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Cayönü Tepesi (Turkey)



Cayönü (also called Çayönü Tepesi) is an Early Neolithic site (Pre-Pottery Neolithic B) in the upper Tigris valley of southeastern Turkey, near the town of Ergani. The site is a village site, occupied between 9400 and 8800 years ago.

The site includes an area of approximately 3 hectares. The rooms of Çayönü were built of adjoining mudbrick walls, like an apartment block, but with entrances through the roof. The residents raised sheep and goats, and in the later stages pigs, but still depended on wild game such as aurochs and red deer. Domestic dog is in evidence as well.

Plants consumed by the people at Çayönü Tepesi included grapes, figs, rye grass, and domesticated emmer and einkorn wheat were in use by the earliest occupations of 7250-6750 BC.

Archaeology at Çayönü Tepesi

Çayönü was excavated by Robert Braidwood beginning in the 1960s, as a joint project between the universities of Chicago and Istanbul.


Cayönü Tepesi is a part of the About.com Guide to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic, and part of the Dictionary of Archaeology.

Robert J. Braidwood et al. 1974. Beginnings of Village-Farming Communities in Southeastern Turkey. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 71(2):568-572. Free download

Byrd, Brian F. 1994 Public and private, domestic and corporate: The emergence of the southwest Asian village. American Antiquity 59(4):639-666.

Matheson, Carney D. and T. H. Loy 2001 Genetic Sex Identification of 9400-year-old Human Skull Samples from Çayönü Tepesi, Turkey. Journal of Archaeological Science 28:569–575.

Also Known As: Cayönü Tepesi

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