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The ground beneath their feet: building continuity at Neolithic Çukuriçi Höyük
Anatolian Studies  (IF),  Pub Date : 2016-06-29, DOI: 10.1017/s0066154616000016
Maxime Brami, Barbara Horejs, Felix Ostmann

A Neolithic structure was rebuilt three times at Çukuriçi Höyük, on the central Anatolian Aegean coast, despite its unfavourable location on unsettled fill. We draw upon this seemingly incongruous case to make inference about the siting of buildings in Neolithic times. Through detailed cross-comparison with other sequences of vertically superimposed buildings in Anatolia and the Aegean region, we retrace the contours of a Neolithic practice aimed at maintaining occupation in one place. Over time, building continuity transformed into a strategy by some households to claim authority over a place and appropriate it for their own benefit. With regard to the location of Neolithic buildings, we conclude that choices about location dominated over practical considerations. Once a commitment to place was made, there was no turning back, even when this meant living in an unstable house that needed to be rebuilt repeatedly.