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Elusive Complexity : New Data from late Halaf Domuztepe in South Central Turkey

Author(s): Elizabeth Carter, Stuart Campbell and Suelten Gauld


Source: Paléorient , 2003, Vol. 29, No. 2 (2003), pp. 117-133
Published by: Paleorient and CNRS Editions and CNRS Editions

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Elusive Complexity : New Data
FROM LATE HALAF DOMUZTEPE
in South Central Turkey

E. Carter, S. Campbell and S. Gauld

Abstract : Domuztepe is located in south central Turkey between the modern cities of Kahramanmaraç and Gaziantep. At about 20 ha,
Domuztepe is one of the largest known settlements of the sixth millennium ВС date. Work has concentrated on the Late Halaf (Late Neo-
lithic) layers within approximately 2 m of the surface. C14 dates suggest a time range for these strata of between ca. 5 700 and ca. 5 450
ВС (calibrated). The results discussed include evidence of widespread artificial terracing ; the excavation of an archaeologically elab-
orate mass burial ; and, in the top-most layers, an extensive architectural plan comprised of both rectilinear and round structures. The
archaeological evidence for the ritual activities that accompanied the fractional burial of 35-40 individuals is presented in detail.
Ceramic, glyptic and worked stone assemblages are described, and a brief overview of the paleoeconomy outlined. The paper concludes
with a discussion of the evidence for emerging social complexity at the site.

Résumé : Domuztepe est situé au sud de la partie centrale de la Turquie entre les villes de Kahramanmaraç et Gaziantep. D 'une super-
ficie d'environ 20 hectares, Domuztepe est l 'un des plus grands établissements du 6e millénaire connu à ce jour. Les recherches ont porté
sur les niveaux Halaf récent (Néolithique récent) qui se trouvent approximativement à 2 m de la surface et que les dates C1 4 permettent
de dater entre ca. 5 700 et 5 450 BC (cal.). Les résultats présentés ici concernent le large terrassement artificiel observé, la fouille d'un
complexe élaboré de sépultures collectives ; et, pour les couches les plus récentes, le dégagement de structures architecturales les unes
rondes, les autres rectililignes. Nous présentons en détail ce qui peut être mis en relation avec les rites qui auraient accompagné l 'enter-
rement de 35-40 individus.

Les ensembles céramique, glyptique et de pierre sont brièvement décrits et un aperçu de la paléo-économie est donné. En conclusion une
discussion est proposée sur ce qui peut, sur ce site, suggérer l'émergence d'une certaine complexité de l'organisation sociale.

Key-Words : Halaf, Late Neolithic, Anatolia, Turkey, Geophysical survey, Burials, Complexity.
Mots Clefs : Halaf Néolithique récent, Anatolie, Turquie, Prospections géophysiques, Sépultures, Complexité.

The Kahramanmara§ valley is situated at a crucial juncturehouses and stamp seals, all considered cultural horizon mark-
between Cilicia and the Mediterranean coast on the west, theers of the Halaf, are known from Domuztepe2. But our exca-
Amuq to the south, the Anatolian plateau to the north and the
vations, as well as a number of others in the Syro-Anatolian
Syro-Mesopotamian steppe to the east (fig. 1). From its incep-region, now show that a broadly based view of a large unified
tion in 1993 the Kahramanmara§ Archaeological Project has Halaf cultural region stretching from the Zagros to the Medi-
been conceived of as a long-term, multi-disciplinary regional
terranean is misleading. Many of the excavated materials can
research project that includes both regional survey and exca-be placed broadly into the Halaf tradition, although there are
vation at Domuztepe1. Distinctive painted pottery, round
nonetheless distinctly local variations. The assemblage from

1. Carter 1995, 1996 ; Campbell and Carter et al., 1999. 2. Watson, 1983.

Paléorient, vol. 29/2, p. 1 17-134 © CNRS ÉDITIONS 2003 Manuscrit reçu le 28 juillet 2003, accepté le 11 décembre 2003

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118 E. Carter, S. Campbell and S. Gauld

