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Leaving The Caves

Humankind began to recognise the importance of seed and so learned to produce their own food. In so doing, humans made their first step from a hunter-gatherer society to a lifestyle bound to a particular settlement. The increasing population was not the only factor that forced humans to leave their caves. Perhaps a more important dynamic was that people learned to store and sow seeds, and to breed and domesticate animals for the first time.

Hunter-gatherers living in the vicinity of Antalya moved out of their caves and began building simple agricultural settlements near lakes and other water sources. This period in human civilisation is known as the “Neolithic Age” or “New Stone Age.” Constructed hand tools were developed and became more widespread, but the original use of stones as tools continued.

lt is understood that Gök Höyük was an important settlement in the Neolithic and later in the Chalcolithic and Bronze Ages. It is situated a few kilometers south of the springs of Kırkgöz Lake. To the north of Kırkgöz Lake, near the town of Bademaağacı, excavations conducted in the mound that bears the same name as that of the town, show that it was one of the most important settlements of the Neolithic and later ages. Other Neolithic settlements can be found beyond this region in the Bucak district of the Burdur province.

Northwest of Elmalı, situated on a dried up basin known as Gölova today, excavations made within the Karataş Mound have revealed that settlements were there during and following the Neolithic period. A few kilometers to the northeast of Bozhöyük, between the villages of Çobanisa and Karaköy, a mound which has not been yet excavated is assumed to have served as a shelter for the local population. West of Gölova and located at a lower elevation lies the Elmalı Plain. This area contains the largest number of mounds in the region. It has been established that there were many settlements bordering the two dried up lakes there. One of the foremost of these is the Hacımusalar Mound near the corner of the village of Akçaeniş located on the Elmalı-Kaş road. Ongoing excavations of this mound have revealed the remnants of a church, suggesting that this settlement was inhabited up until the Byzantine era.

In Archaelogical digs around Antalya, many agricultural settlements dating back to prehistoric times were discovered in areas near wetlands, although some of these areas are dried up today. Among the foremost Neolithic settlements are those that surround Elmalı, Bademağacı, Döşemealtı, Korkuteli, Şerefönü, and Kırkgöz Lake. Şerefönü is located on a dried up reservoir, and is situated to the north of the Teke Valley near Ürkütlü. Elmalı is positioned to the west of the Gulf of Antalya.