Paleoclimate, Geology, Geomorphology, and Middle Holocene Settlement Systems in the Delice Valley of North-Central Anatolia

Bülent Arıkan*, Tayfun Yıldırım

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The Delice Valley in north-central Anatolia is one of the regions where Hatti societies lived during the Early Bronze Age. This region has rarely been explored in terms of its geology, geomorphology, and human-environment interactions throughout the Bronze Age. The focus of the Delice Valley Survey is to build a holistic approach to assess complex socio-ecological dynamics in the region from the perspective of the longue durée. This paper examines the paleoclimatic conditions, the settlement systems, the production capacity of agropastoral systems, and the changes in the political economy in the Delice Valley during the Early Bronze Age and the Iron Age. The results of the first season of fieldwork suggest that the Delice Valley was settled intensively only during certain periods. Although paleoclimatically suitable for denser settlement, the area showed significantly lighter settlement patterns during the Middle and Late Bronze ages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-590
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Field Archaeology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © Trustees of Boston University 2018.


The new survey project in the Delice Valley began in 2016 (FIGURE 2A) as part of a wider research project, funded by the Technological and Scientific Research Council of Turkey and Istanbul Technical University. These projects focus on the paleoenvironmental reconstruction and changes in the archaeological settlement systems of central and southwestern Anatolia during the Early and Middle Holocene (ca. 12,000–2600 CAL B.P.), which include all archaeological periods between the Neolithic and Iron ages. The Delice Valley has been selected as one of several key regions in order to understand human adaptive behaviors under changing environmental dynamics, in order to explore how early complex societies transformed their immediate environment The authors would like to express their gratitude to the General Directorate of Cultural Assets and Museums and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey for issuing necessary permits to conduct fieldwork. We are also grateful to our institutions for providing support. This research was made possible by funding from the Istanbul Technical University BAP Grant #40605 and TÜBİTAK Grant #215K130. Finally, the authors thank the team members for their efforts and hard work during the first season of the survey.

FundersFunder number
Istanbul Technical University BAP
Istanbul Teknik Üniversitesi40605
Consejo Nacional para Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas


    • Delice Valley
    • environment
    • geology
    • Hatti
    • paleoclimate
    • state formation
    • trade


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