Fig. 1 : Map showing the location

Domuztepe appears fied site, the extent


more and nature of this earlier occupation is
heterogeneous tha
blage defined on unknown
the without further
basis of excavation.
Tell Halaf, Ar
to the east. It has become clear
Six operations and a number of that, within
small soundings have been
blage in particular, excavated across theare
there surface of consistent
the site primarily in the prehis- link
At about 20 ha, Domuztepe is
toric layers. The site plan (fig. 3), one
illustrates that the of
bulk of the
settlements ofsixth our data millennium ВС
comes from Operation I on the southeastern date
side of
been at the forefront of our work since 1995. The site is the mound. Here around 1 200 square meters of the late pre-
historic period have been cleared and evidence of a unique
located near the edge of a former swamp. The main occupa-
funerary ritual has been identified. This article will focus on
tion on the site is prehistoric. There is evidence of much later
occupation on the top of the main mound, on the western that
side area of the site.
of the site and in a burial ground on top of Operation I. TheThe earliest phases of Operation I lie at the northern end
focus of the project has been until now on the prehistoric
of the exposure. These are higher than the layers adjacent to
occupations. Excavations have concentrated on the materialthem in the southern portion of Operation I, but were occupied
earlier. Excavations revealed a series of construction levels
within approximately 2 m of the surface and С 14 dates suggest
a time range for these strata of between ca. 5 700 andwhere
ca. we observed a technique of successively infilling aban-
5 450 ВС (calibrated) (table I). Earlier material present on doned
the structures with an almost artifact-free white lime plas-
surface and as residual material in excavated contexts indicate ter and reddish clay matrix (figs 4, 6). Over time these
earlier occupation in the south and east of the site at least from deposits formed a terrace that was not the result of a single
the ceramic Neolithic. Obviously, as with any deeply strati- phase of construction but the product of a series of repeated

Paléorient, vol. 29/2, p. 1 17-134 © CNRS ÉDITIONS 2003

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Elusive Complexity : New Data from late Halaf Domuztepe in South Central Turkey 1 1 9

Table I : Domuztepe, tentative chronology. broader pattern of site formation at Domuztepe, where ter
ing might have been used not simply as a practical measur
level the ground for building but also as part of a more de
erate practice of differentiating areas.
The next phase of activity in Operation I was non-archi
tural and probably lasted some time. During this phase, d
cussed in more detail below, a major funerary deposit,
establishment of what we term the Death Pit, was made
the area was subsequently abandoned apart from periodic
ual deposits. Only after a lapse of a considerable time, perh
in the order of two or three generations, were a number
freestanding rectangular buildings with open courtyards c
structed in the southern part of Operation I (figs 7-8). Clo
built stone rectilinear foundations of at least three different

construction phases belong to the final prehistoric phase of


Operation I in this area. All the walls are badly disturbed by
the later excavation of graves and pits, and the architectural
practice of recycling parts of foundations makes the recon-
struction of coherent plans difficult in this sector of the exca-
vation. In the western and central areas of Operation I there
now seem to be three adjacent rectangular complexes, in each
case with very substantial walls and multiple rooms. These
buildings contrast with the broadly contemporary structures
further to the east, where the walls are much thinner.
Four "tholoi" with interior diameters averaging around 2
to 2.5 m form a semi-circle east of the rectangular structures,
acts of construction and deposition. Two walls at the southern
but possibly slightly later (fig. 9). These structures lay just
edge of the terrace were linked by a solid mud surface
below theand
surface and the easternmost tholos was damaged by
were perhaps retaining walls since the space between
the plow. them
The builders of these structures excavated shallow
appears to have been filled with red clay and pits
plaster and the sides with stones. The flooring technique
and surfaced
formed a bank or a step. Two walls 3 m to the south and the
involved on preparation
a of a pebble foundation floor, which
lower level may form a second step approximately 50 and
was leveled cmstabilized with lime plaster. The foundation
lower (fig. 6). Further excavation will determine if the
floor regular
was then covered with smoothed white lime plaster. The
filling of abandoned structures with red clay and elaborate
plaster, plastering
com- of the floors suggests that the tholoi
mon in the northern sector of Operation I, will continue
formed a below
communal storage facility. In 2003 the poorly pre-
the upper layers in the central and southern areas served
of the foundations
trench of two similar "tholoi" were identified in
(fig. 4). The large mass burial ("Death Pit") was cut
the into the corner of the excavation, possibly indicating the
southwest
red clay terrace and the area covered by the southern
presence of a of
part second similar compound of circular storage
Operation I was not occupied at the time (fig. 4).structures. Larger, "house sized", (d = 3 + m) round structures
One of the most interesting results of the geophysical
discoveredsur-
to date come from earlier levels. In the earlier lay-
vey3 carried out in 2002 was the identification ofersaround
possible
compound walls containing rectangular buildings4
magnetic signature of terracing across larger areas
andof the buildings
round site with associated rectangular structures are
especially at the northern and southern ends of attested
the moundin the northeastern area of Operation I and in
(fig. 6). This suggests that the terrace in Operation I may II.
Operation fit a

