New neighborhood found in Çatalhöyük
Ali Umut Türkcan, associate professor from Anadolu University and the head of the Çatalhöyük Neolithic site excavations, has said that they have discovered a street in the newly excavated area at the ancient site, uncovering a second neighborhood.
Speaking to press members about the Çatalhöyük Neolithic site, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and located in the Central Anatolian province of Konya, Türkcan said that they would open their new discoveries for discussion.
“We found a street in the newly excavated area, and we are even uncovering a second neighborhood. The more opportunities we are given, the more we will be able to uncover,” Türkcan said, pointing out that only 6 percent of Çatalhöyük has been excavated so far.
Reminding that Çatalhöyük is the apple of the eye of the world, Türkcan said: “Çatalhöyük is an important settlement that will respond to the interest shown by Turkey. It is mentioned as the first city in the history of urbanization since the 1960s. Recently, we started to think of this place as just a settlement, but his needs to be reconsidered. It is be possible to say that this is a center that started an urban culture not only with its size and population but also with its assets and culture. Once again, we need to consider it as the beginning of urban culture. We need to discuss this not only with archaeologists but with all social scientists.”
Türkcan recalled that an article about Çatalhöyük was published in Scientific American, adding, “The author, Annalee Newitz, tried to present Çatalhöyük under two headings in her article, namely ‘the origin of the household’ and the ‘pioneer city.’ She stressed that we should discuss these again. Now we will try to present this to the public with new excavations, and for this, we must turn our eyes to Çatalhöyük.”
Türkcan stated that although there was no relation between Göbeklitepe and Çatalhöyük, they showed similar traces.
“We need to rethink the relationship between the two. Similar scenes in wall paintings in Göbeklitepe and Çatalhöyük raise the question of ‘what kind of connection they had?’ We need to discuss this again through the art of painting. At one point, we have to say that Çatalhöyük is the beginning of the gastronomy summit in Konya, and it is not a coincidence that the two actually overlap,” he said.
Recalling that Çatalhöyük was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2012, Konya Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Uğur İbrahim Altay stressed that Çatalhöyük was one of Turkey’s most important cultural assets.
Noting that people learned to live, produce and defend together there, Altay said: “Çatalhöyük is the place where the fire was used to cook meals for the first time, making it a very important cultural heritage for us in that regard. As the Metropolitan Municipality, we are making important investments to promote Çatalhöyük. When visitors start coming, our welcome center will serve them. Another reason why we care about Çatalhöyük is that Konya is a city that has managed to protect this ancient city for 10,000 years and has passed it down genetically from generation to generation.”
Çatalhöyük was discovered by British archaeologist James Mellaart and his team in the 1960s, and excavations restarted at the site in 1993 under the leadership of British archaeologist Professor Ian Hodder from Stanford University.