Earliest hominin and non-hominin inhabitants of Cappadocia, Turkey

Mio-Pliocene (9 to 4 million years) fossil records of Central Anatolian mammals including our early ancestors show strong ecological and biogeographical affinities with the East African faunas and hominins. This project focuses to examine the evolutionary and ecological connections between Central Anatolia and East Africa faunas to investigate the origin and dispersal of our early ancestors.
A view from the excavation site in Sofular (Central Anatolia, Turkey)

Project information

Project duration


Funded by

Multiple sources

Project funder

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Republic of Turkey
University of California, Berkeley (USA)
Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality

Project coordinator

University of Oulu

Contact information

Project leader

Project description

Cappadocia Paleontological Research project tackles with the major research questions related to the disappearance of the Pikermian fauna (including hominin species) at the end of the Miocene and its biogeographical connections with the Plio-Pleistocene East African savannah faunas. Understanding evolution and dispersal of early hominins within an ecological context in Eastern Mediterranean and East Africa has a pivotal place in this research initiative. Three late Miocene paleontological excavations at the Yeniyalacik, Sofular and Tashan sites in Central Anatolia, Turkey provide the study material of this project. These unpublished new sites are very rich in fauna ( including the species of rhinos, elephants, bovids, suids, giraffes, carnivores, primates and small mammals) and yields promising information related to geological and ecological changes occurred between ~10 to 4 million years ago in Eastern Mediterranean. This research financially supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey, University of California-Berkeley, and Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality.