Boncuklu Tarla. A Site Older Than Famous Gobeklitepe?

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Beaded Field (Boncuklu Tarla) with a History of 12 Thousand Years

Boncuklu Tarla Excavations
Boncuklu Tarla Excavations

The Beaded Field, which contains the Neolithic Age finds in Mardin, sheds light on the roots of humanity with its 12 thousand-year history.

During the excavations carried out in Turkish city of Mardin located in the Southeastern Anatolia Region, important information and data were obtained regarding burial rituals of the deceased, as well as life in the ‘Ceramic-Free Neolithic Period’, which reflects the period of 10 thousand years before Christ.

Beads of Boncuklu Tarla

Name of Beaded Field

It got its name from the beads found in more than 50,000 excavations. Most of the jewelry, usually in the form of bracelets and necklaces, were found as grave gifts in the graves. The workmanship in jewelry is quite eye-catching compared to the period.

20 Thousand Beads Were Found on Skeletons

About 20 different animal bones such as bull, deer, leopard, snake, scorpion and wild goat were unearthed in the graves with human skeletons. Thousands of beads and belts and buckles, inlaid ornaments, buttons, earrings and various ornaments were found. Beads were crafted out of serpentine, limestone, chlorite, sandstone, bone, obsidian, phosphate, copper, malachite and different tea stones, which depict the traditions of the communities living in the Neolithic period.

Boncuklu Tarla Skeleton

The findings provided that the Beaded Field was the first settlement identified in the Mardin region in terms of the Pottery-Free Neolithic period.

Belief of Resurrection?

Boncuklu Tarla Temple

The Beaded Field in Mardin, which reflects the first settled village samples with its structure, stone or bone tools and weapons, ornaments, built according to a certain order. It is believed that being buried under the home floors in the Neolithic settlement might point to the belief of rebirth from the symbolic womb.

A Site Older Than Famous Gobeklitepe?

There are similar characteristics when Göbeklitepe and Beaded Field are compared. Beaded Field contains some findings that may be a thousand years older than Göbeklitepe.

Gobeklitepe Excavation Area

Beaded Field is an interesting settlement. The first settled life here started in the layers going 11 thousand to 12 thousand before Christ. In addition to many houses and houses in the settlement, graves and private buildings and many private buildings which might be temples were excavated.

Tour Guide to Boncuklu Tarla or Beaded Field

I loved touring with Hasan in this prehistoric site. Hasan was great guide in Gobeklitepe and even better in Boncuklu Tarla. Hasan took the extra mile for me and brought me to Boncuklu Tarla while many other tour guides couldn’t do that. I recommend a tour of Boncuklu Tarla if you ever stop in Turkey. Contact Hasan and Have Fun!

Curtis R. Smith

Curtis Smith

Lecturer in University of Missouri, Columbia, MO Turkey Expert and Archeology Enthusiast

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