The excavations started on a small scale in 1957 over an space on the summit of the mound, and the supply of the painted pottery was instantly recognized as a tiny prehistoric village of mud brick, surrounded by a roughly rectangular enclosure-wall of the identical materials. The homes have been very small and irregularly constructed, however they’d elaborate home preparations; hearths, dome-shaped ovens, wood doorways (generally sliding again into the partitions) and screened courtyards with kilns for baking pottery.
Leaving these homes uncovered, Mellaart prolonged his excavations to a decrease level on the flank of the mound, the place thicker partitions appeared to portend a a lot bigger model of the identical village. And certain sufficient, right here, outdoors the realm of the walled village and at a significantly decrease stage, he discovered homes with partitions as a lot as 5 toes thick. He famous that they have been locked collectively, aspect by aspect, as if to type a fortification across the perimeter of the settlement, which was itself on a bigger and extra formidable scale than the one he had already cleared,
However now signs began appearing of a disconcerting stratigraphical paradox. The perimeter buildings of the decrease settlement didn’t appear to increase inwards beneath these of the smaller ones. Moreover, archaeological proof started to recommend that the previous was later in date than the latter. The issue was in fact solved by reducing a broad connecting trench between the 2, and making an in depth examine of the part. On this one may see with exceptional readability an nearly vertical earth-face connecting the 2 ranges, simply contained in the decrease peripheral buildings; and one may infer that the ruins of the smaller settlement should have already got been in existence when the constructing of the bigger settlement was deliberate.
Earlier than it was constructed, a large terrace had been minimize across the full circuit of the mound. Upon this the peripheral buildings had been constructed to type a roughly round fortification, and the stays of the older settlement had been levelled to make a central enclosure, maybe for cattle or for a refugee inhabitants in time of hazard. Solely an skilled excavator may have arrival instantly at this conclusion with no lengthy interval of preliminary confusion. The proof produced by a mere “sounding-in-depth” would definitely have proved completely deceptive.
The bigger (and as we now know, later,) settlement at Hacilar had different very fascinating options. Judging from the plan which Mellaart recorded, the precise dwellings, with their heavy partitions and absence of doorways or home windows, seem extraordinarily uncomfortable. However they’d been destroyed by fireplace and the burnt particles inside them produced an sudden revelation.