This book evaluates the epistemology by which archaeology has translated the architectural record at Late Neolithic and Early Chalcolithic (6500-5500 BC) sites in central Anatolia into interpretations of social organisation. The first part of the book provides a summary of existing knowledge on the study region, architecture in particular. The second part conducts a content analysis of 284 publications and systematically maps and critiques the archaeological discourse around Late Neolithic/Early Chalcolithic architecture and social organisation. As a by-product of this discussion, this book also provides an exploration of how people in central Anatolia during this period used architecture to create communities. In the tradition of reflexive archaeology, the main purpose of this book is to critically evaluate past research practices in order to contribute to their improvement. It seeks to improve the research tools for understanding the Late Neolithic and Early Chalcolithic as important, transformative time periods in Anatolian prehistory, which influenced the further course of southwest Asian and European prehistory, for example by initiating development towards social stratification.
Jana Anvari is an assistant professor in Prehistoric Archaeology at the University of Cologne. Her research focuses on the architecture of Neolithic communities in the Eastern Mediterranean. She has participated in excavations at various Neolithic sites in southwest Asia and southeast Europe, experiences that have informed this book.
‘This is an enormous synthesis of the prehistory of the Central Anatolian region. Anvari’s work and approach celebrate the complexities of archaeological knowledge production, which is influenced not only by the nature of the archaeological record but historical contingencies and personal interests.' Dr Burcu Tung, University of California, Berkeley
‘For anyone interested in the emergence of social complexity in prehistoric Anatolia and how this can be studied in innovative and systematic ways - this book is an essential read. It covers key sites dating to the late Neolithic and early Chalcolithic and analyses how buildings and settlements have been used to understand (changes in) prehistoric societies, using the method of content analysis. This book is an important resource for the study of social complexity in Anatolia and beyond.’ Dr B. S. Düring, Leiden University