Skeleton of first farmer in western Anatolia found
Officials who have been excavating Bilecik’s Bahçelievler neighborhood after being notified by a resident about some archaeological pieces in his apartment’s garden have found a skeleton, which is believed to be of the first farmer of western Anatolia.
The excavations carried out by Şeyh Edebali University in Bilecik with the support of the Bilecik Municipality have unearthed a human skeleton, which is said to be 8,500 years old. The study conducted reveals that the bones belong to a male who must be somewhere near the age of 14 or 15 years.
The excavation official, Associate Professor Erkan Fidan, said that the human skeleton found in the excavation area belonged to the oldest adolescent human ever in the Neolithic era in western Anatolia.
“Human bone is the most reliable material for determining dates because the life span is much shorter than those like trees. I estimated that the layer in which we found the skeleton during the excavation dates back to approximately 8,500 years.”
Expressing his happiness over the correct estimation of the skeleton, Fidan said, “This skeleton is not only Bilecik’s but also the oldest Neolithic adolescent person in Western Anatolia. We can also say that it is the first known farmer of western Anatolia.”
Fidan noted that they also found skeletons of other humans and animals in the excavation field and that the skeletons would be examined in detail in Hacettepe University Anthropology Department Laboratory.
“Thanks to the DNA analysis, we will be able to find out what they ate and drank, what they did in their lives, the diseases they have gone through, and the causes of their death. This information we will obtain about our ancestors will be enlightening information for us, people living today,” he said.
“The smallest information we can acquire about the lifestyles and health of our ancestors will be enough to understand the value of excavations, contemplating that they are important information that will affect the lives of us today,” he added.
Settlement formed 9,000 years ago
Fidan said that the settlement unearthed in Bilecik’s Bahçelievler neighborhood dated back 9,000 years and had been registered in a report by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK).
“We don’t yet know when the settlement was abandoned. However, life in this region covers a period of 1,000 years and I think 8,000 years ago - around 6000’s - the Neolithic settlement ended. In order to understand the end of the settlement, we will make new analyzations before the end of the year accordingly.”