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Abstract

A pedological investigation at Göbekli Tepe, a Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN) site in the northern Fertile Crescent (southeastern Turkey), was undertaken to gain a better understanding of its chronology and paleoenvironments. A catena at the southern slope of the central mound suggests that complex pedosedimentary processes took place at the surface of the mound after the abandonment of the site. Soil formation resulted in a markedly dark Ah horizon and a Bk horizon with secondary carbonate accumulations; both hold promise as sources of chronological and paleoecological information. Three fossil Ah horizons from the PPN period were found within the fill. One of them provided a 14C age of 8880 ± 60 yr B.P. (on humic acids) that may approximate the time of abandonment. 14C dating of the oldest microlamina of pedogenic carbonate gave two new dates: 7450 ± 80 yr B.P. for a PPNB context and 6405 ± 70 yr B.P. for a post-PPNB context. These dates have to be considered as well-estimated minimum ages of the contexts. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.