The site of Göltepe is an Early Bronze Age (3100-2100 BC) industrial/habitation site in southeastern Turkey. Göltepe is a small village estimated to be between eight to ten hectares. Radiocarbon dates from Göltepe range from 3290-1840 bc, uncalibrated, which place it in the Early Bronze Age. Göltepe is architecturally unlike any site in Turkey - the workshop/habitation units are ovoid semi-subterranean and fully subterranean pit structures, which are cut into the bedrock with smaller subsidiary bell-shaped pits in association. Smaller houses measure 4-6 metres in diameter. Larger houses are 9x7 metres and are terraced off the slope. The superstructures of these units are wattle and daub. Postholes were found in a number of structures. Clay structural elements (geometrically designed panels) may have decorated the interior spaces of the pit structures or provided decorative borders for doors, bins, and altars (Yener and Vandiver 1993, Yener 2000). Göltepe is an early metallurgical production site that is in direct proximity to the only tin source in the Near East, the Kestel Tin Mine. Analysis of the metallurgical debris indicates intensive mining and smelting and metal produced at the site was exchanged as far away as Mesopotamia.
The analysis of the zooarchaeological remains will allow the reconstruction of the local subsistence system and an examination of the types of raw materials (stone or metal) used to butcher and process the animals. This will provide for increased understanding for the relationship between the evolution of productive specialisation in metallurgy and the organization of food production in a small Early Bronze Age community in the Near East that is also far from the centres of power, but were crucial to regional trade. Relatively little is known about the nature and structure of community or household organization in such settlements, since they were far from regions with historical texts. The zooarchaeological remains represent the first large (10,000+ fragments) sample from an Early Bronze Age context associated with metallurgical production. A number of hypotheses will be tested, including herd management strategies, butchering and other meat preparation techniques, craft production, and assemblage taphonomy. Standard zooarchaeological analysis will be conducted on the bone remains. All bones will be analysed at NEBAL.

Official Goltepe Excavation Website

Dr. Haskel J. Greenfield, University Distinguished Professor
Co-Director Near Eastern and Biblical Archaeology Laboratory (NEBAL)
Professor, Anthropology; Associate Member, St. Paul’s College
204 272 1591

Dr. Tina Jongsma-Greenfield
Co-Director Near Eastern and Biblical Archaeology Laboratory (NEBAL)
Research Associate in Anthropology;
Research Fellow Member, St. Paul’s College
204 272 1591