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New Pre-Pottery Neolithic Settlements from Viranehir District



Mustafa GLER * Bahattin ELK ** Gl GLER***

Keywords: Round Planned Buildings T Shaped Pillar Sefer Tepe Kocanizam Baaran Hyk
Herzo Tepe Pre-Pottery Neolithic Period.

Abstract: In the present study, the Neolithic Period settlements at Baaran Hyk, Baaran-Herzo
Tepe and Kocanizam Tepe located within the provincial borders of anlurfa province Viranehir district.
The properties of all settlements pertaining to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period are unearthed and signifi-
cant findings are encountered as regards the civil architecture of that era. Arranged in the north-south di-
rection and founded with 3-5 km intervals, such settlements revealed a unique property never encoun-
tered in the region before. Sefer Tepe settlement, which is already discovered and possessing identical
properties with the Pre-Pottery Neolithic Period settlements, such as Nevali ori, Gbekli Tepe and
Karahan Tepe, containing T shaped pillars, is further examined under the scope of the present study.
Baaran Hyk, Baaran-Herzo Tepesi and Kocanizam Tepe are discovered recently during the cultural
inventory studies conducted in 2011.



Anahtar Kelimeler: Yuvarlak Planl Yaplar T eklinde Dikmeta Sefer Tepe Kocanizam
Baaran Hyk Herzo Tepe anak mleksiz Neolitik Dnem.

zet: Bu almada, anlurfa ili Viranehir ilesi snrlar ierisinde yer alan Baaran Hyk, Baa-
ran-Herzo Tepesi ve Kocanizam Tepesinde bulunan Neolitik dnem yerleimleri incelenmitir. Yerleim-
lerin tmnn anak mleksiz Neolitik dneme ait zellikleri ortaya kartlm ve dnemin sivil mima-
risi hakknda nemli bulgulara rastlanmtr. Kuzey-gney ynnde dizilmi ve 3-5 km aralklarla kurulmu
olan bu yerleimler blgede benzeri grlmeyen bir zellii ortaya karmtr. Daha nce tespit edilmi
olan ve iinde T eklinde dikmetalarn yer ald Nevali ori, Gbekli Tepe ve Karahan Tepe gibi a-
nak mleksiz Neolitik dneme ait merkezlerle benzer zelliklere sahip Sefer Tepe yerleimi de bu ara-
trma kapsamnda tekrar incelenmitir. Baaran Hyk, Baaran-Herzo Tepesi ve Kocanizam Tepesi, 2011
ylnda yaplan kltrel envanter almalar srasnda ilk kez kefedilmitir.

* Yrd. Do. Dr. Mustafa Gler, Harran niversitesi, Gzel Sanatlar Fakltesi, Mimarlk Blm, TR-63300 / ANLIURFA,
** Yrd. Do. Dr. Bahattin elik, Harran niversitesi, Fen-Edebiyat Fakltesi, Arkeoloji Blm, TR-63300 / ANLIURFA,
*** Yrd. Do. Dr. Gl Gler, Harran niversitesi, lahiyat Fakltesi, slam Tarihi ve Sanatlar Blm, TR-63300
/ANLURFA, e-posta:

Anadolu / Anatolia 38, 2012 M. Gler B. elik G. Gler

Introduction ventory studies2 carried out throughout

Viranehir is a district of anlurfa the region in 2011, on the other hand,
province located 91 km east of the prov- three other Pre-Pottery Neolithic period
ince. The sole mountain of the region, settlements are also discovered in addition
Karacada with an altitude of 1957 m, is to this settlement (Map 1). Furthermore,
located at the northern border. When we another Neolithic settlement site in the vi-
consider the geological formation of the cinity of Babk village of Siverek district,
region, we see that the northern section approximately 27 km northwest of Sefer
of the region presents a structure formed Tepe settlement, is also examined under
by basaltic rocks while the southern and the scope of this project3.
south-eastern sections presents a carstic
structure. Other areas in the region, on Baaran Hyk
the other hand, comprise of meadows Baaran Hyk is located inside
and low plateaus. Baaran village, 30 km southwest of Vi-
There are more areas with water at ranehir (Fig. 1). Sefer Tepe (Yukar Darik
Viranehir region compared to other re- Harabesi)4, which was discovered before
gions of anlurfa province. Aa Crcp and dated for Pre-Pottery Neolithic peri-
and Yukar Crcp creeks rising from Ka- od, is located 5 km south of the settle-
racada and flowing in the north-south ment. Located at 652 m altitude above sea
direction are considered amongst the level, the mound is an elevated and conical
significant water sources of Viranehir mound created on a calcareous hill and
region. Apart from these creeks, there is the cemetery of the village, which is cur-
abundant number of water springs at the rently in use, is present on the mound.
southern mountainside of Karacada at The mound covers approximately 20 dec-
the northern sections of the region. are area. With the village settlement locat-
Starting from spring, the drought starts ed south, the mound is surrounded with
to prevail in Viranehir region accom- natural caves and caves constructed in the
modating wide fields serving as pas- Byzantium period. The closest water
tureland. source to the settlement site is 5.5 km
north of the settlement. The closest basalt
Sefer Tepe (Yukar Darik Hara- source, on the other hand, is located ap-
besi) settlement from Pre-Pottery Neo- proximately 6 km north of the settlement.
lithic period was discovered during the
inventory studies carried out at Vi-

