raw ings by Der Aprahamian) ,


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    KiimiirciiKomurcu is the most spectacular and the best known of the obsidian sources of G61lLi Dag with

    its abundant outcrops and several workshops or happing areas attached to the sources. This obsidian isthe result of one eruption of the volcanic system of the East Gollu Dag (Poidevin 1998). Obsidian flowsare NE-SW oriented and they can be observed in eroded areas. Along the obsidian reaches severalknapping spots with scattered artifacts were observed (Cauvin & Balkan-Atli 1996). The materials thatthey yield are varied and may be attached to different periods: unipolar cores, scrapers, oval bifacialprojectiles, Levallois flakes and cores and bifaces.

    Kaletepe workshop excavationKaletepe is one of the obsidian workshops of the Kornurcu source. It is an exceptional

    workshop covering a large area (4 ha) with very dense obsidian artifacts. It is located on the North of theKomurcu village at an altitude of 1560 m on a supervising position. It is an approximately tlat plateau ofa rhyolitic dome covered by ignimbrites. Obsidian is present in forms of elongated blocks which arevisible in the ravines that cut the plateau.

    Kaletepe workshop yielded obsidian artefacts of exceptional quantity displaying a variety ofneolithic products belonging to different processes and traditions: cores of different types, bifacialpreforms and debitage products (Balkan-Atlt et al. 1998, Binder & Balkan-Atli, this vol.). Among thecores, naviforrn cores, named as Kaletepe cores, particularly attract the attention. The principal purposeof these cores is to obtain long, regular pointed blades most probably to be utilized as blanks forprojectiles. Kaletepe can be considered as a specialists' workshop where an intensive production ofregular long pointed blades designated to exportation took place. Neither these cores nor their productsare yet recovered at the prehistoric settlements cited above, except Musular surface finds. However theseseem to be related to the KaYIJ-11workshop isupra).Conclusion

    As seen above, obsidian seems to be the only raw material (with the exception of some tlint atMusular) used in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic in Central Anatolia. Anyway with the presence of variousobsidian sources in the region, this is expected. All the sites display a blade technology, however wecannot yet differentiate their technological styles, especially for the surveyed ones.

    As far as we can determine the two excavated sites, Asikh and Musular, show different chainesopera to ires. Asiklt Hoytik exhibits a domestic industry from the arrival of raw material to the lise anddiscard of tools; whereas Musular probably receives obsidian in form of previously preformed cores andmaybe in form of blades (the rarity of cores is astonishing). Furthermore, the surface finds indicate achaine operatoire simi lar to the Kayrru workshop. This has to be controlled with the finds in situ.K aletep e na vifo rrn technology has no parallels neither with these two sites nor any site inCentral Anatolia. Whereas this technology has clear parallels with Levantine PPNB (Binder & Balkan-Ath, this vol.).

    Typologically, we can distinguish three types of arrowheads: olle shouldered arrowheads (AsrkltHoyiik, Aciyer), two shouldered, Byblos, arrowheads (Asiklr Hoyuk, Musular, Yellibelen, Sircan Tepe)and unifacially pressure flaked oval arrowheads (Asikh Hoyuk, Musular, Yellibelen, S rrcan T ep e),These two last types are also known from Can Hasan III (Atarnan 1988) and Suberde (Bordaz 1970)

    Chronologically, we can suggest that pressure flaked arrowheads are of a later date than the oneshouldered ones. Byblos points show a longer duration, first contemporary with the Asikh points thanwith pressure flaked ones.

    The assumptions presented here are based on recent finds. Hence, the relation between the typesof arrowheads and blades types and blade production is not clearly defined yet. Further examination isnecessary to acquire a better understanding of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic projectiles of Central Anatolia.


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    AcknowledgementThe prehistorical research mentioned here is mainly supported by the Research Fund of the

    University of Istanbul (project no" T-284/301096, T-496/180398. 8121190496 and 1156/240698. Theauthors wish to express their gratitude for this support.

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