Boncuklu and Pınarbaşı are two small habitation sites in Turkey’s Konya Plain whose investigation is allowing us to understand the emergence of sedentism and food production (farming) from the Late Pleistocene (14,000 BC) to the 8th millennium cal BC, after which the nearby World Heritage listed Neolithic megasite of Çatalhöyük East was established. Multidisciplinary research led by Doug Baird (University of Liverpool, UK) since 1993 is providing an ever more complex picture of the long term social, cultural and economic development of settlement during that time, one that has had a major UQ input since 2010 when the speaker became co-director of the Boncuklu Project with Doug. In this seminar the latest results from these projects will be discussed, drawing of course on a wide range of collaborator’s research and several newly published papers, including: new chronological evidence for the founding of sedentary settlement at 9,600 cal BC at Pınarbaşı; evidence for the earliest known pottery from SW Asia at Boncuklu (a site previously classified as Aceramic!); new ideas concerning the development of households; DNA evidence for the genetic antecedence of Europe’s farmers at Boncuklu; and evidence for farming adoption that challenge the existing models for understanding the initial spread of farming beyond the Fertile Crescent. As well as bringing research results up to date the seminar will act as an introduction to the region and projects for those planning to excavate at Boncuklu in coming years.

About the presenter

Associate Professor Andy Fairbairn works on the plant remains preserved in archaeological sites to help understand the dynamics of ancient landscape change, past economies and the cultures of plant use. Training at University College London’s Institute of Archaeology he has worked in the UK, Hungary, Italy, Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Papua New Guinea and Australia on sites from 50,000 to 100 years of age and, among other things, is co-director of the Boncuklu Project. Andy is currently an ARC Future Fellow and Associate Professor of Archaeology at UQ’s School of Social Science.

About Archaeology Working Papers

The Working Papers in Archaeology seminar series provides a forum for dissemination of archaeological research and ideas amongst UQ archaeology students and staff. All students are invited to attend the series and postgraduate students, from honours upwards, are invited to present their research. The aim is to provide opportunities for students, staff and those from outside UQ, to present and discuss their work in an informal environment. It is hoped that anyone interested in current archaeological directions, both within and outside the School and University, will be able to attend and contribute to the series.