ranehir district in 20031. During the in- 2 These studies were conducted under the scope of
TBTAK (No. 110K533) project entitled Deter-
 mination, Inventory and Assessment of the Immo-
1 The Project Executive of the inventory study: Prof. vable Cultural Assets in anlurfa Province and Dist-
Dr. Abdsselam Uluam, Name of the Project: ricts of the Province. We hereby present our ack-
Project for Social and Cultural History of Turkey, nowledgements to Mr. Celalettin Gven, the Go-
Project for Inventory of the Cultural Assets in Eas- vernor of anlurfa, Mr. Muhammed Ltfi Kotan, the
tern and Southeastern Anatolia Regions. Instituti- District Governor of Viranehir.
ons Supporting the Project: State Planning Organi- 3 elik et al.2011, 225-236. 
zation, Turkish Historical Society, Project Dura- 4 Krkolu Karahan Kara 2005, 62-63; elik
tion: 1996-2007. 2006a, 23-25.

New Pre-Pottery Neolithic Settlements from Viranehir District

During the studies conducted at known as Nemrik10 and Byblos type ar-
Baaran Hyk, ceramics from Bronze rowheads11 and dated to the early Pre-
Age, Iron Age and Byzantium periods Pottery Neolithic period12.
are also discovered in addition to the Presence of cut-out groups chiseled
findings from Pre-Pottery Neolithic pe- on the bedrocks surrounding the mound
riod. The findings from Pre-Pottery Ne- and used for pool construction technique
olithic period rather comprise of blades, and the Nemrik and Byblos arrowheads in-
flakes and waste productions made of dicates that Baaran Hyk settlement is
flint. The flints are principally light and most probably inhabited at the end of late
dark brown, beige and gray in color. Ar- Pre-Pottery Neolithic A Period (LPPNA)
rowheads, scrapers, perforators and and early Pre-Pottery Neolithic B period
crested blades are the lithic tools discov- (EPPNB).
ered from this period (Draw. 1, a-i).
Apart from the foregoing, blade pieces Baaran- Herzo Tepe
made of obsidian are also encountered, Herzo Tepe is located 28 km south-
although scarcely (Draw. 1, j). east of Viranehir, 2 km north of Baaran
In particular, cut-outs in groups village and 3.5 km south of Sefer Tepe.
with approximately 10-15 cm diameter The settlement site founded on a calcare-
and 10 cm depth are determined on the ous hill covers approximately 5 decare sur-
bedrock located around the mound (Fig. face area. The settlement presents a low
2). Counterparts of such cut-outs chis- and ample structure (Fig. 3). The closest
eled at the bedrock present identical water source to the settlement site is 4 km
properties with the cut-outs already north of the settlement. The closest basalt
known from Gbekli Tepe5, Hamzan source, on the other hand, is located ap-
Tepe6, and Karahan Tepe7 settlements proximately 4.5 km north of the settle-
and employed for pool construction ment.
technique. A large proportion of the settlement
The arrowheads discovered at is destroyed due to agricultural activities
Baaran Hyk share a great similarity and construction of rock-cut tombs from
with the arrowheads discovered at Kara- early Byzantium period. The studies con-
han Tepe8 and Sefer Tepe9 both in terms ducted on the surface revealed pottery
of size and form. Such type of small- from early Byzantium period as well as
sized arrowheads is the arrowheads also hand-made straw tempered ceramic pieces
and findings from Pre-Pottery Neolithic

