Discover Neolithic Turkey

The Boncuklu project is investigating the appearance of the first villages and farmers in central Turkey. At Boncuklu we are also exploring the origins of the remarkable symbolism seen in paintings and reliefs at the nearby famous Neolithic town of Çatalhöyük. The course will take place at the Neolithic site of Boncuklu, dating to c. 8500 B.C.E., the earliest village in central Anatolia and the predecessor of the famous Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük. The site is located in the Konya Plain in central Turkey, 40 km east of the major city of Konya, a famous Medieval center where the “whirling dervish” sect was founded by the Medieval philosopher Celaleddin Rumi. There are many medieval buildings of the Seljuk period to visit in Konya, a booming city.

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The field school also includes visits to other sites and museums in central Turkey, including Çatalhöyük, the Hittite capital Hatussas, the Anatolian Civilizations Museum in Ankara and the dramatic Neolithic site of Asikli, with evidence of repeated rebuilding of houses and an experimental village. Asikli is located about 3 hours east of Konya in Cappadocia, also famous for its underground cities and painted medieval churches which there will thus be an opportunity to visit.
Students will spend 5 weeks at the Boncuklu Project excavation center. The first week there will involve five days of lectures and site visits around central Turkey including Hattusas. The last four weeks will be spent in the field in survey and excavation at Boncuklu with laboratory training as well.
Note: Our website gives a flavor of life for the team at the site, you are encouraged to visit the site.

Dig Directors

Douglas Baird
Andrew Fairbairn

Geographic Location

Hayiroglu, Turkey

Periods of Occupation

Neolithic Prehistory

Dates of the Dig

July 15 – August 18, 2018

Minimum Stay

5 weeks

Application Due

April 20, 2018


Tuition includes cost of room and board

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

8 semester credit units; $4,720 for the Field School; awarded by Institute for Field Research/Connecticut College


The dig house has good communal facilities with kitchen, several showers and toilets, washing machine and laboratories. There is outdoor covered dining and social space. Field school students will be housed in shared dorm rooms on bunk beds. There is also the option of large well-insulated project tents that offer more space.

All meals will be communal events and will provide plenty of nutritious but basic food in the tradition of local cuisine. The daily diet in Turkey is heavily based on pasta, rice, legumes bread other vegetables, with some meat. Vegetarians are catered for. Specialized diets (vegan, kosher, etc.) are difficult to maintain in this location.


Miriam Bar-Zemer
2999 Overland Ave #103
Los Angeles, CA 90064
United States
Phone: 877-839-4374

Open for tours

Yes — by appointment