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academia.eu - gioved 14 novembre 2019
Establishing a Radiocarbon Sequence for Gbekli Tepe.
State of Research and New Data

di Oliver Dietrich, iğdem Kksal-Schmidt, Jens Notroff, and Klaus Schmidt

The stratigraphy of Göbekli Tepe comprises three layers, an older Layer III, assigned to the PPNA, a younger Layer II, attributed to the early and middle PPNB, and a final Layer I, featuring mixed sediments derived from agricultural activities, though containing PPN materials and sporadic finds from the Middle Ages and the modern period (but with no architectural remains). Layer III has produced the well-known monumental architecture with megalithic T-shaped pillars arranged in circle-like enclosures around two taller central pillars; Layer II consists of smaller rectangular buildings often containing just two or even one smaller pillar, and sometimes none at all. The difficulties and possibilities linked to the application of radiocarbon dating at the site have already been highlighted (Dietrich 2011); as such, in the following we provide only a brief summary of the current state of research. Radiocarbon Dating at Göbekli: the State of Research At least for the large enclosures from Layer III it can be stated that these were intentionally backfilled at the end of their use-lives. This backfilling poses severe problems for the dating of this layer using the radiocarbon method, as organic remains from the fill-sediments could be older or younger than the enclosures, with younger samples becoming deposited at lower depths, thus producing an inverse stratigraphy. Another issue is the lack of carbonized organic material available for dating; only in the last campaigns have larger quantities been discovered. Given these inherent difficulties, in a first approach the attempt was made to date the architecture directly using pedogenic carbonates. These begin to form on limestone surfaces as soon as they are buried with sediment (Pustovoytov 2002, 2006; Pustovoytov and Taubald 2003; Pustovoytov et al. 2007a, 2007b). Unfortunately the pedogenic carbonate layers accumulate at a variable rate over long time periods, so a sample comprising a whole layer will yield only an average value. This problem can be avoided by sampling only the oldest calcium carbonate layer in a thin section: the result should be a date near the beginning of soil formation around the stone, i.e. near the time of its burial (Pustovoytov 2002). Radiocarbon data are available from both the architecture of Layers III and II (Dietrich 2011, Tab. 1). Although the observed archaeological stratigraphy is confirmed by the relative sequence of the data, absolute ages are clearly too young, with Layer III being pushed into the 9th millennium, and Layer II producing ages from the 8th or even 7th millennia calBC. Therefore, the data fail to provide absolute chronological points of reference for architecture and strata. At most they serve as a terminus ante quem for the backfilling of the enclosures (Layer III) and the abandonment of the site (Layer II). A far better source of organic remains for the direct dating of architectural structures is the wall plaster used in the enclosures. This wall plaster comprises loam, which also contains small amounts of organic material (Dietrich and Schmidt 2010). A sample (KIA-44149) taken from the wall plaster of Enclosure D (Area L9-68, Loc. 782.3) gives a date of 9984 ± 42 14C-BP (9745- 9314 calBC at the 95.4% confidence level), thus placing the circle in the PPNA. Concerning the fill-material from the enclosures, two approaches have been pursued, the first dedicated to the dating of animal bones and a second to ages made on charcoal. The archaeological appraisal of a recently acquired series of 20 data made on bone samples (Fig. 3) is quite complicated, as they pose some methodological problems (Dietrich 2011: 19-20, Tab. 4). At least within the group of samples chosen, collagen conservation is poor, and the carbonate-rich sediments at Göbekli Tepe may be the cause for problems with the dating of apatite fractions (cf. Zazzo and Saliège 2011). Carbonized plant remains have been very scarce at Göbekli, thus limiting the possibilities for dating charcoal. Nevertheless, three charcoal samples (Tab. 1) are available for Enclosure A. While two samples (Hd20025 and Hd-20036) stem from back-fill (Kromer and Schmidt 1998) and have been dated to the late 10th / earliest 9th millennium calBC, a third charcoal sample (KIA-28407) was taken from beneath a fallen fragment of a pillar. This sample has provided a date for a possible final filling event around the mid-9th millennium calBC. It is confirmed by a measurement (IGAS-2658; Tab. 1) made on humic acids from a buried humus horizon that provides a terminus ante quem for Layer II in area L9- 68, dating to the late 9th / early 8th millennium calBC. In conclusion, up to now charcoal samples have suggested that the backfilling or burial of the larger enclosures occurred some time in the late 10th and early 9th millennium calBC, while KIA-44149 from the wall plaster of Enclosure D indicates building activities in the mid-10th millennium calBC, i.e. in the early PPNA. Notwithstanding these results, no clear image ermerged in regard to the contemporaneity of the enclosures . A New Series of Data Recent fieldwork in the main excavation area at Göbekli Tepe has focused on the excavation of deep soundings Establishing a Radiocarbon Sequence for Göbekli Tepe. State of Research and New Data Oliver Dietrich, Çiğdem Köksal-Schmidt, Jens Notroff, and Klaus Schmidt Dietrich et al., A Radiocarbon Sequence for Göbekli Tepe Neo-Lithics 1/13 37 to reach the natural bedrock in preparation for the construction of a shelter, urgently required for the protection of the exposed Neolithic architecture. Eleven deep soundings have been excavated to the bedrock. At several locations, considerable amounts of carbonized botanical material were discovered, so far unique for excavations at Göbekli (Fig. 2). A series of more than 150 samples has been produced either on site or by flotation