Home Page Issues Publishing Principles Order Form Links Contact Türkçe
Detailed Search  
Click here to visit web site of Kaleii Museum
If you would like to get announcement mails about Akmed activities, please subcribe to our mailling list.
First name:
Last name:


On the Neolithic Architecture of the Burdur Region and It's Relation to the Contemporary Neolithic Architecture of Anatolia
Refik DURU*

Our intention in this article is to review the features practised in the architecture of the Burdur Region throughout the Neolithic age, a period of nearly 2000 years (7.000-5.300 B.C.), in the light of information gathered in recent archaeological excavations. We also intend to summarise some of our observations on how the development of settlements fits into the general trend of Neolithic transition in Anatolia.

Researches have shown that the "Neolithic Revolution" was in fact a very complex period of economic, social and technological change. It did not arise from some particular discovery which took place at a particular time and place in Anatolia or the Near East, which was then spread throughout the region. Rather the reverse, it surfaced independently in a great variety of regions and centres, at different times and in sundry ways, depending on the particular geographical conditions prevailing in that region.

Continuous settlements of a size which could be called a village first appeared approximately 10.000-11.000 years ago in S.E. Anatolia (Hallan Cemi). These were followed by settlements the size of a well developed village or small town, requiring some degree of planning and of organisation (Çayönü Tepesi, Nevala Cori).

The Aceramic Neolithic settlements (Aşıklı and Can Hasan Höyük III) of the Konya Plain display very different architectural features to those found in S.E. Anatolia.

The transition to Neolithic in Western Anatolia, which includes the Burdur Region took on a different form again. At the present time any study of the beginning and development of Neolithic in W. Anatolia must rely very largely on the results of excavations in the Burdur Region. The sites of Bademağacı Höyük (formerly Kızılkaya Höyük) in the extreme south of the region, Höyücek (Bucak) 25 km. north of Bademağacı and, further north again, Kuruçay and Hacılar to the west of Burdur town, have furnished us with evidence and finds of some weight. The remaining Neolithic sites of Western Anatolia are at Fikirtepe and Pendik near Istanbul and at Ilipmar Höyük near Lake Iznik. There is also a site at Hocaçeşme Höyük near Enez in Eastern Thrace. Although these sites have only been excavated in a very limited area, the evidence seems to suggest that their architectural features do differ slightly from these of the Burdur Region.

For each of the above mentioned sites, ample information is given in the Turkish text. From an architectural point of view there are wide differences between the Burdur Region, and the mountain regions of S.E. Anatolia and the Konya Region. There also appears to be some points of contrast with N.W. Anatolia and Thrace. Some examples of these differences follow:

In S.E. Anatolia light weight wooden (wattle and daub) houses on a stone foundation occur from the earliest Neolithic period onwards. These houses were at first round in plan, later they became rectangular, with internal rooms set on a grid plan. This style of architecture never occurs in the Burdur Region where at first, light weight wooden (wattle and daub) hutches with screen walls were built. With time, this developed into style of architecture relying heavily on mud brick with some stone and timber. One roomed houses based on a simple ground plan were prefered.

At the Central Anatolian sites of Aşıklı, Can Hasan III and Çatal Höyük, the building material, as in the Burdur Region, is mud brick. Here in the Konya Plain, a settlement plan of houses built together in a honeycomb fashion is clearly preferred. Yet this honeycomb plan of settlement is unknown in the Burdur Region.

In N.W. Anatolia, the buildings are generally wooden, again in contrast to the Burdur Region. Thus from the point of view of settlement type and/or building style practised, it can be seen that the Neolithic of the Burdur Region is of a different sort to that of the other regions of Anatolia.

In this article we have endeavoured to summarise the period of transition to a settled life style, in so far as it touches on architectural features. It should be born in mind that the results are based on research at very limited number of sites, located in some rather isolated regions, marked by greatly differing geographical features as in common in Anatolia, influenced to varying degrees by the various surrounding cultures, spanning a period of almost 5000 years.

In conclusion, the Neolithic architecture of Southeastern, Central and Western Anatolia must have appeared at different times with different origins, and must have developed independently over quite long periods of time.

*Prof. Dr. Refik Duru, İstanbul Üniversitesi, Edebiyat Fakültesi, Protohistorya ve Önasya Arkeolojisi Ana Bilim Dalı Başknı - İstanbul.

Article List