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Catalhoyuk

Catalhoyuk
Çatalhoyuk; located 10km east from Cumra town in the Konya region this tumulus hill has two flat areas at different heights and because of this is named “çatal” which means fork.

It was first discovered in 1958 by J. Mellaart with further excavation works in 1961, 1963 and 1965. On the west side of the slope they discovered 13 layers and the earliest settlement on the first layer dates back to 5,500 BC which was proved using the Carbon 14 dating method test and shows prehistoric people, the first house architecture and first sacred structures.
 The best known period of urbanisation is shown between layers 7 and 11 where the houses have square walls next to each other but are not attached and as no streets were built to get around people walked on the flat roofs, and no defence or city walls have been found. They used sun-baked bricks, trees and reeds to construct buildings on shallow foundations made of compressed clay placed on reeds. The houses were one storey with a hole in the roof used as the entrance with a ladder down into the dwelling which contained room for storage, square stoves and stone benches, plastered walls painted white and decorated with pictures painted using red and black dyes, and figures of bulls, rams and deer made from compressed clay were attached to the walls, there were also reliefs of people and animals. These pictures were found in the 10th and 11th layers and are a continuation from when Palaeolithic man painted on cave walls believing it would bring them luck in hunting. The most beautiful pictures are those found from the 5th and 7th layers and in later times home decorations mainly consisted of birds and geometric patterns. There are pictures showing headless people being eaten by vultures representing burial traditions as when people died they would let vultures eat the flesh then collect the bones, wrap them in straw cloth and bury them in the house.

Excavations have uncovered many skeletons, gifts left for the dead such as tools made from bones, coloured stones, sharp tools, stone axes and beads made from seashells. From the figurines found they gave insight to the beginnings of the Mother Goddess Cult and religious beliefs of that time. The figurines measure between 5 and 15cm high, are made from baked clay and stone and show females that are fat and buxom with large hips, with some giving birth and represent abundance and plenitude. Also found here were stone and clay axes, plates, figurines of the goddess of fertility, bracelets and necklaces, and black and brick coloured cups made from baked clay. The sharp tools they used were made from bones and the tips of arrows and spears from obsidian. No excavation work was carried out here until 1996 when Ian Hodder of the British Institute started and remains he found are at the Konya Archaeology Museum.

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Turkish Food Recipes

Sac Kebab - Red Meat Courses

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Dugun or Wedding Soup - Soup

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