of the relevant soil units. To test the quality of the material for radiocarbon dating, five samples from the area of the large enclosures from Layer III were submitted for AMS-radiocarbon dating (Tab. 1, Fig. 2, 3; UGAMS-10795 to 10799). In the following, these new data, together with a further age made on collagen from an animal tooth (KIA- 44701; Tab. 1, Fig. 2, 3), are presented and discussed in context with previously available absolute chronological evidence. Enclosure D Two deep soundings were excavated directly adjacent to the ring wall belonging to Enclosure D, with three new ages obtained from charcoal recovered from the sounding in area L9-78 (for location of samples discussed in the text, cf. Fig. 1). These samples were collected close to the bedrock, which in its interior forms the floor of this enclosure. Calibrated ages cluster between 9664 to 9311 calBC at the 95.4% confidence level (UGAMS-10795, 10796, 10799; Tab. 1, Fig. 2, 3), a time-span which is in good agreement with the earlier measurement made on clay mortar from the ring wall of Enclosure D between Pillars 41 and 42 (KIA-44149, 9984 ± 42 14C-BP, 9745-9314 calBC at the 95.4% confidence level; Tab. 1, Fig. 2, 3). Based on these data, we now have a much clearer picture of the chronological frame within which construction activities took place in the area of Enclosure D. It is only regrettable that these four data all correspond to a period with a slight plateau in the calibration curve (Fig. 2b), thus resulting in larger probability ranges. Additional excavation work is needed to clarify the exact stratigraphical correlation of the three new charcoal dates with Enclosure D. Finally, from the fill-material of Enclosure D there is one new 14C-age made on collagen from an animal tooth found north of Pillar 33 (KIA-44701, 9800 ± 120 14C-BP, 9746-8818 calBC at the 95.4% confidence level; Tab. 1, Fig. 2, 3). Taken together with another new measurement made on charcoal extracted from the same fill (Layer III) in area L9-69 (UGAMS-10798, 9540 ± 30 14C-BP, 9127-8763 calBC at the 95.4% confidence level; Tab. 1, Fig. 2, 3) there can still be no consensus regarding the time of abandonment and burial of this enclosure. Further radiocarbon measurements will be needed to clarify this process. Indeed, the animal tooth used to produce sample KIA-44701 might even stem from the use-life of the enclosure, which as we know would have included the celebration of large feasts (Dietrich et al. 2012). This line of thought would then allow for a considerable (several hundred years) time of use of the enclosure prior to its burial sometime in the late 10th or early 9th millennium calBC (UGAMS-10798). But at the moment, a rather short life-span of the enclosure remains a possibility, too. Code Date δ13C, ‰ Material Context UGAMS-10796 9990±30 -25.6 charcoal (Pistacia atlantica, Prunus amygdalus, undetermined) Enclosure D L9-78, Loc. 129.11 space adjacent to ring walls UGAMS-10795 9970±30 -24.8 charcoal (Pistacia atlantica, Prunus amygdalus, undetermined) Enclosure D L9-78, Loc. 129.12 space adjacent to ring walls UGAMS-10799 9960±30 -25.7 charcoal (Pistacia atlantica, Prunus amygdalus, Prunus, Rhamnus sp., undertermined; mainly fragments of branches) Enclosure D L9-78, Loc. 129.10 space adjacent to ring walls KIA- 44149 9984±42 -26.31 ± 0.57 wall plaster, organic remains Enclosure D L9-68, Loc. 782.3 inner ring wall between pillars 41 and 42 KIA- 44701 9800±120 -20.57 ± 0,13 collagen from cattle tooth Enclosure D L9-67, Loc. 65.2, north of pillar 33 UGAMS-10798 9540±30 -25.4 charcoal (Pistacia atlantica, Populus / Salix, undetermined) Layer III, north of Enclosure D L9-69, Loc. 123.3 UGAMS-10797 9700±30 -26.7 charcoal (Pistacia atlantica; fragments of branches) Enclosure C L9-97, Loc. 64.2 space between outer ringwalls Hd-20036 9559±53 not provided charcoal (Pistacia sp., Amygdalus sp.) Enclosure A L9-75, Loc. 48.1 Hd-20025 9452±73 not provided charcoal (Pistacia sp., Amygdalus sp.) Enclosure A L9-75, Loc. 44.3 KIA-28407 9250±55 -24.82 ± 0.11 charcoal Enclosure A under a fallen pillar fragment in L9-75, Loc. 50. IGAS- 2658 8880±60 not provided humic acids from soil sample Terminus ante quem for Layer II over the Filling of Enclosure D in L9-68 Table 1 List of radiocarbon data made on organic samples from Göbekli Tepe. Contribution Neo-Lithics 1/13 38 At this point reference should again be made to sample IGAS-2658 (8880 ± 60 14C-BP, 8241-7795 calBC at the 95.4% confidence level; Tab. 1, Fig. 2, 3) taken from a humus layer in area L9-68 (Pustovoytov 2006: 707-708, Fig. 2f). This date marks the last PPN activities in this area and provides a terminus ante quem for Layer II. Enclosure C To present, only one date is available for Enclosure C (UGAMS-10797, 9700 ± 30 14C-BP, 9261-9139 calBC at the 91.6% probability level; Tab. 1, Fig. 2, 3). This sample was taken from a deep sounding in area L9-97 (Loc. 64.2) between the outermost ring walls of the enclosure and close to the bedrock. This could indicate that building activities at the outer ring walls of this enclosure were underway during the backfilling of Enclosure D. However, a larger series of data and a close inspection of Enclosure C´s building history will be necessary to confirm such far-reaching conclusions. Enclosure A From the area of Enclosure A there are the two dates already published by Kromer and Schmidt (1998) and mentioned above (Hd-20036, 9559 ± 53 14C-BP, 9175- 8759 calBC; and Hd-20025, 9452 ± 73 14C-BP, 9131- Fig. 1 The main excavation area at Göbekli Tepe with origin of 14C samples discussed in the text. Dietrich et al., A Radiocarbon Sequence for Göbekli Tepe Neo-Lithics 1/13 39 Fig. 2 Charts of radiocarbon data from Göbekli Tepe. Contribution Neo-Lithics 1/13 40 8559 cal BC at the 95.4% confidence level; Tab. 1, Fig. 2, 3). As these charcoals came from the fill of the enclosure, these measurements most likely date its abandonment, though it certainly cannot be ruled out that older organic remains became mixed in with material used for the burial of the structure (Kromer and Schmidt 1998). In combination with the