Çatal Hüyük

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Çatal Hüyük

 

a Neolithic settlement that flourished in the second half of the seventh and in the early sixth millennia B.C. on the Konya Plain in southern Turkey. Çatal Hüyük, which was excavated between 1961 and 1963 by the British archaeologist J. Mellaart, occupies an area of 12.8 hectares. The cultural level, which is more than 6 m thick, is divided into 12 horizons. The rectangular dwellings were made of mud brick; they were attached to one another and access to them was from the roof. The economy was based on land cultivation, as seen from the discovery of wheat, emmer, and barley grains, peas, vetch, and almonds and the discovery of sickle insets and grain mortars. Cattle raising was also developed to some extent.

Beginning with the oldest horizon (12th horizon), small articles made of native copper and lead were found, along with tools made of flint and obsidian. Primitive clay pottery was discovered in the tenth horizon, but none was found in a number of succeeding horizons, which yielded vessels of stone and wood only. Clay pottery reappeared in the upper horizons in the form of flat-bottomed vessels of more sophisticated workmanship and occasionally with painted designs.

A shrine was also discovered at Çatal Hüyük, with paintings and reliefs depicting hunting scenes, animals, birds, and geometric designs. Numerous stone statuettes of people and animals were unearthed. The dead were buried in a flexed position beneath the floors of the houses.

REFERENCES

Mellaart, J. Çatal Hüyük: A Neolithic Town in Anatolia. London, 1967.
References in periodicals archive ?
Elsewhere in the volume the author summarizes the tales of the Dorak Treasure, a hoard to he considered a forgery of artifacts and provenience, and the forgeries of the Catal Huyuk frescoes.
Her discussions of the work of Marija Gimbutas, of the archaeological sites at Catal Huyuk and Knossos, and of the quasi-scholarship promoted in college courses with titles like "Reclaiming the Goddess" and "The Goddess and the Matriarchy Controversy" are apt, and generally well-documented.
Ancient home altars from the Neolithic period were also excavated from sites at Catal Huyuk and Hacilar in Turkey that date back to between 8000 and 6000 BC.