New Insights Regarding the Neolithic-Chalcolithic of the InnerWest Anatolia: Düzkışla Höyük, UşakMehmet Ali Yılmaz
Understanding the distribution and expansion of the Neolithic way of life was one of the important research topics of the last century. Studies demonstrated that Anatolia, which was originally excluded from the 'core' region, played a key role in the transition from hunter-gatherers to settled life and food production. This article focuses on Düzkışla Höyük, which was discovered during the Uşak Protohistoric Period Survey Project (UPDAP) in 2019 and which provides various information about the Neolithic Age of Western Anatolia. A rich collection of small finds from the site allows for cross-regional comparisons and conclusions about the region's relationship with its surrounding cultures during prehistoric times. Being on the crossroads of the Aegean coast, the Lakes Region, and Central and Northwest Anatolia, Uşak must have played an important role in the formation and development of communication and interaction networks in the Neolithic Period. The finds of the Late Neolithic-Early Chalcolithic Age from Düzkışla Höyük, which have been evaluated extensively, point to the local character of the way of life of early farmers on the one hand and the extent of cultural relations between regions on the other.
İç Batı Anadolu Neolitik-Kalkolitiğine Dair Yeni Bulgular: Düzkışla Höyük, UşakMehmet Ali Yılmaz
Neolitik yaşam biçiminin dağılımı ve yayılımını anlamak son yüzyılın önemli araştırma konularından birisidir. Araştırmalar, başlangıçta ‘çekirdek’ bölgenin dışında tutulan Anadolu’nun, yerleşik yaşama ve yiyecek üretimciliğine geçiş süreçlerinde kilit rollerden birini oynadığını göstermiştir. Bu makalede ele alınan Düzkışla Höyüğü 2019 yılında Uşak Protohistorik Dönem Yüzey Araştırmaları Projesi (UPDAP) çalışmalarında tespit edilmiş olup İç Batı Anadolu Neolitik Çağıyla ilgili çeşitli bilgiler vermektedir. Alandan elde edilen zengin buluntu topluluğu, bölgelerarası karşılaştırmalar yapmaya ve prehistorik dönemlerde bölgenin çevre kültürlerle olan ilişkileriyle ilgili çıkarımlara ulaşılmasına imkân tanımaktadır. Kıyı Ege, Göller Yöresi, İç Anadolu ve Kuzeybatı Anadolu’nun tam kesişme noktasında yer alan Uşak, Neolitik Dönemde Anadolu’nun farklı bölgeleri arasındaki iletişim ve etkileşim ağlarının oluşmasında ve gelişmesinde önemli bir rol oynamış olmalıdır. Kapsamlı değerlendirilen Geç Neolitik- Erken Kalkolitik Çağ Düzkışla Höyük buluntuları, erken çiftçi yaşam biçiminin yerel karakterini ve bölgeler arası kültürel ilişkilerin boyutunu göstermesi açısından önemlidir.
At the end of the Paleolithic Age, several changes in the lifestyle of hunter-gatherer communities led to technological, economic, social, and ideological developments which were previously subsumed under the term ‘Neolithic Revolution.’ Even though the term ‘Neolithic’ changes from researcher to researcher and region to region, in general, the discussions of the last one hundred years persist in focusing on the transition from a huntergatherer life to food production and a settled life. This is especially true for the questions of where, when, why, and how this transition occurred. At the outset of Neolithic research, it was assumed that the people of Anatolia were not involved in the development of settled life and food production. These activities seemed to have appeared exclusively within the socalled "Fertile Crescent." In contrast to this preconception, an increasing number of studies in the last 25 years have proven that Anatolia played a pivotal role in the transition to settled life and food production. In comparison to Southwestern Asia and Southeastern Europe, the low number of prehistoric excavations in Anatolia must be kept in mind. In this respect, research has accelerated over the last 50 years in Inner Anatolia, the Lakes Region, and Western and Northwestern Anatolia, which has expanded our knowledge considerably.
Within the "Uşak Protohistorical Survey Project" (Uşak Protohistorik Dönem Yüzey Araştırmaları Projesi/UPDAP), which began in 2017, a considerable number of pre- and proto-historical settlements were discovered for the first time. One of these settlements—and the focus of this paper—is named Düzkışla Höyük. The site of Düzkışla Höyük was founded on a slope which consists of conglomerate forms. Other recently discovered Neolithic sites such as Altıntaş, Ada Höyük, and Mercimekli Tepe are seen to usually be founded on ridges, valleys, or on the tops of hills. In contrast, research in the plains of Banaz and Uşak have revealed no signs of Neolithic or Chalcolithic settlements. An explanation for this could be that farming communities preferred settlements on ridges, valleys, and hills in close connection to raw materials or other resources. Clay deposits and a variety of multiple types of stones—for the production of pottery and stone tools—were proven to exist in this area after macroscopic investigations and analyses of raw material sources were conducted.
Most of the small finds collected at Düzkışla Höyük belong to the material culture of the Neolithic and Early Chalcolithic settlements of Western Anatolia. Painted sherds and sherds with a simple burnished pattern form the largest group. Terracotta figurines comprise another group of characteristic finds. One of the two figurines found on the surface of Düzkışla Höyük is a type of steatopygous woman with inserted heads; the other is a conic figurine of unknown sex. Two sling stones complete the group of terracotta finds. The category of stone finds is comprised of grinding stones made of limestone, basalt, andesite, and serpentine; bowls made of marble; as well as many examples of obsidian and flint blades.
Concerning the distribution of the Neolithic lifestyle, Düzkışla Höyük was located on an important route. Recent research results have shown that the Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures of the Lakes Region reached the territory of Uşak by two different routes. One route passed the northeast side of Burdur Lake and continued via Dinar, Sandıklı, and Hocalar to Uşak. This route is confirmed by the finds collected on the surface of the settlements at Üçin, Bektaş Üyük Tepe, Devlethan, and Asarın Tepe. The other route possibly passed the Çivril Plain and continued north where the key site of Ekşi Höyük is located. Its excavator maintains that the small finds from Ekşi Höyük reflect the characteristics of the Lakes Region. It is misleading to think that the inner part of Western Anatolia was culturally influenced from only a single direction. The Neolithic and early Chalcolithic cultures of Western Anatolia also influenced the inner part of Western Anatolia. The excavation finds from Ekşi Höyük and the survey finds from Düzkışla Höyük support this assertion.
Throughout previous studies, attempts were made to define the period of occupation of Düzkışla Höyük, from its beginning to its end. With great probability, the pottery and small finds can be dated between 6300/6200- 5800/5700 BC. These dates suggest that Düzkışla Höyük was the first site inhabited in the surrounding area of Uşak during the Late Neolithic to the Early Chalcolithic Period. This site also shows the local characteristics of the way of life of early farmers as well as cultural relationships with neighboring regions.