new data, these dates may indicate that Enclosure A is generally later (or was in use for a longer period) than Enclosures C and D. From the perspective of its rather square-like ground-plan, Enclosure A could be an architectural missing link between the older circular structures of Layer III and the smaller rectangular complexes of Layer II. Good comparisons for its general layout can be found in the sub-quadratic “Terrazzo Building” in Çayönü (cell plan layer) (Schirmer 1990: 382-384) or in the „Cult Building“ at Nevalı Çori (Hauptmann 1993), which also yielded T-shaped pillars of forms similar to those at Göbekli, Layer II. KIA-28407 (9250 ± 55 14C-BP; 8617-8315 calBC at the 95.4% confidence level; Tab. 1, Fig. 2, 3) is a date made on charcoal from a soil sample extracted from beneath a rather large fragment of fallen pillar (Pustovoytov 2006: 709, Fig. 3g). Although this age could mark the time of abandonment of Enclosure A, its origin makes it difficult to determine whether it dates the burial of the enclosure at the end of its use-life, a later intentional destruction, or a moment when Enclosure A was already filled and Layer II activities led to the deposition of the pillar fragment. Conclusion As a preliminary conclusion, the still limited series of radiocarbon data seems to suggest that Layer III enclosures at Göbekli Tepe were not exactly conFig. 3 The calibrated radiocarbon data from Göbekli Tepe – single plots. Dietrich et al., A Radiocarbon Sequence for Göbekli Tepe Neo-Lithics 1/13 41 Hauptmann H. 1993 Ein Kultgebäude in Nevalı Cori. In: M. Frangipane, H. Hauptmann, M. Liverani, P. Matthiae, and M. Mellink (eds.), Between the Rivers and over the Mountains. Festschrift fur Alba Palmieri: 37–69. Dipartimento di Scienze Storiche Archeologiche e Antropologiche dell’Antichità, Università di Roma “La Sapienza”. Kromer B. and Schmidt K. 1998 Two Radiocarbon Dates from Göbekli Tepe, South Eastern Turkey. Neo-Lithics 3/98: 8-9. Pustovoytov K. 2002 14C Dating of Pedogenic Carbonate Coatings on Wall Stones at Göbekli Tepe (Southeastern Turkey). NeoLithics 2/02: 3-4. 2006 Soils and soil sediments at Göbekli Tepe, southeastern Turkey: A preliminary report. Geoarchaeology 21. 7: 699-719. Pustovoytov K. and Taubald H. 2003 Stable Carbon and Oxygen Isotope Composition of Pedogenic Carbonate at Göbekli Tepe (Southeastern Turkey) and its Potential for Reconstructing Late Quaternary Paleoenviroments in Upper Mesopotamia. Neo-Lithics 2/03: 25-32. Pustovoytov K., Schmidt K., and Taubald H. 2007 Evidence for Holocene environmental changes in the northern Fertile Crescent provided by pedogenic carbonate coatings. Quaternary Research 67: 315-327. Pustovoytov K., Schmidt K., and Parzinger H. 2007 Radiocarbon dating of thin pedogenic carbonate laminae from Holocene archaeological sites. The Holocene 17. 6: 835-843. Schirmer W. 1990 Some aspects of building at the ‘aceramic-neolithic’ settlement of Çayönü Tepesi. World Archaeology 21. 3: 363-387. Zazzo A. and Saliège J.-F. 2011 Radiocarbon dating of biological apatites: A review. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 310, 1-2: 52–61. temporaneous. Earliest radiocarbon dates stem from Enclosure D, for which the relative sequence of construction (ca. mid-10th millennium calBC), usage, and burial (late 10th millennium calBC) are documented. The outer ring wall of Enclosure C could be younger than Enclosure D. However, more data are needed to confirm this interpretation. Finally, Enclosure A seems younger than Enclosures C and D. With only eleven radiocarbon dates, many questions remain. It is hoped that the recent discovery of larger amounts of carbonized material at Göbekli Tepe will soon provide us with further dates and a much firmer grasp on the absolute chronology of this unique site. Acknowledgements: We thank Lee Clare for language corrections and comments on the text. Oliver Dietrich oliver.dietrich@dainst.de (corresponding author) Çiğdem Köksal-Schmidt Jens Notroff Klaus Schmidt German Archaeological Insitute Orient-Department References Dietrich O. 2011 Radiocarbon dating the first temples of mankind. Comments on 14C-Dates from Göbekli Tepe. Zeitschrift für Orient-Archäologie 4: 12-25. Dietrich O. and Schmidt K. 2010 A radiocarbon date from the wall plaster of Enclosure D of Göbekli Tepe. Neo-Lithics 2/10: 82-83. Dietrich O., Heun M., Notroff J., Schmidt K., and Zarnkow M. 2012 The role of cult and feasting in the emergence of Neolithic communities. New evidence from Göbekli Tepe, south-eastern Turkey. Antiquity 86, 333: 674-695. New Publications Neo-Lithics 1/13 46 forthcoming by Oxbow Books: The Later Prehistory of the Badia. Excavations and Surveys in Eastern Jordan by A.V.G. Betts and D. Cropper, L. Martin and C. McCartney with contributions by L. Cooke, A. Garrard, W. and F. Lancaster, F. Matsaert, H. Pessin, D. Reese, and G. Willcox Levant Supplementary Series 11 Oxbow Books, Oxford and Oakville Contents Lists of figures, tables and plates Abstract Preface Background and Methodology, by A. Betts, L. Martin and C. McCartney Late Neolithic Sites in the Harra, by A. Betts, L. Cooke, A. Garrard, C. McCartney and D. Reese Prehistoric Sites at Burqu’, by A. Betts, L. Martin, F. Matsaert and C. McCartney Excavations at Mahfour al-Ruweishid, by A. Betts, C. McCartney, H. Pessin and G. Willcox Excavations at Tell al-Hibr, by A. Betts and L. Martin Area Survey in the Hamad, by A. Betts, D. Cropper and W. and F. Lancaster The Eastern Badia, by A. Betts and D. Cropper Bibliography Index From the volume’s abstract: This is the second of two volumes to document extensive surveys and excavations in the region from Al-Azraq to the Iraqi border over the period 1979–1996. Broadly, it covers the Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic of the eastern badia, including surveys in the harra, excavations at a number of sites at Burqu’ and extensive surveys of sites of all periods in the eastern hamad. The rich prehistoric record preserved in the east Jordanian badia was first brought to the attention of western scholars through casual discoveries by RAF pilots flying along the old air route to Baghdad, and through surveys carried out by Henry Field in the period from 1925 to 1950. The region then remained unstudied until the 1970s, when Garrard and Stanley-Price undertook further survey work in the Azraq Oasis. This was followed by the surveys and excavations documented in this series. published by ex oriente: Neolithic Archaeology in the Khabur Valley, Upper Mesopotamia and Beyond edited by Yoshihiro Nishiaki, Kaoru Kashima and Marc Verhoeven Studies in Early Near Eastern Production, Subsistence, and Environment 15, 2013. 