3. Data is courtesy of Dr Brian Damiata, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology,


UCLA. 4. Campbell and Carter et al.y 1999.

Paléorient, vol. 29/2, p. 1 17-134 © CNRS ÉDITIONS 2003

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120 E. Carter, S. Campbell and S. Gauld

Fig. 2 : View of Domuztepe from

Fig. 3 : Plan of Domuztepe showing the location


soundings and the areas covered by geophysical s

THE DEATH PIT (figs 10-11)

The excavation of an archaeologically elaborate mass


(fig. 10-11) burial has raised several intriguing questions.
What were the activities that accompanied the fractional bur-
ial of the fragmentary remains of 35-40 individuals ? Are the
activities surrounding this burial indicative of ritual
behavior ? How was the subsequent settlement in this area of Fig. 4a & b : Operation
the site shaped by the presence of this mass burial ? terraced area to the north and northeast.

Paléorient, vol. 29/2, p. 1 17-134 © CNRS ÉDITIONS 2003

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Elusive Complexity : New Data from late Halaf Domuztepe in South Central Turkey 121

Fig. 6 : Trench along eastern balk of N500-E510 showing ter


(ci. fig. 4).

Fig. 5 : Results of the electromagnetic survey on the north end of the


mound that suggest widespread terracing on the site (courtesy of
tion seems to have been to construct a slightly raised hollow.
Brian Damiata).
The pit was then filled with gray to black-black ash from a
large fire, but the burning did not take place in the pit itself.
This ash covered the center of the pit and spilled out of its
An initial pit (3.5-4 m in area and 0.75 m-1 m deep) was original area.
dug at the terrace edge. The first deposits were comprised of The removal of the silt layer in the bottom of the Death Pit
animal bones, mainly cattle and a few dog. Then, after a revealed the earliest identifiable activities in the sequence. A
brief period of silting, large quantities of disarticulated and small, circular pit, 0.5 m in diameter, is the best-defined fea-
heavily processed human bones were placed in the pit, along ture but there were also several broad, shallow depressions, all
with further animal bones. The soil around the bones in this filled with a similar matrix of reddish clay deposits. Animal
phase of the Death Pit consisted of hard packed mud, inter- bones were present in large amounts, but with little or no
spersed with areas of ash and patches of plaster. The inten- human bone (identification is still in progress). The fills also

Paléorient, vol. 29/2, p. 1 17-134 © CNRS ÉDITIONS 2003

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122 E. Carter, S. Campbell and S. Gauld

Fig. 7 : Composite plan of the upper l

yielded a higher proportion ofandarticulated


amongst the bones. Bone points other pieces of worked
elsewhere in the Death Pit.
bones were also Most
found amongst the humanunusual
bones. Several stone w
bones that belong to
sealscanis
were found in sp.
and close С
to the14 dates
Death Pit and may have run
place the date of the main
been deliberately Death
deposited there. A singlePit deposi
figurine (fig. 12, a)
(calibrated) (table I).
made from red stone but lacking the head was found. Note also
There are only a limited
that several othernumbers of
stylized female figurines have artifa
no heads and
ciated with these deposits, although
that some Halaf seals are made in the shape of feet a num
and hands
jars appear to lie (fig. 21),
just abovepossibly indicating
the that apit.
symbolic significance
At least was
vessels were discovered smashed with the sherds scattered given to the fragmentation of various body parts.

