One of the great things about an archaeological perspective is the ability to examine social developments and social practices at a range of temporal and spatial scales simultaneously. I will attempt this for the development of the Neolithic in the Konya plain, based on c. 20 years of excavations at the sites of Pınarbașı and Boncuklu, the later apparently a direct antecedent of Çatalhöyük. This will allow consideration, at broad temporal and spatial scales of understanding, of the contemporaneous adoption of variable sedentary practices, small-scale cultivation and herding and avoidance of farming by early Neolithic communities,. The role of the development of distinct community identities within such networks of diverse proximate communities will be evaluated. I will then situate and interrelate more intimate and specific household and individual histories and identities, ritual and ancestral practices within these longer-term developments by drawing on a range of integrated stratigraphic, architectural, symbolic, mortuary, bioarchaeological, isotope and aDNA evidence.
Professor Douglas Baird holds the Garstang Chair of Archaeology at the University of Liverpool. His main research foci include the development of early sedentary, agricultural and pastoral societies, the development of social complexity, and long-term settlement history, especially in the Near East. He has directed several major field projects, excavations at Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Tell esh Shuna North in Jordan, the Konya Plain Survey in Turkey, excavations at Epipalaeolithic and early Neolithic Pınarbașı and Boncuklu on the Konya plain, and the Eastern Fertile Crescent project in northern Iraq, co-directed with Eleni Asouti involving excavations at Palegawra and Karim Shahir to date.