Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük

Date of Inscription to the World Heritage List: 2012

List Reference: 1405 Criteria: Cultural


Another time, another life

Catalhoyuk at Cumra, 45 km south of Konya, is a fascinating Neolithic site in Central Anatolia dating from the 10th-8th millennium B.C., which makes it one of the world’s oldest towns. The best known period of urbanization in Catalhoyuk lie between layers 7 and 11. Houses with square walls were adjacent but didn’t share common walls (each house had their own walls). Houses were planned separately, and one house was built next to another whenever there was a need to do so. Because of the adjacent walls of the houses, there were no streets in the city. Archaeologists have determined that holes in the roofs of the mud houses were the entrance doors. Ankara’s Museum of Anatolian Civilizations houses the famous temple-house (reconstructed), along with mother-goddess Cybele figures, obsidian and clay objects and Neolithic frescoes from the original site. The wall pictures in Catalhoyuk were found in layers 10 and 11. The most beautiful and sophisticated ones belong to the seventh and fifth layers. These pictures are the continuation of the tradition started by Palaeolithic man, who made pictures on cave walls. They might have also believed that these pictures would bring them luck in hunting. In later ages, we see that home decorations confined themselves to bird patterns and geometrical designs

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