 10 Gbekli Tepe, Schmidt 2001, 52, Fig. 10/4, 6;
Beile-Bohn et al. 1998, 47-50, Abb. 20; Hauptmann Chiekh Hassan, Abbes 1993, Fig. 8.10; Mureybet
1999, Fig. 32. IVb, Cauvin 1994, Fig. 24.1, 3; Iraq-Nemric,
elik 2004, 3, Fig. 2-3; elik 2006b, 222, Fig. 3-4; Kozowski Szymczak 1989, 32, Fig 2.
elik 2010, 259, Fig. 6. 11 Cafer Hyk, Cauvin 1994, Fig. 26.3; Nevali ori,
7 elik 2000b, 7; elik 2011, 259, Fig. 18-21. Schmidt 1988, 171174, Abb. 11/16, Abb.
8 elik 2011, 244-245, Fig. 18/4-9, Fig. 19/1-8. 12/13. 
9 elik 2006a, 24, Fig. 4 b-d. 12 Cauvin 1994, 7879, Fig. 24.2.

Anadolu / Anatolia 38, 2012 M. Gler B. elik G. Gler

period. Such findings rather comprise of Hallan emi15, Gusir Hyk16 and Krtik
blades, flakes, waste productions, unipo- Tepe17 settlements18.
lar and bipolar cores, all made of flint. The round-planned building located
The flints are principally light and dark at Herzo Tepe and the Nemrik type ar-
brown, beige and gray in color. Arrow- rowheads discovered at the surface of this
heads, scrapers, perforators, crested structure necessitates dating of the settle-
blades and blades with silica sheen are ment to the end of Pre-Pottery Neolithic
the lithic tools discovered from this pe- Period A (LPPNA) and early Pre-Pottery
riod (Draw. 2, c-d, f-g; 3, a-f). Apart Neolithic Period B (EPPNB).
from the foregoing, blade pieces made of
obsidian are also encountered, although Kocanizam Tepe
scarcely (Draw. 2, e). When discovered Kocanizam Tepe is located inside
lithic tools are examined, small-size Kocanizam village, 27 km west of Vi-
Nemrik arrowheads (Draw. 3, b-f) are ra- ranehir and 3 km north of Sefer Tepe.
ther seen, except for one Byblos type ar- The settlement site dated to the Pre-
rowhead (Draw. 3, a). Furthermore, Pottery Neolithic period and early Byzan-
grinding stones and pestle pieces made tium period is beneath Kocanizam village
of basalt are also observed at the settle- (Fig. 5). Kocanizam settlement is founded
ment. on a calcareous rocky hill and is at approx-
The ruin of a round planned build- imately 653 m. altitude above sea level and
ing is encountered at the area located covers approximately 10 decare surface
east of the settlement (Fig. 4). This struc- area. The closest water source to the set-
ture is formed by erecting large flat tlement site is 1.5 km east of the settle-
stones in a perpendicular manner. The ment. The closest basalt source, on the
diameter of this structure is around 5 m. other hand, is located approximately 1 km
The most identical resemblance of this east of the settlement.
round-planned structure is well-known During the studies conducted at the
from Hamzan Tepe13. The round- settlement site, ceramics and architectural
planned building discovered at Hamzan ruins from early Byzantium age as well as
Tepe settlement is also constructed like- blades, flakes and waste production made
wise, by erection of large flat stones in a of flint and unipolar and bipolar cores that
perpendicular manner. Other round- can be dated back to Pre-Pottery Neolithic
planned buildings in the region bearing period discovered (Draw. 4, a-b). The
the properties of civil architecture from flints are principally light and dark brown,
same age are well-known from ayn14, beige and gray in color. The most signifi-
cant lithic artifacts are the Nemrik type ar-

15 Rosenberg 2011, 61-63, Fig. 2-6.
16 Karul 2011, 2-4, Fig. 4, 5, 11.
 17 zkaya and Cokun 2011, 90-93, Fig. 2-5.
13 elik 2010, 259, Fig. 3-4. 18 Furthermore, for more detailed information please
14 Erim-zdoan 2011,191-193, Fig. 6, 9. see Sicker-Akman 2001, 389-394.

