Monday, July 17, 2006

Çatalhöyük excavations unveil very dawn of human civilization

A total of 130 houses have been unearthed to date during excavations at the 9,000-year-old site of Çatalhöyük in Konya's Çumra district, excavation assistant team leader Shahina Farid has said.
Çatalhöyük excavations unveil very dawn of human civilization

The first excavations at the site -- considered one of the oldest settlements in the history of mankind, dating back to the Neolithic Age -- were conducted by British archaeologist James Mellart, who uncovered 80 houses during excavations between 1961-1964, according to the Anatolia news agency.

Work at the site resumed in 1993 after a long hiatus.

�Fifty new houses have been uncovered since that date," said Farid. "We are trying to shed light on an obscure period of mankind through these excavations. The excavation findings reveal that there was a river and small lakes in the region 9,000 years ago. We also found buildings were located one above the other. The oldest houses were destroyed after a period of habitation and new structures were built over them. These structures consist of two rooms and a larder. We assume that Çatalhöyük housed a population of around 7,000-10,000 at that time.�

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