13 contributions, 236 pages, 102 figs., 12 plates, 4 tables, paperback [ISBN 978-3-944178-01-1] (45 Euro) Orders can be placed at www.exoriente.org/bookshop Contents Preface, by Y. Nishiaki, K. Kashima and M. Verhoeven Introduction, by Y. Nishiaki Habitat, economy and social territories in the Neolithic, by F. Hole Part 1 Prehistoric Environment of Upper Mesopotamia Geological and geomorphological features of the upper drainage areas of Euphrates and Tigris, by H. Yiğitbaşoğlu Fluvial surfaces along the Khabur River near Tell Seker alAheimar and their palaeoenvironmental implications, by T. Oguchi, K. Hori, T. Watanuki, C.T. Oguchi, J. Komatsubara, Y. Hayakawa and M.K. Jaiswal Climatic events during the Neolithic in central Turkey and northern Syria, by K. Kashima and K. Hirose Part 2 Neolithic Archaeology of the Khabur Basin PPNB flint blade production at Tell Seker al-Aheimar, Upper Khabur, Syria, by Y. Nishiaki Gypsum plaster manufacturing in northeast Syria: An ethnographic case study, by S. Kume Neolithic pottery from the Khabur basin: A reassessment in the light of recent discoveries, by M. Le Mière The Proto-Hassuna culture in the Khabur headwaters: A western neighbour’s view, by O. Nieuwenhuyse Part 3 Neolithic Archaeology in Upper Mesopotamia and Beyond Outside the body, inside the mind: Interpreting Neolithic landscapes of the Syrian Jezirah, by M. Verhoeven Recent progress in the Neolithic investigations of the Anatolian Tigris Valley, by Y. Miyake Another image of complexity: The case of Tell el-Kerkh, by A. Tsuneki Neolithic pottery in the northern Levant and its relations to the east, by T. Odaka The Jeziran Neolithic “market”, by S. Kozłowski New Publications Neo-Lithics 1/13 47 published by ex oriente: Neolithisation of Northeastern Africa edited by Noriyuki Shirai Studies in Early Near Eastern Production, Subsistence, and Environment 16, 2013. 14 contributions, 256 pages, 62 figs., 15 tables, paperback (48 Euro) Orders can be placed at www.exoriente.org/bookshop. Contents What makes the Neolithic in northeastern Africa? A new debate over an old issue for eliminating neighbourly ignorance, by N. Shirai An appraisal of the terms ‘Neolithic’ and ‘Neolithisation’ for use in North Africa in the 21st century, by A.B. Smith Reconsidering the ‘Mesolithic’ and ‘Neolithic’ in Sudan, by A.M. Sadig Continuity, change and material memory: Taking a temporal perspective on the Neolithisation in Northeastern Africa, by A. Dittrich Early Holocene palaeoclimate in North Africa: An overview, by A. Zerboni Why are there very few archaeological sites of the Early Holocene in the Egyptian Nile Valley? Geological and geomorphological reasons, by M. Pawlikowski Early stock keeping in northeastern Africa: Near Eastern influences and local developments, by V. Linseele Modelling cereal selection in Neolithic Egypt: An evaluation of economic criteria, by R.T.J. Cappers Unraveling the prehistoric ancestry of the present-day inhabitants of Northeast Africa: An archaeogenetic approach to Neolithisation, by A.C. Smith Was a transition to food production homogeneous along the circum-Mediterranean littoral? A perspective on Neolithization research from the Libyan coast, by G. Lucarini Whence the Neolithic of Northeastern Africa? Evidence from the Central Western Desert of Egypt, by M.M.A. McDonald Rock art in Egypt: Visual communication in the Eastern Desert in the Early to Mid-Holocene, by R. Döhl Was Neolithisation a struggle for existence and the survival of the fittest, or merely the survival of the luckiest? A case study of socioeconomic and cultural changes in Egypt in the Early-Middle Holocene, by N. Shirai Nile Valley-Levant interactions: An eclectic review, by O. Bar-Yosef The Neolithisation of Northeastern Africa: Reflections on knowns, unknowns, and unknown unknowns, by G. Barker in press by ex oriente: ‘Ain Ghazal Excavation Reports 3: Symbols at ‘Ain Ghazal, edited by Denise Schmandt-Besserat bibliotheca neolithica Asiae meridionalis et occidentalis (2013) & Yarmouk University, Monograph of the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology (2013) 13 contributions, XVI + 368 pages, 139 figures (including 5 colour illustrations), 38 plates, 3 tables. hardcover [ISBN 978-3-944178-03-5] (114 Euro) Orders can be placed at www.exoriente.org/bookshop Contents Chapter 1. INTRODUCTION G.O. Rollefson and Z.A. Kafafi The Town of ‘Ain Ghazal Chapter 2. TOKENS 2.1 H. Iceland Token Finds at Pre-Pottery Neolithic ‘Ain Ghazal. A Formal and Technological Analysis 2.2 D. Schmandt-Besserat Tokens and Writing: The Cognitive Development Chapter 3. ANIMAL FIGURINES D. Schmandt-Besserat Animal Figurines Chapter 4. HUMAN FIGURINES D. Schmandt-Besserat The Human Clay Figurines and Ancient Near Eastern Magic Chapter 5. STONE STATUETTE D. Schmandt-Besserat A Stone Metaphor of Creation Chapter 6. MODELED AND DECORATED HUMAN SKULLS 6.1 C.A. Grissom and Patricia S. Griffin Three Plaster Faces 6.2 D. Schmandt-Besserat The Plastered Skulls Chapter 7. THE STATUARY 7.1 C.A. Grissom Statue Cache 2 7.2 D. Schmandt-Besserat ‘Ain Ghazal “Monumental” Figures: A Stylistic Analysis Chapter 8. PAINTINGS D. Schmandt-Besserat Murals and Floor Paintings at ‘Ain Ghazal Chapter 9. STANDING STONES Z.A. Kafafi Standing Stones of the Neolithic Village of ‘Ain Ghazal Chapter 10. CONCLUSION D. Schmandt-Besserat Neolithic Symbolism at ‘Ain Ghazal


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GLI STUDI SU GOBEKLI TEPE - 5
academia.eu di gioved 14 novembre 2019
Establishing a Radiocarbon Sequence for Gbekli Tepe.
