Help bring one of the world’s first villages back to life…

Today, Boncuklu is a small mound in a dusty landscape surrounded by irrigated farmers’ fields in the high Anatolian plateau of Central Turkey.  However, 10,500 years ago it was at the centre of a revolution that made agriculture and settlement in villages part of everyday life.

Since 2006, the BIAA has supported fieldwork that has uncovered evidence of ancient mud brick houses dating to approximately 8,500 BC - making Boncuklu one of the oldest villages in the world.  Studying the site and how our ancestors lived there presents a unique opportunity to investigate the emergence of agriculture and better understand the spread of farming through Anatolia into Europe.

In order to make sure that local communities – as well as the wider public – are informed about the site and its role in understanding humanity’s distant past, we plan to bring the ancient village back to life.  Replica houses have been designed in accordance with excavated house plans and will be constructed in partnership with a local builder using mudbricks based on unearthed material and modern experiments using different quantities of soil, marl, reed and straw.

Building replica houses not only aids visitors’ understanding of the site, but also allows experimental archaeologists to learn much about how Neolithic people lived, from the skills they used in brick-making to how tools were fashioned from bone and stone to build walls and roofs.  Ancient planting and crop patterns will also be copied to give valuable insight into the development and spread of farming.

How you can help

We need to raise £30,000 to bring the Neolithic village of Boncuklu back to life.  As well as building replica houses, we will reconstruct a Neolithic garden, upgrade the small on-site visitor centre and produce educational material for children in both Turkish and English. 

For just £30, you can purchase a ‘donation brick’ and make a lasting contribution to our understanding of how Neolithic people lived.  Please select the number of bricks you wish to give below.  Alternatively, you can download and print the donation form. Once complete, please e-mail your form to biaa@britac.ac.uk, fax to +44 (0) 207 969 5401, or post to: The London Manager, The British Institute at Ankara, 10 Carlton House Terrace,  SW1Y 5AH.

Any contribution you are able to make will be greatly appreciated.

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