Journal article Open Access

NEW EVIDENCE OF CHALCOLITHIC AGE STEATITE BEADS FROM İNÖNÜ CAVE: TYPOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY ASPECTS WITH ARCHAEOMETRIC TECHNIQUES

Ekmen, H.; Diker, C.; Ekmen, F. G.; Tunoğlu, C.

During the excavations conducted at level V of İnönü Cave, which is located on the western Black Sea coast of Anatolia, 10.198 beads were found in a small pot above the bedrock. While 93 of the beads, the vast majority of which were produced from steatite, were produced from agate, 27 of them were produced from gold, 1 of them was produced from electrum, and 1 of them was produced from radiolarite. C14 analyses that were performed to obtain the absolute dates of this level, which bears the traces of the first settlers of the cave, and to date this group of finds, revealed that this level belonged to the last quarter of the 5th millennium BC (cal. 4260-3976 BC). The SEM-EDS analyses of 7 beads selected from among the steatite beads in İnönü Cave were performed to understand steatite bead production techniques in the Chalcolithic Age. Furthermore, their detailed images were obtained with a polarization microscope. These studies revealed that steatite beads consisted of two sections, including the inner main body/core and the section covering the outer part of the bead, and produced by heat treatment. Based on these data, beads were attempted to be experimentally produced in the laboratory environment. The definition, analogical and chronological evaluation of these steatite beads and SEM-EDS analyses and experimental practices are comprehensively presented in this study.

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