09 December 2008

Two Domains in Prehistory of Turkey That Have Not Been Interested

Berkay Dinçer
In Turkish universities there are Classical Archaeology, Protohistory and Prehistory sections. Prehistory is the most uninterested section of archaeology among the students in Turkish universities and also among common people. The reason for this indifference is, probably, that the finds of Prehistory are less effective than the finds of other sections of archaeology. Archaeologists, truly says that, importance of a find changes according to answers that the find gives. But actually, it is not so clear. For common people, importance of a find changes with the mine that the find made of and for archaeologists it changes according to the answers, but answers of popular questions! For example, the popular question of prehistory nowadays is, neolithization.

But mankind has a longer age than Neolithic and all ages up to now: Paleolithic. The longest age that the mankind has ever had is Paleolithic, but nobody knows it very well. Because it is not popular to be interested in Pleistocene archaeology especially in Turkey. In Turkey there is another prehistory domain that has rarely been interested except Pleistocene archaeology, Thrace archaeology. Thrace archaeology is interested in Neolithic and later ages. Because of lack of magnificent mounds in Thrace -like Anatolia- Thrace archaeology is in the same status with Pleistocene archaeology. So we can understand importance of finds! But we should not be hopeless. In Thrace, we have already a systematic survey and a site like Asagi Pinar -the widest excavated site for Middle Chalcolithic in the Balkans- and for Pleistocene archaeology, we have an excavated Yarimburgaz Cave -the oldest stratified site yet known in Turkey, dating middle of the Middle Pleistocene- and Karain Cave which is still being excavated -the only fossil man (a Neanderthal) physical remains found in Turkey, all phases of Paleolithic is represent. We have a lot to be hopeless and also a lot to hope for Pleistocene and Thrace archaeologies.

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