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East Anatolian valley shows traces of Neolithic Age

Recent archaeological work in the Levent Valley in the eastern province of Malatya’s Akçadağ district has revealed traces of life from the Neolithic Age.

Eastern Anatolian valley shows off traces of Neolithic Age
The Levent Valley is home to thousands of large and small caves carved by the human hand, according to officials. There are still 20 villages in the village (L) [Credit: AA/Hurriyet]
Levent İskenderoğlu, chairman of Malatya’s branch of the Conservation Implementation and Control Branch (KUDEB), said the 28-kilometer-long Levent Valley was a very attractive place thanks to its geological formations.

The valley is home to thousands of large and small caves carved by the human hand, he said. “One can see the traces of life in these caves with the naked eye.”

KUDEB has recently completed inventory work in the valley, he said. “The work, carried out by scientists – KUDEB’s technical staff including art historians and archaeologists – has revealed that life existed there until the Paleolithic age. We have seen traces of life from the Neolithic period in the valley caves.

There are also traces of the Hittite, Roman, Seljuk and Ottoman periods. Life is still continuing in villages. We can say that life has been continuing in the Levent Valley, which is a natural wonder, for 10,000 years. People have chosen this area to life in every age.”

20 villages exist

Iskenderoğlu said that within the scope of the work, they had discovered the existence of 26 areas that have geological importance, adding that there were nearly 20 villages in the valley including Levent, Kozalak, Bağ and Sarıhacı.

The official also said they would publish the result of the work in a book.

Kozalak village headman Hüseyin Ünal said the former name of their village was Hartut and added that living in the valley was fantastic. “The air is clean, the water is clear, the soil is fertile in this valley. It gives happiness to people living there.”

Ünal said people in the region made a living by cultivating beans, sugar beet, apricots and chickpeas.

He said the Çerkeztepe tumulus, which is located in the spot where the Bağ and Sakalıuzun villages merge in the valley, had been declared a protected site by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, adding that there were 5,000-year-old structures between Yalınkaya and Kozalak. 

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [November 19, 2012]

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