New Pre-Pottery Neolithic Settlements from Viranehir District

rowheads, scrapers, blades with silica The most intriguing aspect of Sefer
sheen and backed blade pieces (Draw. 5, Tepe settlement site is the discovery of 16
a-d; 4, c-e). Furthermore, blade pieces in situ T shaped pillars at the settle-
made of obsidian are also encountered ment19. Majority of the pillars is buried to
(Draw. 4, f-g). Moreover, grinding stones the ground and placed side-by-side in con-
and pestle pieces made of basalt are also jugate formation (Fig. 8). The upper sec-
observed at the settlement. tions of such pillars above the surface are
A calcareous stone estimated to be approximately 50 cm long and 20 cm
the body of a T shaped pillar is un- wide. The pillars are placed in conjugate
earthed at an illegal excavation site made formation with approximately 1.5 up to 2
at the center of the settlement area. The m intervals. With this positioning, the pil-
stone is flat and chiseled to rectangular lars share great similarity with the mono-
shape with both short edges in broken lithic in-situ pillars at Gbekli Tepe20 Layer
condition (Fig. 6). II architecture and the pillars located at
The Neolithic settlement located the surface of Karahan Tepe21. Moreover,
inside Kocanizam village must most there is one further pillar revealed during
probably be dated to the end of Pre- construction of the country house located
Pottery Neolithic A Period (LPPNA) at southeastern corner of the settlement.
and early Pre-Pottery Neolithic B Period This pillar is secured as intact (Fig. 9). The
(EPPNB) to the Nemrik arrowheads dis- approximate length of the pillar is 198 cm;
covered at the surface and the calcareous the width of the head section is 72 cm,
stone estimated to be a part of a T and the width of the body section is 54 cm
shaped pillar. and the thickness is 25 cm. The head sec-
tion of this stele with no relief or engrav-
Sefer Tepe (Yukar Darik Harabesi) ing is extremely flattened. This unearthed
pillar possesses identical features with the
Sefer Tepe is a small sized broad
pillars discovered at Nevali ori, Gbekli
and shallow mound located 25 km west
Tepe, Karahan Tepe, Hamzan Tepe and
of Viranehir, approximately 72 km east
Tal Tepe.
of anlurfa, within the modern province
borders of Viranehir (Fig. 7). The No ceramic findings are discovered
mound is located at 600 m altitude above at Sefer Tepe settlement site and the find-
sea level and covers approximately 7 ings rather comprise of flint and obsidian.
decare surface area. Only one country Flint is seven times more numerous than
house is present at the southeastern cor- obsidian. Arrowheads, perforators, end
ner of the settlement. The closest water scrapers and blades with silica sheen are
source to the settlement site is Yukar discovered amongst lithic tools. Among
Crcp creek, located 1.5 km east. The ge- obsidian finds, only one scraper could be
ological structure of the settlement site is
calcareous and the closest basalt source 
19 elik 2006a, 23-25.
is 1 km east of the settlement. 20 Schmidt 2002, 8, Fig. 7. Stele positions at excavations
no L 10-71, L 9-80, L 9-55 and L 9-56.
21 elik 2000b, 6-7; elik 2011, 241-242, Fig. 7.

