Archeological research shows first residents of Imbros came from Anatolia 8,500 years ago
ÇANAKKALE - Anadolu Agency
AA photoThe first residents of Imbros, known as Gökçeada in Turkish, in the Aegean province of Çanakkale migrated from Anatolia some 8,500 years ago, according to archeological research which has been carried out on the island for the past six years.
“Communities from Anatolia who were involved in agriculture arrived with their animals and supplies like wheat and barley, and occupied a small area,” said Prof. Dr. Burçin Erdoğu, head of the archeology board in the Uğurlu-Zeytinlik site, in a statement.
In an interview he gave to Anadolu Agency, Erdoğu elaborated on the excavation they’ve been undertaking 900 meters east of Uğurlu village and how his team discovered the thrilling history behind the first residents of Imbros.
“We want to know where they came from, how they settled, how they survived, how they led their lives. We want to know all of these,” said Erdoğu, giving details about his team’s mission, which was to detect the first residents who settled on the island.
Emphasizing the fact that this province was the earliest zone of occupation compared to the eastern Aegean islands, Erdoğu deliberated on the issue:
“Groups from Anatolia involved in agriculture brought sheep, goats, cattle, wheat and barley and settled here. We can see that during 6,000 B.C. the groups who settled here developed and slowly gained a communal identity of their own. During 5,500 B.C. there seems to be an interruption. We see slight changes in the architecture, nutrition and economy and thus the discoveries; however, the island preserves its identity. In other words, we can talk about a culture and an identity within the island.”
Intrigued by how the culture on the island came to existence, Erdoğu said, “We are examining how the first residents of Imbros communicated with the mainland and the other islands.”
Having found numerous statuettes, Erdoğu said, “We did not expect to find so many tiny statuettes in such an excavation site. Also there are many bones and neoliths.”
Societies of that period had a pervasive trade network, according to Erdoğu, and the discovery of obsidian on Milos Island and central Anatolia and the quartz exclusive to Bulgaria substantiated his statement.
“There is no marble on the island but we found remnants [made] out of marble. We understood that those who lived here had a wide network. We acquired very precious tools. We discovered that the bones were used for various purposes. Of course they made drillers and diggers out of bones. Mostly we found drillers which we call ‘bız.’ There are also tools called ‘mablak,’ which were probably used while working with leather, as well as hooks and fishing rods. We assume that some of these were used in fishing. We discovered that fishing had been a peripheral activity in Imbros. They mostly advanced in husbandry and agriculture,” he said.
Erdoğu added he expects the excavation work for 2015 to conclude towards the end of August.