Essay A Critical Review of Catalhoyuk: a Leopard's Tale

3674 Words Jun 5th, 2013 15 Pages
ARTS 2180: Topics in archaeology | A Critical Review of“Catalhoyuk: The Leopard’s Tale” | Final Assignment | | By Chin Wei Yi | |

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Introduction

Çatalhöyük, located in the Konya Plain in central Anatolia, Turkey is one of the earliest densely populated civilizations known to date. It was inhabited from about 7400 BCE towards the end of the Neolithic age through to the Chalcolithic (Copper Age) in 6000 BCE. The site is renowned for a number of reasons. It was an unusually large settlement for its age, extending over 13.5 hectares, housing thousands of people at a time. Nevertheless, its most striking feature is the degree of symbolism imbedded within the society which can be seen in wall art, burials and material
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Homogenous products also indicate that there would have been little motivation to exchange goods.
The third sphere, ancestry, is based on the passing down of ancestral rights, material things and memories. In Catal Huyuk, the dead were buried under the floors of houses in towards the northern and eastern sections. It can be seen in the practice of the retrieval and circulation of human skulls and animal parts. Social prestige could have been linked to ancestry. Some houses that were more elaborate in comparison to the surrounding houses tended to have more graves and had higher concentrations of flaked obsidian. These buildings were given the term ‘Shrines’ by Mellaart.
The final sphere is that of the community which can be seen in the way the society functions as a whole, how members interact with one another and solve disputes. The fact that Çatalhöyük was a densely populated ‘town’ coupled with little evidence of a central government points to the settlement of disputes independently. Hodder maintains that there is a possibility that the elderly of the settlement took on the role as leaders where they make decisions for the society as a whole.
Hodder emphasizes the concept of ‘entanglements’ which is the notion that small and seemingly insignificant changes in decisions or actions could ultimately result in long-lasting

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