8th Experimental Archaeology Conference poster abstract – Baysal

Making a Neolithic bead: from procurement to use

Emma Baysal

British Institute at Ankara, Ankara, 06700, Turkey

In exploring the Neolithic period in Anatolia the social and economic changes that accompanied the beginning of specialized craft production have become an increasingly important theme. The manufacture of beads from stone proliferated during the Neolithic period, however their role as a means of expression and as an increasingly important product has received little attention. There have been a number of studies of the process of drilling of beads but the full experience from procurement to use has yet to be explored.

At the early Neolithic site of Boncuklu Höyük in the Konya Plain, central Turkey, stone beads were produced in and around the houses from a variety of stone types, mostly procured from the local landscape. This poster uses the bead assemblage of this early sedentary site in conjunction with a programme of raw material procurement and experimental bead production to understand the degree of impact that such activity had at the settlement. In so doing it relates genuine possibilities to generalized assumptions and explores the experience of making the objects that had the closest place to the human body. Beads are potentially a key to understanding how individuals viewed themselves in relation to others in such early communities.

BAYSAL, E. 2013 A tale of two assemblages: early Neolithic manufacture and use of beads in the Konya Plain. Anatolian Studies 63: 1-15

BAYSAL, E. 2013. Will the real specialist please stand up? Characterising early craft specialization, a comparative methodology for Neolithic Anatolia. Documenta Praehistorica 40

CALLEY, S. & GRACE, R. (1988) Technology and function of micro-borers from Kumartepe (Turkey). In BEYRIES, S. (ed) (1988) Industries lithiques tracéologie et technologie volume 1. Oxford. BAR Int. 411(i): 69-81

FABIANO, M., BERNA, F. & BORZATTI VON LÖWENSTEIN, E. (2004) Pre-pottery Neolithic amazonite bead workshops in southern Jordan. In JADIN, I. & HAUZEUR, A. (Eds.) The Neolithic in the Near East and Europe. Acts of the XIVth UISPP Congress, University of Liege, Belgium, 2-8th September 2001. Oxford, BAR.

KENOYER, J., VIDALE, M. & BHAN, K. (1991) Contemporary stone beadmaking in Khambhat, India: patterns of craft specialisation and organisation of production as reflected in the archaeological record. World Archaeology 23: 44-63.

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