The Boncuklu Project

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Liverpool archaeologists in Turkey examine how the development of villages and farming underpins modern life.

The first villages in Turkey are the earliest in the world.  Farming spread from Turkey throughout Europe between 8000 and 6000 years ago. The site of Boncuklu represents the earliest village on the Anatolian plateau and is dated to c. 8500 BC. 

Our excavations are giving us an important and exciting opportunity to investigate the reasons for the appearance of the first village farming communities. The Boncuklu Project will also allow us to understand better the spread of farming through Anatolia into Europe. 

Boncuklu is also extremely significant because we have discovered some of the world’s earliest houses there, with walls that have painted clay and plaster relief decoration. These are some of the earliest decorated houses, preceding those at nearby Çatalhöyük by 1000 years. 

We are able to document the appearance of elaborate symbolic behaviour typical of the first settled villages and the antecedents of Çatalhöyük. See the Project website at: for more information.