In central Cappadocia, Aşıklı Höyüks architecture varied

Located near the centre of Turkey. The site name translates to ‘Achilles Mound’ in Turkish. It is interesting because it apply insights into the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture. And, the sedentary life. A transition in human history.

Aşıklı Höyük is ‘achilles mound’

It is, about 9 times smaller than Catalhoyuk. At about 1o acres.

Mostly the surrounding area is formed by eroded river valleys. And, erruptions from nearby volcanos. Into tuff deposits. As well as other things. Its location in the Melendiz valley provided a value source of obsidian for trade. Identified as far away as modern day Cyprus and Iraq. The obsidian (or, hard volcanic glass), and its craftsmanship were sophisticated, and ahead of its time.

More than 400 rooms had been excavated. They found buried dead under floors. Though not in numerous numbers

Some of the burials indicate division of labour between sexes. Buried men were older. Women often had osteological signs of damage. Like from using grinding stones, or carrying too much. Though many male skeletons also had signs of joint disease. From thinks like cutting timber, and tilling.

parts of an obsidian bracelet were found at Aşıklı Höyük

The site is important and often overshadowed by Göbekli Tepe, Çatalhöyük (and, others)
It had domestication of sheep and goats. Agriculture. The obsidian source. And, architecture.

From Çatalhöyük styled, roof or window entry dwellings; to, semi-subterranean oval-shaped huts; to, a large building complex. Architecture here was unique

They had unique rebuilding/reusing attributes. Using the same dwelling design, and location. From archaeological evidence. Perhaps rebuilt every 30-60 years. Each way in the same position every time. Like a pattern.

Since many of the buildings did not have archaeological evidence of ground level doors. Its believed entry was thru the roof like Çatalhöyük. Or, through windows. Using ladders.

Only a select group of the total population could have used a main building, (or ‘complex hv’), at a given occasion, at once
There is quite a large building they excevated. 500 square meters or 5400 square feet. It was much larger than most individual dwellings. About 42 times actually. The rooms people lived in were small. Around 130 square feet, (or 12 m2) in size. Its obvious this large building was a complex area. With a lot going on. There is evidence they had neighbourhoods and a community going thru it too. This area would have been used with gatherings. Things like socializing, religion, or initiating rites. Who knows? In the Levantine PPNB (pre pottery neolithic). Sites such as Nevali Çori, Behida, Ain Ghazal. All had similar buildings.

Archaeolgoists found skulls with holes in them. And, early signs of trepanation
Demonstrating the earliest-known brain surgery. Trepanation, or drilling holes into the skull. To try and relieve or cure ailments, mental illness; or, disease. Had also been found at the site.

Aşıklı Höyük is shedding light on Neolithic architecture. The transition from nomad, hunter-gatherers; to a livable settled agricultural community. This shift is considered a crucial step in the development of human civilization. Also, important for early stages of human agricultural, sedentary life and the neolithic era. The development was alright. This site has contributed critically to our understanding of how early humans adapted to new ways of living. Including interacting with others and their environment. And, grown on to what we have become today.


Hodder, I. 1996. On the surface: Çatalhöyük 1993–95, Monograph No 22. Ankara: McDonald Institute Monographs and British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara.

Todd, I. A. 1966. “Aşıklı Höyük – A Protonelolithic Site in Central Anatolia”. Anatolian Studies 16:139–163.

Mellaart, J. 1975. The Neolithic of the Near East. London: Thames & Hudson.

official Aşıklı Höyük website (

Leave a Reply