Excavations reveal daily life of 10,000 years ago
|Skeletons (L) found in the Aşıklıhöyük settlement reveal that the approximate average lifespan of people previously living in the area was between 25 and 30 years [Credit: Hurriyet/AA]|
The 2012 excavation season at Aşıklıhöyük is almost over, she said, adding that this year workers at the site had examined the lifestyle of the people of the area’s first settlement, working on the site’s bottom layer, after digging down for 23 years. “This year we tried to understand the lifestyle of the people who arrived in the region first. We started working in this field in 1989, and over time found that these people had lived in oval-shaped brick houses that were halfway underground. We unearthed three houses in the area this year. There were also large open spaces in the area, and we worked on those in order to understand the daily activities of the people. Among those activities were leather processing and animal slaughter, both of which took place in the open areas.”
Most of the skeletons found in graves at Aşıklıhöyük belong to women and children, Ozbasaran said. “It is interesting that there was a high number of deaths among children and women. Probably many deaths occurred during birth. Epidemic diseases were also prevalent. We determined that the average age of death was between 25 and 30 in Aşıklıhöyük, which is very young. A man who died between the ages of 45 and 50 had one of the longest lives.”
This year a skeleton was unearthed that had been buried in a nontraditional way, Ozbasaran said. “The dead were usually buried under the houses in the fetal position. But we found a child of six or eight years lying in a furnace, which was very different from the other 80 skeletons we have found. We are investigating whether the child died accidentally. Reports from physical anthropologists will reveal the correct answer.”
Human life at Aşıklıhöyük continued for 800 years, Ozbasaran said. Her team will continue its work excavating the area next year.
Source: Hurriyet Daily News [September 20, 2012]