Çayönü is a Neolithic settlement in southern Turkey inhabited around 7200 to 6600 BC. It is located forty kilometres north-west of Diyarbakır, at the foot of the Taurus mountains. It lies near the Bogazcay, a tributary of the upper Tigris River and the Bestakot, an intermittent stream.
The first excavations were conducted by Robert John Braidwood between 1964 and 1978, and later between 1985 and 1991. The settlement covers the periods of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA), the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB), and the Pottery Neolithic (PN).
The stratigraphy is divided into the following subphases according to the dominant architecture:
- round, PPNA
- grill, PPNA
- channeled, Early PPNB
- cobble paved, Middle PPNB
- cell, Late PPNB
- large room, final PPNB
Origin of Domestication
Animal Life - Domestication of Pigs
Çayönü is possibly the place where the pig (Sus scrofa) was first domesticated. The wild fauna include wild boar, wild sheep, wild goat and cervids. The Neolithic environment included marshes and swamps near the Bogazcay, open wood, patches of steppe and almond-pistachio forest-steppe to the south.
Farming - Cultivation of Cereals
According to Der Spiegel of either 6 March or 3 June 2006, the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne has discovered that the genetically common ancestor of 68 contemporary types of cereal still grows as a wild plant on the slopes of Mount Karaca (Karaca Dağ), which is located in close vicinity to Çayönü. (Compare to information on cereal use in PPNA).
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