PPND - the Platform for Neolithic Radiocarbon Dates


37°48’51.90'' N    40°59’02'' E   Download OxCal File


     Building structures of Trench A17 with intramural grave; stone vessels, bone tool and beads from the Epipalaeolithic/Early Neolithic site of Körtik Tepe, Diyarbakir. Photos: Körtik Tepe Photo Archive


Körtik Tepe[1], which is located in the district of Bismil, Diyarbakır in southeastern Anatolia, provides a detailed stratigraphy comprising several layers of the early PPNA (http://antiquity.ac.uk/projgall/ozkaya/). The Epipalaeolithic character of the flint stones suggests that the site was occupied even earlier (Özkaya 2009:7). The stratigraphy of the eastern profiles of Trenches A84 and A80 and the radiocarbon dates show two clearly distinguishable main periods of PPNA occupation with several sub-phases. The radiocarbon dates of these trenches are in good stratigraphic order.[2] Because of a wiggle and a plateau in the calibration curve, uncalibrated dates of the lower layers seem to be too young on first sight; but by wiggle matching the ranges of the calibrated dates can be reduced and their sequence matches well with the calibration curve (Fig.1; Benz et al. 2011). The youngest levels of Phase I.2.-II can thus be dated between 9300 BC and 9400 BC, and the dates of the lower layers of Phases II to V range between 9600 BC and 9450 BC. The lower levels of Phase VI hint at a more ephemeral occupation dating between 9660 BC and 9600 BC. Two samples of animal bones have been dated, too. The range of the older date (Beta-178242) is in good accordance with the younger phase of the PPNA occuaption (9360-9275 cal BC; 68,2%), whereas Beta-178241 is considered to be too young.

It must be kept in mind that the upper layers of Phase I and the lowest layers of Phase VII have not been radiocarbon dated so far, but it is probable that the latter date to the end of the Younger Dryas. The radiocarbon dates of Körtik Tepe thus clearly point to a permanent settlement right at the transition from the Younger Dryas to the early Holocene comparable to the nearby site of Hallan Çemi.

Authors: A. Coşkun, M.Benz, V.Özkaya


[1] The description of the stratigraphy and the radiocarbon dates of Körtik Tepe are part of a cooperative project between Marion Benz, Department of Near Eastern Archaeology, Freiburg, Kurt W. Alt, Institute of Anthropology (AG Alt), Mainz, and PD Dr. Simone Riehl and Dr. Katleen Deckers, Archaeobotany of the University of Tuebingen. We owe our thanks to the German Research Foundation for financial support of the project (BE-4218/B1-2; AL287/9-1). The complete documentation (photos and drawings) of the analysed trenches is given here (in English): https://www.vorderasien.uni-freiburg.de/forschung/projekte-der-mitarbeiterinnen/dr.-marion-benz/koertik-tepe/ktk2012strati


We are grateful to Vecihi Özkaya and Aytaç Coşkun and the Körtik Team for their cooperation and for their support. Katleen Deckers, Department of Palaeohistory and Quaternary Ecology, University of Tübingen, Germany determined the wood species of the radiocarbon samples.

[2] The radiocarbon dates in the file are given in stratigraphic order from upper to lower levels, except Beta 178242 of which the stratigraphic correlation with the other samples is not known.

14C Dates

 Code  BP Dev. Δ13C Location material References
Beta-178241 8370 40 animal bone Özkaya, Coskun 2007; Özkaya, San 2007
Beta-178242 9870 40 animal bone Özkaya, Coskun 2007; Özkaya, San 2007
ETH-38848 9985 40 -25.3 A80, Phase V, -365 cm CH, Quercus Benz et al. 2010
ETH-38849 10065 40 -25.2 A80, Phase II, -218 cm CH, Quercus Benz et al. 2010
ETH-38850 10035 40 -25.4 A80, Phase II, -238 cm CH, Pistacia Benz et al. 2010
ETH-38851 10075 40 -25.3 A 84, Phase III, -227 cm CH, Tamarix Benz et al. 2010
ETH-38852 9965 45 -33.0 A 84, Destruction level of Phase II, -198 cm CH, Tamarix Benz et al. 2010
ETH-38853 10015 45 -25.1 A80, Phase IV, -275 cm CH Amygdalus Benz et al. 2010
ETH-38854 10000 40 -23.5 A 84, Phase IV, -284 cm CH, Populus Benz et al. 2010
ETH-38855 10040 40 -24.0 A 84, Phase IV, -285 cm CH, indet Benz et al. 2010
ETH-39509 9960 60 -29.9 A80, Phase VI, -427cm CH, Populus/Salix Benz et al. 2010
ETH-39510 9925 45 -34.4 A80, Phase I.2/II, -207 cm CH, Tamarix Benz et al. 2010
ETH-39511 10100 60 -27.6 A80, Phase III, -194 cm CH, Rhamnus Benz et al. 2010
ETH-39512 9955 45 -28.5 A80, Phase V, -348 cm CH, Tamarix Benz et al. 2010
ETH-45333 10155 50 -23.7 A104, Loc. 5, -459 cm CH, indet. Coskun et al. 2012:28
ETH-45334 10205 40 -27.2 A104, Loc.5, -468 cm Populus/Salix coskun et al. 2012:28
ETH-45335 10330 70 -34.1 A104, Loc 5_2, -507 cm Populus/Salix Coskun et al. 2012:28
ETH-45336 10270 95 -26.1 A104, Loc.5_2, -512 cm CH, indet. Coskun et al. 2012:28
ETH-45340 10030 40 -25.1 A80, C5, Phase VIII, -521 cm indet. dicotyl. Coskun et al. 2012:28
ETH-45341 10015 40 -25.7+/-1.1 A 85, D5, -120m (probably old wood effect) vitis fragment nd Körtik Tepe Archive
ETH-45342 9835 35 -25.0+/-1.1 A 85, D5, - 120 m. CH populus/salix nd Körtik Tepe Archive
ETH-45344 10090 40 -26.4 A80, C4, -525 cm CH, fragm. of bark Coskun et al. 2012
KIA 44864 10252 60 -24.3 A 84; B-C5; BP 191., -374 cm. Rye Seed Özkaya and Coşkun (2011:103).



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Fig. 1. Wiggle matching with CalPal 2007 (Weninger, Jöris 2008) of all dates of Körtik Tepe. Gaps have been averaged according to stratigraphical information and separate wiggle matching of Trenches A80 and A 84. An average standard deviation of 41 calyrs for positioning of the dated samples on the Early Holocene radiocarbon plateau has been calculated by Monto Carlo statistics.

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