The contribution of chert knapped stone studies at Çatalhöyük to notions of territory and group mobility in Prehistoric Central Anatolia

Sonia Ostaptchouk

Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, UMR7194

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Dig It: The Journal of the Flinders Archaeological Society
Volume 2, Issue 1, June 2014

Print: ISSN 1440-2475
Online: ISSN 2203-1898


Over the past 50 years, obsidian sourcing in Anatolia has become a well-established method of reconstructing source exploitation and raw material distribution for discussing social network systems of exchange at a large scale. Other raw materials of knapped stone have been ignored. Over the last 3 years, however, new PhD projects developed at Çatalhöyük (Konya Plain, Turkey) demonstrate the major contribution of chert knapped stone studies to the discussion of local territory and group mobility, and underline a complexity in raw materials procurement.

The typo-technology studies of knapped stone in Çatalhöyük West assemblages from the Early Chalcolithic (6000-5500 cal. BC) highlight a domestic production which includes both local bad quality flint and the exogenous good quality flint, which probably came from eastern Anatolia.

This paper reviews recent contributions of flint studies in Central Anatolia and presents new field work data about chert sources. Thus it proposes a synthesis of our knowledge on locally available chert resources in the region. Combining dynamic local geological patterns, geomorphological considerations and typo-technological studies, this paper proposes an overview of the chert raw material procurement in Central Anatolia through a case study of Çatalhöyük West assemblages.


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