State of Research and New Data

di Oliver Dietrich, iğdem Kksal-Schmidt, Jens Notroff, and Klaus Schmidt

The stratigraphy of Göbekli Tepe comprises three layers, an older Layer III, assigned to the PPNA, a younger Layer II, attributed to the early and middle PPNB, and a final Layer I, featuring mixed sediments derived from agricultural activities, though containing PPN materials and sporadic finds from the Middle Ages and the modern period (but with no architectural remains). Layer III has produced the well-known monumental architecture with megalithic T-shaped pillars arranged in circle-like enclosures around two taller central pillars; Layer II consists of smaller rectangular buildings often containing just two or even one smaller pillar, and sometimes none at all. The difficulties and possibilities linked to the application of radiocarbon dating at the site have already been highlighted (Dietrich 2011); as such, in the following we provide only a brief summary of the current state of research. Radiocarbon Dating at Göbekli: the State of Research At least for the large enclosures from Layer III it can be stated that these were intentionally backfilled at the end of their use-lives. This backfilling poses severe problems for the dating of this layer using the radiocarbon method, as organic remains from the fill-sediments could be older or younger than the enclosures, with younger samples becoming deposited at lower depths, thus producing an inverse stratigraphy. Another issue is the lack of carbonized organic material available for dating; only in the last campaigns have larger quantities been discovered. Given these inherent difficulties, in a first approach the attempt was made to date the architecture directly using pedogenic carbonates. These begin to form on limestone surfaces as soon as they are buried with sediment (Pustovoytov 2002, 2006; Pustovoytov and Taubald 2003; Pustovoytov et al. 2007a, 2007b). Unfortunately the pedogenic carbonate layers accumulate at a variable rate over long time periods, so a sample comprising a whole layer will yield only an average value. This problem can be avoided by sampling only the oldest calcium carbonate layer in a thin section: the result should be a date near the beginning of soil formation around the stone, i.e. near the time of its burial (Pustovoytov 2002). Radiocarbon data are available from both the architecture of Layers III and II (Dietrich 2011, Tab. 1). Although the observed archaeological stratigraphy is confirmed by the relative sequence of the data, absolute ages are clearly too young, with Layer III being pushed into the 9th millennium, and Layer II producing ages from the 8th or even 7th millennia calBC. Therefore, the data fail to provide absolute chronological points of reference for architecture and strata. At most they serve as a terminus ante quem for the backfilling of the enclosures (Layer III) and the abandonment of the site (Layer II). A far better source of organic remains for the direct dating of architectural structures is the wall plaster used in the enclosures. This wall plaster comprises loam, which also contains small amounts of organic material (Dietrich and Schmidt 2010). A sample (KIA-44149) taken from the wall plaster of Enclosure D (Area L9-68, Loc. 782.3) gives a date of 9984 ± 42 14C-BP (9745- 9314 calBC at the 95.4% confidence level), thus placing the circle in the PPNA. Concerning the fill-material from the enclosures, two approaches have been pursued, the first dedicated to the dating of animal bones and a second to ages made on charcoal. The archaeological appraisal of a recently acquired series of 20 data made on bone samples (Fig. 3) is quite complicated, as they pose some methodological problems (Dietrich 2011: 19-20, Tab. 4). At least within the group of samples chosen, collagen conservation is poor, and the carbonate-rich sediments at Göbekli Tepe may be the cause for problems with the dating of apatite fractions (cf. Zazzo and Saliège 2011). Carbonized plant remains have been very scarce at Göbekli, thus limiting the possibilities for dating charcoal. Nevertheless, three charcoal samples (Tab. 1) are available for Enclosure A. While two samples (Hd20025 and Hd-20036) stem from back-fill (Kromer and Schmidt 1998) and have been dated to the late 10th / earliest 9th millennium calBC, a third charcoal sample (KIA-28407) was taken from beneath a fallen fragment of a pillar. This sample has provided a date for a possible final filling event around the mid-9th millennium calBC. It is confirmed by a measurement (IGAS-2658; Tab. 1) made on humic acids from a buried humus horizon that provides a terminus ante quem for Layer II in area L9- 68, dating to the late 9th / early 8th millennium calBC. In conclusion, up to now charcoal samples have suggested that the backfilling or burial of the larger enclosures occurred some time in the late 10th and early 9th millennium calBC, while KIA-44149 from the wall plaster of Enclosure D indicates building activities in the mid-10th millennium calBC, i.e. in the early PPNA. Notwithstanding these results, no clear image ermerged in regard to the contemporaneity of the enclosures . A New Series of Data Recent fieldwork in the main excavation area at Göbekli Tepe has focused on the excavation of deep soundings Establishing a Radiocarbon Sequence for Göbekli Tepe. State of Research and New Data Oliver Dietrich, Çiğdem Köksal-Schmidt, Jens Notroff, and Klaus Schmidt Dietrich et al., A Radiocarbon Sequence for Göbekli Tepe Neo-Lithics 1/13 37 to reach the natural bedrock in preparation for the construction of a shelter, urgently required for the protection of the exposed Neolithic architecture. Eleven deep soundings have been excavated to the bedrock. At several locations, considerable amounts of carbonized botanical material were discovered, so far unique for excavations at Göbekli (Fig. 2). A series of more than 150 samples has been produced either on site or by flotation of the relevant soil units. To test the quality of the material for radiocarbon