Paléorient, vol. 29/2, p. 1 17-134 © CNRS ÉDITIONS 2003

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Elusive Complexity : New Data from late Halaf Domuztepe in South Central Turkey 123

Fig. 8 : View of central building in Operation I.

of the sample, a conjoin study of these bones was undertaken


While the condition of bones is fragile, the recovery of
large quantities of small fragments and numerous finger in order to facilitate the assessment of minimum number of
and
toe bones suggests that bone preservation of the Deathindividuals,
Pit age and sex distribution, and to identify skull
pathologies. Figure 1 1 illustrates the position of skulls within
skeletal sample is generally good. To date, evidence of animal
processing or post-depositional damage to the bones has notthe pit, along with the age and sex estimation of each speci-
been identified. The isolated and unassociated distributionmen
of and lines indicating join between cranial fragments.
These
most bones suggests that, after dismemberment, deposition of data suggest that the sample is composed of about
body parts within the pit was largely random. However, thirty-five
in individuals, representing both sexes and ranging in
age from neonates to individuals with no remaining dentition
some areas, clusters of bones representing the same skeletal
element have been identified, suggesting that, in a few and whose cranial sutures are completely closed, indicating
advanced
instances, deposition of body parts may have been character- age.
ized by a pattern of deliberate placement. Since no cervical vertebrae have been found in direct asso-
Detailed analysis of the human skeletal sampleciation
is with the skulls, it appears that the heads of all individ-
uals were disarticulated from the body at the atlanto-occipital
continuing ; however, preliminary results demonstrate that
individuals interred in the pit suffered considerable peri -joint
and(the joint between the head and the first cervical verte-
bra) prior to burial. In addition to this dismemberment, there
post-mortem trauma. The presence of impact fractures, cut-
is evidence of other, extensive trauma to this region of the
marks, chopmarks, and thermal exposure on all parts of the
skeleton bear witness to these traumas. Because skull bones body. For example, all skull remains complete enough for
are the most frequently represented and informative portions assessment display the effects of severe blunt force trauma to

Paléorient, vol. 29/2, p. 1 17-134 © CNRS ÉDITIONS 2003

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1 24 E. Carter, S. Campbell and S. Gauld

Fig. 9 : "Tholoi " at the eastern edge

one side of the skull. All


The the items
injury found
was in
severe
the bone in the area and
and human bones, hav
send radiating frac
skull vault. Whether and
thisidentification is bei
injury represents t
or is related, wholly GIS program,
or in is digiti
part, to post-mor
the skull cannot be determined.
pleted, this However,
work will th
be
destruction in some skulls the
preting suggests delib
very compli
bone in the fracture in the
area, Death Pit
perhaps to and sur
obtain a
In general, the skull sample displays
In addition three
to the large t
tion, which probablywere identified
represent to the
different levn
of post-mortem post-date
processing. the Death
A small Pit
number
pit (n = 3) were found
to in
bealinked
fully articulated
to the rituac
ing the head was relatively
its that intact
mirror at burial.
those of
apparent in these skulls
was is the
cut blunt
into force
F942, tr
whic
vault. A larger number of acrania
lar to small display ev
pit excava
or bone destruction Toregions
in the south of the
of the faceDea
an
the mandible is missing
lateror disassociated,
time, ind
the discovery
skull was at least partially
juvenile defleshed (F880) aged prio
six
Finally, some ment (F929,
skulls are N488E504)
almostand an isolated skull (Fl 143,
completel
have been processed N489NE507)
to the documentpoint
other funerary activities
that carried out
pieces
over the pit. in the region of the pit (figs 4 and 13). All of these individuals

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Elusive Complexity : New Data from late Halaf Domuztepe in South Central Turkey 125

Fig. 10 : Death Pit reconstruction by Eric Kansa.