Anadolu / Anatolia 38, 2012 M. Gler B. elik G. Gler

identified while others are blade frag- the middle of other settlements with dis-
ments and flakes. The flint items reflect tance to the settlements varying in the
the properties of Pre-Pottery Neolithic range of 3 to 5 km. This situation points
implement typology. When we examine out to a settlement style not encountered
the arrowheads made of flint in particu- before at Pre-Pottery Neolithic period set-
lar, we observe Byblos type arrowheads tlements.
and unidentified arrowheads, only distal The settlements from early stages of
and proximal sections of which are well- Pre-Pottery Neolithic period are generally
preserved22. It is possible to encounter founded on or at the slope of high plat-
identical arrowheads at Gbekli Tepe23, eaus in the region. Likewise, Baaran
Nevali ori24, anlurfa-Yeni Mahalle25 Hyk, Herzo Tepe and Kocanizam Tepe
and Karahan Tepe26. settlements are settlements founded on
A meadow known as Viranehir high plateaus and on the bedrock. This
plain extends to the north and east of style of settlement tradition is already
Sefer Tepe settlement. Sefer Tepe set- known in the region from Sefer Tepe,
tlement is located approximately 20 km Tal Tepe, Karahan Tepe, Gbekli Tepe,
to Karahan Tepe, 28 km to Tal Tepe, anlurfa-Yeni Mahalle and Hamzan Tepe
approximately 50 km to Gbekli Tepe, Pre-Pottery Neolithic settlements.
and approximately 63 km to anlurfa- Round-planned civil architecture
Yeni Mahalle and Hamzan Tepe27. Sefer buildings are not yet discovered at any of
Tepe settlement must most probably be the settlements in the region characterized
dated to early Pre-Pottery Neolithic Pe- with T shaped pillars. Presence of
riod B (EPPNB) as it presents identical round-planned structures constructed for
features with Layer II of Gbekli Tepe. civil purposes encountered at Herzo Tepe
and Hamzan Tepe is important as it illus-
Conclusion trates that two different architectural tradi-
The distance between Baaran tions were used in the region during Pre-
Hyk, Herzo Tepe, Kocanizam Tepe Pottery Neolithic period. Existence of set-
and Sefer Tepe settlements varies in the tlements featuring the properties of cult
range of 2 to 8 km. Furthermore, all four centers, such as Gbekli Tepe, Karahan
settlements align in succession in north- Tepe, Tal Tepe and Sefer Tepe, discov-
south direction. Sefer Tepe settlement ered during the studies conducted to the
accommodating T shaped pillars is in present day suggests that civil settlements
 must also be present in the region.
22 elik 2006a, 25, Fig. 4; elik 2005, 171-189, Baaran Hyk, Kocanizam Tepe and
Lev.92-93. Herzo Tepe might be Pre-Pottery Neo-
23 Beile-Bohn et al. 1998, Abb. 23/3; Schmidt 2001,
52, Fig. 10/3, Fig. 11/5. lithic settlements which are founded very
24 Schmidt 1988, Abb. 8/5. close to each other and featuring the
25 elik 2000a, Fig. 5/2.
properties of civil architecture. Sefer Tepe
elik 2000b, Fig. 4a.
27 These distances are calculated as the crow flies. settlement, which features the properties
The distance between the settlements via modern of the cult center, on the other hand is
highway network is longer.

New Pre-Pottery Neolithic Settlements from Viranehir District

founded at the center of these settle- List of Map and Figures:

ments. By virtue of the systematic re-
search studies, it would be possible to Map 1. Pre-Pottery Neolithic Age Settle-
encounter and discover many settle- ments located in Viranehir Dis-
ments in the region representing the civil trict.
architecture tradition as well as the set- Figure 1. South View of Baaran Hyk.
tlements featuring the properties of a Figure 2. Small Cut-Out Groups Chiseled
cult center. to the Bedrock Surrounding
Baaran Hyk
Figure 3. Southwest View of Baaran-
. Herzo Tepe
Figure 4. Round-Planned Building from
Baaran-Herzo Tepesi.
Figure 5. North Wiev of Kocanizam
Figure 6. Kocanizam Tepesi T Shaped
Pillar Piece.
Figure 7. Sefer Tepe (Yukar Darik Hara-
besi) West View.
Figure 8. Pillars at Sefer Tepe Facing Each
Figure 9. T Shaped Pillar from Sefer
Drawing 1. Baaran Hyk Neolithic Find-
Drawing 2. Baaran-Herzo Tepesi Neolithic
Drawing 3. Baaran-Herzo Tepesi Arrow-
Drawing 4. Kocanizam Tepesi Neolithic
Drawing 5. Kocanizam Tepesi Arrowheads.

Anadolu / Anatolia 38, 2012 M. Gler B. elik G. Gler


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Anadolu / Anatolia 38, 2012 M. Gler B. elik G. Gler

Harita / Map 1

Resim / Figure 1

New Pre-Pottery Neolithic Settlements from Viranehir District

izim / Drawing 1

Resim / Figure 2

Anadolu / Anatolia 38, 2012 M. Gler B. elik G. Gler

Resim / Figure 3

izim / Drawing 2

New Pre-Pottery Neolithic Settlements from Viranehir District

izim/ Drawing 3

Resim / Figure 4

Anadolu / Anatolia 38, 2012 M. Gler B. elik G. Gler

Resim / Figure 5

izim / Drawing 4

New Pre-Pottery Neolithic Settlements from Viranehir District

izim / Drawing 5

Resim / Figure 6

Anadolu / Anatolia 38, 2012 M. Gler B. elik G. Gler

Resim / Figure 7

Resim / Figure 8

New Pre-Pottery Neolithic Settlements from Viranehir District

Resim / Figure 9