dating, five samples from the area of the large enclosures from Layer III were submitted for AMS-radiocarbon dating (Tab. 1, Fig. 2, 3; UGAMS-10795 to 10799). In the following, these new data, together with a further age made on collagen from an animal tooth (KIA- 44701; Tab. 1, Fig. 2, 3), are presented and discussed in context with previously available absolute chronological evidence. Enclosure D Two deep soundings were excavated directly adjacent to the ring wall belonging to Enclosure D, with three new ages obtained from charcoal recovered from the sounding in area L9-78 (for location of samples discussed in the text, cf. Fig. 1). These samples were collected close to the bedrock, which in its interior forms the floor of this enclosure. Calibrated ages cluster between 9664 to 9311 calBC at the 95.4% confidence level (UGAMS-10795, 10796, 10799; Tab. 1, Fig. 2, 3), a time-span which is in good agreement with the earlier measurement made on clay mortar from the ring wall of Enclosure D between Pillars 41 and 42 (KIA-44149, 9984 ± 42 14C-BP, 9745-9314 calBC at the 95.4% confidence level; Tab. 1, Fig. 2, 3). Based on these data, we now have a much clearer picture of the chronological frame within which construction activities took place in the area of Enclosure D. It is only regrettable that these four data all correspond to a period with a slight plateau in the calibration curve (Fig. 2b), thus resulting in larger probability ranges. Additional excavation work is needed to clarify the exact stratigraphical correlation of the three new charcoal dates with Enclosure D. Finally, from the fill-material of Enclosure D there is one new 14C-age made on collagen from an animal tooth found north of Pillar 33 (KIA-44701, 9800 ± 120 14C-BP, 9746-8818 calBC at the 95.4% confidence level; Tab. 1, Fig. 2, 3). Taken together with another new measurement made on charcoal extracted from the same fill (Layer III) in area L9-69 (UGAMS-10798, 9540 ± 30 14C-BP, 9127-8763 calBC at the 95.4% confidence level; Tab. 1, Fig. 2, 3) there can still be no consensus regarding the time of abandonment and burial of this enclosure. Further radiocarbon measurements will be needed to clarify this process. Indeed, the animal tooth used to produce sample KIA-44701 might even stem from the use-life of the enclosure, which as we know would have included the celebration of large feasts (Dietrich et al. 2012). This line of thought would then allow for a considerable (several hundred years) time of use of the enclosure prior to its burial sometime in the late 10th or early 9th millennium calBC (UGAMS-10798). But at the moment, a rather short life-span of the enclosure remains a possibility, too. Code Date δ13C, ‰ Material Context UGAMS-10796 9990±30 -25.6 charcoal (Pistacia atlantica, Prunus amygdalus, undetermined) Enclosure D L9-78, Loc. 129.11 space adjacent to ring walls UGAMS-10795 9970±30 -24.8 charcoal (Pistacia atlantica, Prunus amygdalus, undetermined) Enclosure D L9-78, Loc. 129.12 space adjacent to ring walls UGAMS-10799 9960±30 -25.7 charcoal (Pistacia atlantica, Prunus amygdalus, Prunus, Rhamnus sp., undertermined; mainly fragments of branches) Enclosure D L9-78, Loc. 129.10 space adjacent to ring walls KIA- 44149 9984±42 -26.31 ± 0.57 wall plaster, organic remains Enclosure D L9-68, Loc. 782.3 inner ring wall between pillars 41 and 42 KIA- 44701 9800±120 -20.57 ± 0,13 collagen from cattle tooth Enclosure D L9-67, Loc. 65.2, north of pillar 33 UGAMS-10798 9540±30 -25.4 charcoal (Pistacia atlantica, Populus / Salix, undetermined) Layer III, north of Enclosure D L9-69, Loc. 123.3 UGAMS-10797 9700±30 -26.7 charcoal (Pistacia atlantica; fragments of branches) Enclosure C L9-97, Loc. 64.2 space between outer ringwalls Hd-20036 9559±53 not provided charcoal (Pistacia sp., Amygdalus sp.) Enclosure A L9-75, Loc. 48.1 Hd-20025 9452±73 not provided charcoal (Pistacia sp., Amygdalus sp.) Enclosure A L9-75, Loc. 44.3 KIA-28407 9250±55 -24.82 ± 0.11 charcoal Enclosure A under a fallen pillar fragment in L9-75, Loc. 50. IGAS- 2658 8880±60 not provided humic acids from soil sample Terminus ante quem for Layer II over the Filling of Enclosure D in L9-68 Table 1 List of radiocarbon data made on organic samples from Göbekli Tepe. Contribution Neo-Lithics 1/13 38 At this point reference should again be made to sample IGAS-2658 (8880 ± 60 14C-BP, 8241-7795 calBC at the 95.4% confidence level; Tab. 1, Fig. 2, 3) taken from a humus layer in area L9-68 (Pustovoytov 2006: 707-708, Fig. 2f). This date marks the last PPN activities in this area and provides a terminus ante quem for Layer II. Enclosure C To present, only one date is available for Enclosure C (UGAMS-10797, 9700 ± 30 14C-BP, 9261-9139 calBC at the 91.6% probability level; Tab. 1, Fig. 2, 3). This sample was taken from a deep sounding in area L9-97 (Loc. 64.2) between the outermost ring walls of the enclosure and close to the bedrock. This could indicate that building activities at the outer ring walls of this enclosure were underway during the backfilling of Enclosure D. However, a larger series of data and a close inspection of Enclosure C´s building history will be necessary to confirm such far-reaching conclusions. Enclosure A From the area of Enclosure A there are the two dates already published by Kromer and Schmidt (1998) and mentioned above (Hd-20036, 9559 ± 53 14C-BP, 9175- 8759 calBC; and Hd-20025, 9452 ± 73 14C-BP, 9131- Fig. 1 The main excavation area at Göbekli Tepe with origin of 14C samples discussed in the text. Dietrich et al., A Radiocarbon Sequence for Göbekli Tepe Neo-Lithics 1/13 39 Fig. 2 Charts of radiocarbon data from Göbekli Tepe. Contribution Neo-Lithics 1/13 40 8559 cal BC at the 95.4% confidence level; Tab. 1, Fig. 2, 3). As these charcoals came from the fill of the enclosure, these measurements most likely date its abandonment, though it certainly cannot be ruled out that older organic remains became mixed in with material used for the burial of the structure (Kromer and Schmidt 1998). In combination with the new data, these