excised
display blunt force trauma to the side of the skull, along after
with death, perhaps to facilitate the removal of t
decapitation. The F929 skeleton was lying tightly brain.
flexed on its
side, with the head in anatomical position. However, except
Other activities related to the pit were also identified ju
west
for a small fragment of the first vertebra, all cervical of the main deposit. Feature 1123 (498N506E) wa
vertebras
were missing from this otherwise complete burial. Thus,concentration
artifact it that was discontinuous but sloped do
appears that, prior to interment, the head of this individual
toward the Death Pit edge and in its lower layers contained
was first disarticulated, and then reassociated with the body.
unusually high proportion of beads, a stone pendant shap
The skull (Fl 143, fig. 13), which is better preserved
like than the
a bird and a silver bead (fig. 14)5. Also from the area
skulls in the Death Pit, was carefully buried with the head
the edge of the Death Pit was a phallic shaped piece of san
turned on its side. The plaster fragments beneath it suggest
stone. Incised lines have been added to emphasize the natu
that it might have been placed in a basket. Concentric impact
curves accompanied by adherent bone flakes and impact scars
5. The bird has a close parallel from the burnt house at Arpachiyah ; M
(marked by an arrow in fig. 13) are consistent with impact
LOW AN and ROSE, 1935 : pl. VIb, 871. Dr Aslihan Yener and her team at
traumas to the right side and frontal region of the skull. Miss-
University of Chicago have identified another silver bead found in a sligh
earlier context as native silver.
ing bone was either destroyed by blunt force trauma, and/or

Paléorient, vol. 29/2, p. 1 17-134 © CNRS ÉDITIONS 2003

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• 26 E. Carter, S. Campbell and S. Gauld

£
«
s:

£
ft,'

£
43
к
а
^3

I
СО
V.
Q

s
I
о

Й
-g
ьп

§
Q

à
e

Paléorient, vol. 29/2, p. 1 17-134 © CNRS ÉDITIONS 2003

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Elusive Complexity : New Data from late Halaf Domuztepe in South Central Turkey 127

Fig. 12 : Headless female figurines. Fig. 13 : Skull Fl 143.

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128 E. Carter, S. Campbell and S. Gauld

Fig. 14 : Serpentine Beads and silver beads from around the Death
Pit.

shape of the rock. It is also possible to view this object as a


female figurine (fig. IS). Such sexual ambiguity in figurines
is a phenomenon noted elsewhere in the Neolithic of the Near
East6.
In sum, the results of this work emphasize that a larger
area than just the Death Pit must be included in our discus-
sions of the burial. We need to understand the wider context

and longer sequence of events into which it fitted. Presently,


the disposal of the skulls seems to be at the center of a com-
plex sequence of events, which we still don't thoroughly
understand. Work began on the western edge of the pit and
soon showed that more deposits lay beneath and indicated that
a complex series of later structured deposition was present in
the west.

The edges of the pit are now well defined and it is clear
that it cut into reddish clay deposits related to those of the ter-
race to the north (see above). Indeed, the earliest fill in the pit
derives from this excavated soil. In the 2002 season a plaster
Fig. 15 : Male/Female figurine.
coated basket was excavated on the northwestern side of the

pit (fig. 16). The wickerwork has disappeared but the plaster
retains the impressions of the basket. Two other more frag- a thick silting lens indicating very wet conditions early in the
mentary baskets were excavated ; one on the western edge ofinfilling of the pit.
the Death Pit contained a sheep's pelvis and a large stone.
Another poorly preserved basket was found on the northeast
edge of the pit margin. It contained a section of a sheep/goat
horn core with skull attached. Small circular patches of plasterCERAMICS (fig. 17)
had been excavated in similar levels of the Death Pit in 2000

and it now seems probable that they too represented baskets, Stuart Campbell's7 work on Halaf ceramics formed the
although in these cases probably only portions of the basebasis for the analysis of the Domuztepe assemblages. He for-
were preserved. Presumably the baskets were freshly plas- mulated with Dr Alexandra Irving a set of basic ware types
tered or were placed in the pit and then saturated with liquidsdescribed in detail8. The majority of the Domuztepe ceramics
that led to their collapse and preservation when the Death Pit include painted and unpainted types that may be reasonably
was filled. Certainly, in all cases the plaster baskets lie above
7. Campbell, 1992 : 12-27.
6. VOIGT, 2000. 8. Campbell and Carter et at ., 1999 ; Irving, 2001 .

