Approximately 10,000 years ago began a new era for humanity. Agriculture, the domestication of animals and first fired ceramic, etc. allow a new way of life.
Çatalhöyük is an excavation in present day Turkey. It is a settlement from the Neolithic period, located on the plateau of Anatolia and had up to 8000 inhabitants. It was a cultural center. Stone blades, mirrors and fired ceramics were found there.
It is seem certain now, that women had a central role. Statues represent goddesses, priestesses or queens. Central is a belief about the woman and the bull.
when? 7400 - 6200 BCE. .......... where? Today's western Anatolia
Çatalhöyük was escavated by James Mellaart 1961 and 1965 for the first time. Since 1993 Ian Hodder resumed the works. So far, only about 5% have been excavated.
The study of the remains of mud houses, wall paintings and other finds explains the social differentiation and hierarchy of the residents. The culture owes its prosperity to the sophisticated methods of agriculture, thanks to cultivation of varied vegetables and cereals, domestication of animals, preservation techniques and the redistribution of food.
Agriculture, the domestication and breeding of animals such as sheep and goats, as well as the trade were task of the women.
The different types of arts and crafts that were practiced in Çatalhöyük, can be compared with the developed civilizations of the Bronze Age. Çatalhöyük's social hierarchy can be identified from the arrangement of the houses and tombs. Each guild of craftsmen lived in her district. The distance or proximity of these districts to the holy sanctuary resulted from the rank of the guild. The highest rank in the hierarchy were the priestesses. In their homes, rich jewelry treasures were found.
Men had their own hierarchy, their role in society had to do with hunting and the safety of the city against the enemy. The most important task, however, was hunting, which at this time was still of great importance.
Temple - or places of religious rituals - border on major homes. The predominant deity was the Great Mother.
For more information: books, films, audio book, etc.
Çatalhöyük — Excavations of a Neolithic Anatolian Höyük, Çatalhöyük excavation official website