Hunted, Gathered, Ate!
The first humans lived in the caves on the slopes Taurus Mountains, descending towards of the Mediterranean. Karain Cave, located 25 kilometers north of Antalya, 500-600 meters above sea level, have traces of the earliest men of prehistoric times. Excavations in Karain have revealed the first foods of the first hunter-gatherer communities, which have inhabited in the region since 160,000 BC.
Karain Cave, located on the slopes near Yağca village in the Döşemealtı district has been a host to every era of human civilisation. Traces of human occupation in the Karain Cave go back hundreds of thousands of years to the Early Stone Age. They continue to the Middle Stone Age, Later Stone Age (Mesolithic), Copper Age (Chalcolithic), Bronze Age and subsequent ages, giving today’s visitors insight into all of these periods. The evaluation of humans and their cave-diet can be extensively studied in Antalya.
In the Karain Cave, drilling and cutting tools made of antlers and flint stones, simple axes, tools for hunting, portioning and cutting the meat are found together with seeds of gathered nuts, wild fruits. The first diet of humankind in this region, and the evolution related to this diet can be easily seen in the invaluable findings of prehistoric excavations. Karain Cave, together with other Prehistoric cave dwellings in the immediate vicinity of the Kirkgöz Lake springs including the Öküz, Mustan, Boynuzlu, Çark, Kızıl, Sulu and Harun caves, provide enormous knowledge. The first inhabitants of these caves continued into the Neolithic period. The caves were occupied from the later periods of the Early Stone Age until the advent of agriculture in the Neolithic Age. Öküz Cave stands out among these caves as being especially significant.
With the advent of time, the population increase led these first inhabitants to establish Neolithic villages beside the lake shores and in the surrounding areas. The first man-made dwellings also started in the area close to the prehistoric caves, together with the Lake Region near Burdur and Isparta. Though hunting and gathering continued as means of sustenance, agriculture and animal breeding were the new tools for procuring a food supply.