Travel of faience beads and metal Pins: Evidence of long-distance trade in early Bronze Age I (3100–2900 BCE) Başur Höyük, Türkiye


Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, vol.52, 2023 (AHCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 52
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2023.104263
  • Journal Name: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Index Islamicus
  • Keywords: Anatolia, Azurite, Cementation, Efflorescence, Faience production, Iran, Long-distance trade
  • Ankara University Affiliated: Yes


This paper presents the compositional results of one stone and six faience beads together with five metal pin fragments from Başur Höyük, southeast Türkiye in order to preliminarily evaluate possible source and production regions. Dating to the Early Bronze Age I (ca. 3100–2900 BCE), the samples are part of burial contexts with more than 100,000 beads, hundreds of metal objects, and evidence of human sacrifice. The microstructures of blue and greenish-blue faience beads indicate the application of cementation and efflorescence techniques. The variations in mineral compositions and differences in production techniques of the faience beads indicate Başur Höyük's access to at least two production centers for faience beads. Pins were made of copper and arsenical copper. Lead isotope analysis on metals indicates possible ties to Iran. Evaluated with further archaeological data from the site, consumption of copper from the Kerman and Sistan regions demonstrate the earliest evidence of the long-distance trade of southeast Anatolia with southeast Iran feasibly via southern Mesopotamian or Diyala region networks. This indicates considerable connectivity and organization in the aftermath of the Uruk collapse and shows both sophisticated technical knowledge and shared aesthetic values between regions.