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Elusive Complexity : New Data from late Halaf Domuztepe in South Central Turkey 129

Fig. 16 : Basket impression seen from the top.

identified as Halaf pottery (fig. 17). The fabrics typically


range between orange and buff, sometimes with a gray core.
Most of the shapes and decorations also fit comfortably into
the Halaf tradition, but as with any other individual site there
are recognizable stylistic traits that are more regional. The
next most common group is a range of unpainted, burnished
vessels with red, brown or black surfaces. Some types of
bowls, in particular, seem particularly distinctive of this cate-
gory. Although related pottery is found within the western
portion of the Halaf, many of the best parallels can be detected
in the Levant as far south as sites within the Wadi Rabah tra-
dition. Some of the brown burnished sherds also have exten-
sive decoration. Other distinctive groups of ceramics which
fall outside the classic Halaf tradition, but which occur in only
small quantities, are termed painted orange (a dark orange slip
with dark brown or black paint), bichrome (very similar to
painted orange but with red and dark paint) and fine line
painted (a white or pale buff surface painted with extremely
fine lines). Again the best parallels for these sherds lie to the
south in the Amuq and at Ras Shamra. A very distinctive ves-
sel group, with few external parallels, is thick burnished pot-
tery. These are jars with globular bodies and long vertical
necks with very thick walls (ca. 10 mm), marked by wide ver-
tical burnishing on the necks. We suspect this type fulfills a
distinct function. Also regional and found in the latest layers
are a series of necked and neckless jars some of which have
plaster-coated exterior surfaces. Coarse and cooking wares
occur in a wide variety of forms, including both grit and veg-
etable tempered examples Fig. 17 : Pottery from Domuztepe.

Paléorient, vol. 29/2, p. 11 7-1 34 © CNRS ÉDITIONS 2003

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1 30 E. Carter, S. Campbell and S. Gauld

ECONOMY (figs 18-19)

Information on the paleobotany and z


still being processed. There is, however,
excavated phases of the usual domes
- wheat, barley, legumes, sheep, goat,
very few wild animals are known. Ag
possible use of secondary products, m
spindle whorls, bone awls and needle
bases of coarse ware vessels and the p
from the Death Pit provide evidence of
Other crafts include a highly develope
obsidian working industry (fig. 18). A
vessels (fig. 19), including bowls, cup
common at Domuztepe. No other Halaf
have yielded such a variety of stone ve
are two objects of serpentine : a partia
suggests local production and a spouted
a baby's bottle10. Also manufactured
stone were a large number of stamp se
Imported obsidian of a wide variety of
green, brown (mahogany), clear, and str
ufacture tools, jewelry (beads and pend
rors. Analysis carried out at Clermo
L. Poidevin shows that the Domuztepe o
least six different sources both to the east a

Fig. 1 8 : Serpentine pendant and obsidian v

9. Campbell and Carter et al ., 1999.


10. The discovery of three "milk teeth" inside one of these vessels sug-
gests that function.
11. HEALEY, 2000: 101-113. rig. IV : òtone vessels.

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Elusive Complexity : New Data from late Halaf Domuztepe in South Central Turkey 1 3 1

Fig. 20 : Stamp seals.

SEALS AND SEALINGS (figs 20-21) tokens12 are simple, easy to recognize and duplicate. Could this
similarity possibly indicate a mnemonic function ? Could seals
of different geometric shapes, sizes or designs carry informa-
The discovery of more than 60 stamp seals and four sealings
tion about the quantity or commodity that was sealed ? Or do
from Domuztepe suggests a need to control and/or record vari-
they simply mark ownership ? Only the discovery of more seal
ous commodities. More than half the seals found are from
impressions will lead to an answer to these questions.
Operation I where the seal shapes and designs are overwhelm-
Several partially finished seals show that seals were man-
ingly geometric (square, rectangle, circle, lozenge and triangle)
ufactured at Domuztepe. Rounded corners, string wear in the
although none are completely regular. Figure 20 illustrates a
number of typical seals from the upper levels of the site. There
is one seal in the shape of a hand and one or possibly two that12. Eleven clay tokens have been found at Domuztepe ; SCHMANDT-
BESSERAT, 1996.
represent feet (fig. 21). The seal shapes, like those of the clay

