ISSN: 0041-4255
e-ISSN: 2791-6472

Deniz Sarı

Bilecik Şeyh Edebali University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Bilecik/ TÜRKİYE

Keywords: Gedikkaya Cave, Anatolia, Epipaleolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Prehistoric cultural interactions.


Gedikkaya cave is situated about 1 km southeast of Inhisar district in Bilecik province. The Cave was occupied in several distinct periods during the Epipalaeolithic, Neolithic, and Chalcolithic periods. A few items from the Hellenistic period show that residents from the nearby settlement occasionally visited the cave. According to calibrated radiocarbon dating results, the oldest cultural layer derives from 14500 BC in the Epipalaeolithic period, and the most recent to 4500 BC in the Middle Chalcolithic Period. Artifacts dating to the Epipalaeolithic period suggest links between European Upper Palaeolithic Period cultural entities and the Pre-Pottery Neolithic cultures of Anatolia and the Levant. The sparse late Neolithic findings seem to indicate the short-term occupation of the cave in a period that coincides with the so-called ‘8.2-kiloyear event’, in which global cooling peaked. With its architectural features, the first half of the Chalcolithic suggests somewhat more settled populations or perhaps transhumance. Findings from the Neolithic period and Chalcolithic period reveal interactions between communities from the Aegean and Mediterranean and those of the Caucasus and south-eastern Anatolia. The inhabiting phases in Gedikkaya coincide with periods of “cultural breaks” due to reasons still not fully determined but largely associated with climatic events. Therefore, the cave was settled during the processes of interregional human mobility due to various reasons such as shelter, search for a new place, security, and accommodation.