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Title: Social and economic implications of the life histories of ground stone at Neolithic Catalhoyuk
Author: Baysal, Adnan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2697 3484
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2010
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Ground stone studies have been dominated by a typological approach to artefact interpretation that has relied on the basic description of the appearance of an artefact in the condition in which it entered the archaeological record. Such a methodology has led to stagnation in understanding of ground stone artefacts because, unlike chipped stone and ceramic technologies, they display very little chronological change in typology. Ground stones were an important element in the development of settled life, large items such as querns could not be easily transported by nomadic groups, sedentary life and the adoption of agriculture and herding resulted in changes in the way that tools were designed and used. The Neolithic period saw an intensification in the everyday use of many forms of ground stone tool and the adequate description of the way this came about is a necessary step in the study of ground stone artefacts. The methodology that has been used in this thesis discards the previous static 'snapshot' view of artefacts in favour of an approach which takes into account the dynamic processes that each artefact underwent from initial sourcing of raw material to final discard and including episodes of breakage, reuse or reshaping during that time. The innovative methodology that has been employed involves a more detailed approach to the detection of ground stones in the archaeological record with the retrieval of ground stone debitage from wet sieving or flotation and the three dimensional recording of artefacts. The recording of the ground stone artefacts has been adapted to include information on previous use surfaces, indication of recycling or breakage, levels of fragmentation at point of deposition and includes the assemblage of debitage as would be the case in a chipped stone report. A programme of raw material sampling, including samples from both artefacts and nearby sources of similar rock types completes the strategy. The re-opening of the excavations at c;atalh6yuk under the direction of Hodder has provided a superlative opportunity with which to test the recording of the dynamics of ground stone use. The detailed excavation and recording strategy employed at the site in combination with the unusual location of the settlement on an alluvial fan, which renders it remote from any source of rock, makes it an ideal testing ground for my new approach. The GatalhayLik ground stone assemblage has formed the focus of the research presented here. In combination with other case studies (Pmarba!?1. Can Hasan, Konya Plain Survey, A!?lk" HayLik and Musular) I have explored the potential wider use of such methodology and the effect of different artefact collection and recording methods on the levels of interpretation that can be achieved.By challenging traditional methods of artefact recording I have shown that ground stone assemblages have the potential to yield information about previously unexplored aspects of the society and economy of the Neolithic period and because of their nature also elucidate changes in the daily activities of households from the onset of sedentism onwards
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available