The early urban tradition at Arslantepe ended around 3000 BC (Period VI B1); the débris resulting from the collapse of the late 4th millennium public buildings was leveled over and covered with layers of mud. In the vast area that this created, quadrangular huts with rounded corners were built, with the floor slightly sunken and the wall frames made of rows of poles of different sizes covered with mud (wattle and daub technique).

In the highest point of the mound a large hut was built, separated from the rest of the village by a high wattle and daub wall, possibly belonging to a chief. Large amount of burnt bone and ashes outside the hut appear to be the remnants of meals and possibly feasts. On the other side of the wall is a mudbrick building used as a storage and community gathering place, found full of storage jars.

The fire which destroyed the settlement created a deep layer of charred remains and rotting wood, and the numerous post-holes found even on the open-air areas suggest that there had been roofing and fencing in the outdoor zones. 

Material culture in this period indicates contacts areas south of the Caucasus between the Kura and the Araks Rivers. The staple economy of this phase is strongly based on pastoralism and herding of sheep and goat.

Possibly belonging to this same phase is an imposing cist, in which an eminent person was buried with a rich set of metal funerary gifts, and four sacrificed adolescents. This is the earliest evidence of a “royal” tomb, already characterized by a number of elements (great wealth in metal objects, and human sacrifices) that were to become typical of the royal burials in Mesopotamia and Anatolia several centuries later.

ARSLANTEPE 2015. All rights reserved.