dates may indicate that Enclosure A is generally later (or was in use for a longer period) than Enclosures C and D. From the perspective of its rather square-like ground-plan, Enclosure A could be an architectural missing link between the older circular structures of Layer III and the smaller rectangular complexes of Layer II. Good comparisons for its general layout can be found in the sub-quadratic “Terrazzo Building” in Çayönü (cell plan layer) (Schirmer 1990: 382-384) or in the „Cult Building“ at Nevalı Çori (Hauptmann 1993), which also yielded T-shaped pillars of forms similar to those at Göbekli, Layer II. KIA-28407 (9250 ± 55 14C-BP; 8617-8315 calBC at the 95.4% confidence level; Tab. 1, Fig. 2, 3) is a date made on charcoal from a soil sample extracted from beneath a rather large fragment of fallen pillar (Pustovoytov 2006: 709, Fig. 3g). Although this age could mark the time of abandonment of Enclosure A, its origin makes it difficult to determine whether it dates the burial of the enclosure at the end of its use-life, a later intentional destruction, or a moment when Enclosure A was already filled and Layer II activities led to the deposition of the pillar fragment. Conclusion As a preliminary conclusion, the still limited series of radiocarbon data seems to suggest that Layer III enclosures at Göbekli Tepe were not exactly conFig. 3 The calibrated radiocarbon data from Göbekli Tepe – single plots. Dietrich et al., A Radiocarbon Sequence for Göbekli Tepe Neo-Lithics 1/13 41 Hauptmann H. 1993 Ein Kultgebäude in Nevalı Cori. In: M. Frangipane, H. Hauptmann, M. Liverani, P. Matthiae, and M. Mellink (eds.), Between the Rivers and over the Mountains. Festschrift fur Alba Palmieri: 37–69. Dipartimento di Scienze Storiche Archeologiche e Antropologiche dell’Antichità, Università di Roma “La Sapienza”. Kromer B. and Schmidt K. 1998 Two Radiocarbon Dates from Göbekli Tepe, South Eastern Turkey. Neo-Lithics 3/98: 8-9. Pustovoytov K. 2002 14C Dating of Pedogenic Carbonate Coatings on Wall Stones at Göbekli Tepe (Southeastern Turkey). NeoLithics 2/02: 3-4. 2006 Soils and soil sediments at Göbekli Tepe, southeastern Turkey: A preliminary report. Geoarchaeology 21. 7: 699-719. Pustovoytov K. and Taubald H. 2003 Stable Carbon and Oxygen Isotope Composition of Pedogenic Carbonate at Göbekli Tepe (Southeastern Turkey) and its Potential for Reconstructing Late Quaternary Paleoenviroments in Upper Mesopotamia. Neo-Lithics 2/03: 25-32. Pustovoytov K., Schmidt K., and Taubald H. 2007 Evidence for Holocene environmental changes in the northern Fertile Crescent provided by pedogenic carbonate coatings. Quaternary Research 67: 315-327. Pustovoytov K., Schmidt K., and Parzinger H. 2007 Radiocarbon dating of thin pedogenic carbonate laminae from Holocene archaeological sites. The Holocene 17. 6: 835-843. Schirmer W. 1990 Some aspects of building at the ‘aceramic-neolithic’ settlement of Çayönü Tepesi. World Archaeology 21. 3: 363-387. Zazzo A. and Saliège J.-F. 2011 Radiocarbon dating of biological apatites: A review. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 310, 1-2: 52–61. temporaneous. Earliest radiocarbon dates stem from Enclosure D, for which the relative sequence of construction (ca. mid-10th millennium calBC), usage, and burial (late 10th millennium calBC) are documented. The outer ring wall of Enclosure C could be younger than Enclosure D. However, more data are needed to confirm this interpretation. Finally, Enclosure A seems younger than Enclosures C and D. With only eleven radiocarbon dates, many questions remain. It is hoped that the recent discovery of larger amounts of carbonized material at Göbekli Tepe will soon provide us with further dates and a much firmer grasp on the absolute chronology of this unique site. Acknowledgements: We thank Lee Clare for language corrections and comments on the text. Oliver Dietrich oliver.dietrich@dainst.de (corresponding author) Çiğdem Köksal-Schmidt Jens Notroff Klaus Schmidt German Archaeological Insitute Orient-Department References Dietrich O. 2011 Radiocarbon dating the first temples of mankind. Comments on 14C-Dates from Göbekli Tepe. Zeitschrift für Orient-Archäologie 4: 12-25. Dietrich O. and Schmidt K. 2010 A radiocarbon date from the wall plaster of Enclosure D of Göbekli Tepe. Neo-Lithics 2/10: 82-83. Dietrich O., Heun M., Notroff J., Schmidt K., and Zarnkow M. 2012 The role of cult and feasting in the emergence of Neolithic communities. New evidence from Göbekli Tepe, south-eastern Turkey. Antiquity 86, 333: 674-695. New Publications Neo-Lithics 1/13 46 forthcoming by Oxbow Books: The Later Prehistory of the Badia. Excavations and Surveys in Eastern Jordan by A.V.G. Betts and D. Cropper, L. Martin and C. McCartney with contributions by L. Cooke, A. Garrard, W. and F. Lancaster, F. Matsaert, H. Pessin, D. Reese, and G. Willcox Levant Supplementary Series 11 Oxbow Books, Oxford and Oakville Contents Lists of figures, tables and plates Abstract Preface Background and Methodology, by A. Betts, L. Martin and C. McCartney Late Neolithic Sites in the Harra, by A. Betts, L. Cooke, A. Garrard, C. McCartney and D. Reese Prehistoric Sites at Burqu’, by A. Betts, L. Martin, F. Matsaert and C. McCartney Excavations at Mahfour al-Ruweishid, by A. Betts, C. McCartney, H. Pessin and G. Willcox Excavations at Tell al-Hibr, by A. Betts and L. Martin Area Survey in the Hamad, by A. Betts, D. Cropper and W. and F. Lancaster The Eastern Badia, by A. Betts and D. Cropper Bibliography Index From the volume’s abstract: This is the second of two volumes to document extensive surveys and excavations in the region from Al-Azraq to the Iraqi border over the period 1979–1996. Broadly, it covers the Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic of the eastern badia, including surveys in the harra, excavations at a number of sites at Burqu’ and extensive surveys of sites of all periods in the eastern hamad. The rich prehistoric record preserved in the east Jordanian badia was first brought to the attention of western scholars through casual discoveries by RAF pilots flying along the old air route to Baghdad, and through surveys carried out by Henry Field in the period from 1925 to 1950. The region then remained unstudied until the 1970s, when Garrard and Stanley-Price undertook further survey work in the Azraq Oasis. This was followed by the surveys and excavations documented in this series. published by ex oriente: Neolithic Archaeology in the Khabur Valley, Upper Mesopotamia and Beyond edited by Yoshihiro Nishiaki, Kaoru Kashima and Marc Verhoeven Studies in Early Near Eastern Production, Subsistence, and Environment 15, 2013. 