Sunday, January 20, 2008

News from Catal Huyuk

I've always been fascinated by the early town site (representing maybe the earliest town) of Catal Huyuk (Çatalhöyük), in southeastern Turkey (Anatolia), and in my Ancient Civilizations course, I talk about its significance at length.

Well, recently the Turkish Daily News has published a good article on the work that has been done at Catal Huyuk since 1993.

I am pleased to see that my lecture material is still not obsolete, despite this interesting work.

Thanks to Explorator for this.

Image: Recent excavations, from TDN.

1 comment:

  1. Çatal Hüyük fascinated me, as a child, and it apparently also fascinated Jane Jacobs. She used the site as the starting point for her theory that urban life preceeded agriculture. At the time she proposed this, it was so far out from orthodox thought that it was ignored. So was her brilliant explanation for the puzzling rapidity with which domesticated species aquired mutations useful to humans. In fact, Çatal Hüyük provided the key stimulous for her subsequent macro-economic theories, which have still not been absorbed into contemporary thought. Just a little old lady famous for talking about neighbourhoods and battling expressways, she was not thought qualified to interpret archaelogical evidence. But then, in the same work (The Economy of Cities), she predicted that the Mayan ruins, then interpreted as “non-urban ceremonial centers”, would eventually be proven real cities with real populations and real urban economies. Many years later, she was proven right. Her interpretation of early urban economic processes has had little impact on historirians, but my guess is that here, too, she will ultimately be vindicated.