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132 E. Carter, S. Campbell and S. Gauld

suspension loops, worn seal faces, and redrilling when the


suspension loop broke all indicate that stamp seals were used
over long periods of time, curated and recycled. These obser-
vations suggest that seals were important items of personal
adornment13 and not discarded lightly.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

The terrace and associated structures at the northern edg


of Operation I date to ca. 5 700 ВС (calibrated) (table I). The
Death Pit and related pits on the north and east are dug into th
terrace fills in the northern edge of Operation 1. On the we
of Operation 1 the situation is more complex and awaits fu
ther excavation in 2004. It is now increasingly clear tha
larger area than the pit itself was of significance. The init
rituals took place in an open area within the settlement an
one where the raised ground around the northern and weste
edges of the Death Pit offered a setting with considerable dr
matic potential. The location on the edge of the existing eas
west terrace face may also be of importance, perhaps placi
it on a boundary within the site. The events leading to the
Death Pit burial were performed in an existing context and
possibly one that deliberately referenced a longer history
this part of the site. After the initial deposition in the Deat
Pit, a series of related activities took place, some leaving the
traces in ash-filled pits but others including the deposition
human remains, both articulated and fragmentary. A signif
cant area remained free of substantial structures before bei
built over by a series of rectangular houses with open cour
yards. These buildings were continually recycled and m
have had communal storage facilities. Limited С 14 evidenc
suggests a date of ca. 5 500-5 450 ВС (calibrated) for the
layers. In future months the processing of the geophysica
data by Dr Damiata and its co-ordination with earlier surfa
surveys and test excavations should give us a better idea of t
size and structure of mound in the sixth millennium ВС.

Extensive terracing across much of the site might indicate a


degree of communal effort and co-operation hitherto unsus-
pected for the sixth millennium.
At present it seems that the Death Pit deposit marked a late
stage in a complex funerary ritual. The burial took place in a
Fig. 21 : Hand and feet seals. relatively short period of time and was associated with a

13. Parker and Creekmore, 2002, report a Halaf period stamp seal
found at the wrist of one of the Halaf burials from Boz Tepe in the Upper Tigris
region.

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Elusive Complexity : New Data from late Halaf Domuztepe in South Central Turkey 133

major conflagration that produced the ash lens that enveloped BIBLIOGRAPHY
the pit and adjacent areas. These various lines of evidence
Campbell S.
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to their deaths or were participants in more sinister 1992 Culture, Chronology and Change in the Later Neolithic
social
North Mesopotamia. Ph.D. University of Edinburgh.
practices we do not yet know. What we can say is that they all
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received quite equal treatment in death. and WITCHER S.
Domuztepe has yielded no direct archaeological evidence
1999 Emergent Complexity on the Kahramanmara§ Plain : The
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Carter E.
its craftspeople and the use of seals and sealings may reflect
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS HEALEY E.

2000 The Role of Obsidian in the Late Halaf. Ph. D., University of
Manchester.
Our thanks go to Dr. Alpay Pasinli, the director general of Monu-
ments and Museums in Ankara, and Ahmet the IRVING A.
Denizhanoglulan,
director of the Kahramanmara§ Museum for their200 1 A Contextual
assistance in Study of Ceramic Evidence for Social Relations
andand
carrying out our work. We are also grateful in Britain to the Arts Change during the Halaf-Ubaid Transition. Ph.D., Uni-
versity of Manchester.
Humanities Research Board, the British Institute of Archaeology at
MALLOWAN M.
Ankara, The British Academy, the University of Manchester Research and ROSE J.

1935the
Support Fund, the Society of Antiquaries of London, and Excavations
Britishat Tall Arpachiyah. Iraq 2 : 1-178.
Museum, and in America to the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and
PARKER B.J. and CREEKMORE A.
the Committee on Research at UCLA, the National Geographic
2002 The Upper Tigris Archaeological Research Project
Society, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, and the American Research
(UTARP) : A Final Report from the 1999 Field Season. Ana-
Institute in Turkey for their support over the years. Dr. Gauld's
tolian Studies 52 : 19-74.
research was supported by the American Philosophical SCHMANDT-BESSERAT
Society. D.

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