NENA – Near Eastern Neolithic Architecture

The study of Neolithic Architecture

An initiative for interdisciplinary research and exchange of knowledge on Neolithic architecture in the Middle East has now been launched by the building archaeology and heritage conservation unit of the Istanbul Department together with the Göbekli Tepe Project. Despite the fact that the architecture of the Near Eastern Neolithic is one of the most prominent features of the Near Eastern, there has not yet been a well-established research group dealing with it. This desideratum has prompted us to initiate NENA to exchange findings, interpretations, terminologies, technologies and sites. The fundamental idea of interdisciplinary exchange is to be completed by formats for the promotion of early career scholars.

One concern of the initiative is to establish a dialogue on fundamental questions of Neolithic building. What role do continuity and change play? How to understand and perceive space? How did earthquakes and climate changes influence the development of settlements and building construction? How were building processes organized? What building standards emerged during the Neolithic period and what design principles follow the buildings?

Group picture of the participants of the 1st NENA meeting (DAI Istanbul).

The first NENA round table meeting took place on December 16th, 2020 as a zoom meeting. Twenty international researchers met to discuss and debate various aspects of architecture and the built environment.  It is planned to hold two meetings in 2021 and to establish a monthly jour fix for early career researchers.

Moritz Kinzel, DAI Istanbul