Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


12 December 2010

Remodeled human skulls in Köşk Höyük (Neolithic age, Anatolia): a new appraisal in view of recent discoveries

Metin Özbek Journal of Archaeological Science 36.2 (February 2009): 379-386.


Between 1985 and 2007 overall nineteen human skulls dating to the Late Neolithic period were recovered at Köşk Höyük, which lies within the borders of Bor, a district of the Niğde Province in Central Anatolia. One of these skulls belongs to a child and the remainder to adult males and females. The plastered skulls may have been laid on or wrapped in mats and exposed either singly or in groups on a plaster surface inside the house. Among thirteen of these skulls the mouths, noses, eyes and ears were depicted with clay and painted with red ochre, while the remaining six were untreated. Two headless skeletons were also found in situ underneath the floor inside the house. One of these skeletons belongs to a child aged approximately 15–16 years old and the other belongs to an adult female. The modeled human skulls were encountered in the second and third cultural levels of the Late Neolithic period indicating that this characteristic mortuary practice lasted for quite a long time and likely disappeared by the Chalcolithic at Köşk Höyük.


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