13 contributions, 236 pages, 102 figs., 12 plates, 4 tables, paperback [ISBN 978-3-944178-01-1] (45 Euro) Orders can be placed at www.exoriente.org/bookshop Contents Preface, by Y. Nishiaki, K. Kashima and M. Verhoeven Introduction, by Y. Nishiaki Habitat, economy and social territories in the Neolithic, by F. Hole Part 1 Prehistoric Environment of Upper Mesopotamia Geological and geomorphological features of the upper drainage areas of Euphrates and Tigris, by H. Yiğitbaşoğlu Fluvial surfaces along the Khabur River near Tell Seker alAheimar and their palaeoenvironmental implications, by T. Oguchi, K. Hori, T. Watanuki, C.T. Oguchi, J. Komatsubara, Y. Hayakawa and M.K. Jaiswal Climatic events during the Neolithic in central Turkey and northern Syria, by K. Kashima and K. Hirose Part 2 Neolithic Archaeology of the Khabur Basin PPNB flint blade production at Tell Seker al-Aheimar, Upper Khabur, Syria, by Y. Nishiaki Gypsum plaster manufacturing in northeast Syria: An ethnographic case study, by S. Kume Neolithic pottery from the Khabur basin: A reassessment in the light of recent discoveries, by M. Le Mière The Proto-Hassuna culture in the Khabur headwaters: A western neighbour’s view, by O. Nieuwenhuyse Part 3 Neolithic Archaeology in Upper Mesopotamia and Beyond Outside the body, inside the mind: Interpreting Neolithic landscapes of the Syrian Jezirah, by M. Verhoeven Recent progress in the Neolithic investigations of the Anatolian Tigris Valley, by Y. Miyake Another image of complexity: The case of Tell el-Kerkh, by A. Tsuneki Neolithic pottery in the northern Levant and its relations to the east, by T. Odaka The Jeziran Neolithic “market”, by S. Kozłowski New Publications Neo-Lithics 1/13 47 published by ex oriente: Neolithisation of Northeastern Africa edited by Noriyuki Shirai Studies in Early Near Eastern Production, Subsistence, and Environment 16, 2013. 14 contributions, 256 pages, 62 figs., 15 tables, paperback (48 Euro) Orders can be placed at www.exoriente.org/bookshop. Contents What makes the Neolithic in northeastern Africa? A new debate over an old issue for eliminating neighbourly ignorance, by N. Shirai An appraisal of the terms ‘Neolithic’ and ‘Neolithisation’ for use in North Africa in the 21st century, by A.B. Smith Reconsidering the ‘Mesolithic’ and ‘Neolithic’ in Sudan, by A.M. Sadig Continuity, change and material memory: Taking a temporal perspective on the Neolithisation in Northeastern Africa, by A. Dittrich Early Holocene palaeoclimate in North Africa: An overview, by A. Zerboni Why are there very few archaeological sites of the Early Holocene in the Egyptian Nile Valley? Geological and geomorphological reasons, by M. Pawlikowski Early stock keeping in northeastern Africa: Near Eastern influences and local developments, by V. Linseele Modelling cereal selection in Neolithic Egypt: An evaluation of economic criteria, by R.T.J. Cappers Unraveling the prehistoric ancestry of the present-day inhabitants of Northeast Africa: An archaeogenetic approach to Neolithisation, by A.C. Smith Was a transition to food production homogeneous along the circum-Mediterranean littoral? A perspective on Neolithization research from the Libyan coast, by G. Lucarini Whence the Neolithic of Northeastern Africa? Evidence from the Central Western Desert of Egypt, by M.M.A. McDonald Rock art in Egypt: Visual communication in the Eastern Desert in the Early to Mid-Holocene, by R. Döhl Was Neolithisation a struggle for existence and the survival of the fittest, or merely the survival of the luckiest? A case study of socioeconomic and cultural changes in Egypt in the Early-Middle Holocene, by N. Shirai Nile Valley-Levant interactions: An eclectic review, by O. Bar-Yosef The Neolithisation of Northeastern Africa: Reflections on knowns, unknowns, and unknown unknowns, by G. Barker in press by ex oriente: ‘Ain Ghazal Excavation Reports 3: Symbols at ‘Ain Ghazal, edited by Denise Schmandt-Besserat bibliotheca neolithica Asiae meridionalis et occidentalis (2013) & Yarmouk University, Monograph of the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology (2013) 13 contributions, XVI + 368 pages, 139 figures (including 5 colour illustrations), 38 plates, 3 tables. hardcover [ISBN 978-3-944178-03-5] (114 Euro) Orders can be placed at www.exoriente.org/bookshop Contents Chapter 1. INTRODUCTION G.O. Rollefson and Z.A. Kafafi The Town of ‘Ain Ghazal Chapter 2. TOKENS 2.1 H. Iceland Token Finds at Pre-Pottery Neolithic ‘Ain Ghazal. A Formal and Technological Analysis 2.2 D. Schmandt-Besserat Tokens and Writing: The Cognitive Development Chapter 3. ANIMAL FIGURINES D. Schmandt-Besserat Animal Figurines Chapter 4. HUMAN FIGURINES D. Schmandt-Besserat The Human Clay Figurines and Ancient Near Eastern Magic Chapter 5. STONE STATUETTE D. Schmandt-Besserat A Stone Metaphor of Creation Chapter 6. MODELED AND DECORATED HUMAN SKULLS 6.1 C.A. Grissom and Patricia S. Griffin Three Plaster Faces 6.2 D. Schmandt-Besserat The Plastered Skulls Chapter 7. THE STATUARY 7.1 C.A. Grissom Statue Cache 2 7.2 D. Schmandt-Besserat ‘Ain Ghazal “Monumental” Figures: A Stylistic Analysis Chapter 8. PAINTINGS D. Schmandt-Besserat Murals and Floor Paintings at ‘Ain Ghazal Chapter 9. STANDING STONES Z.A. Kafafi Standing Stones of the Neolithic Village of ‘Ain Ghazal Chapter 10. CONCLUSION D. Schmandt-Besserat Neolithic Symbolism at ‘Ain Ghazal


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