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In Photos: The Life and Death of Ancient 'Urbanites'

Historical Conservation

enclosure protects ancient settlement

(Image credit: Jason Quinlan)

When Çatalhöyük was founded about 9,000 years ago in what is now Turkey the area around it would have been wet and marshy, perfect for growing plants. Today a massive conservation and research effort is underway. The frame for what will be an enclosure protecting part of the site is shown here.

Inside an Old House

reconstruction of ancient house

(Image credit: Çatalhöyük Research Project.)

A reconstruction of what one of the houses looked like nearly 9,000 years ago. The walls were lined with white plaster and covered in decorative art, while people were buried beneath the floors with platforms above them. To get in the house people would have come in through a ladder on the roof.

Ancient Art

conserved artwork and reconstruction

(Image credit: Jason Quinlan)

A conserved piece of ancient art from Çatalhöyük (bottom) and a reconstruction of it (top).

Enigmatic Art

painting at ancient settlement

(Image credit: Jason Quinlan)

A wall painting found in the southern part of Çatalhöyük; researchers say interpreting such drawings is very difficult.

Burial Reconstruction

illustration of ancient human burial

(Image credit: Çatalhöyük Research Project)

A reconstruction of how a burial may have happened at Çatalhöyük.

House Burial

ancient human burial

(Image credit: Jason Quinlan)

At the settlement in Turkey, people were buried beneath houses, like this one, which contained multiple burials dating back about 9,000 years.

Dental Data

jaw and teeth from human

(Image credit: Çatalhöyük Research Project)

The researchers used dental remains from 266 individuals to determine how they were related, with an example of a human jaw found at the site shown here.

Naked Barley

naked barley

(Image credit: Valeriano Saucedo III.)

The people at Çatalhöyük were among the first in the world to adopt an agricultural way of life. Pictured here is Naked Barley that was found at the site.

Volcanic Points

spear points

(Image credit: Jason Quinlan)

A finely carved obisdian spear point from Çatalhöyük. People at the ancient settlement had access to the volcanic material, crafting it inside their houses.

Facial Figurine

figurine from ancient settlement

(Image credit: Jason Quinlan)

In addition to wall paintings the people of Çatalhöyük constructed enigmatic figurines, including the example shown here.

Ancient Pottery

ancient pot from Turkey settlement

(Image credit: Jason Quinlan)

The people of Çatalhöyük were some of the earliest potters in the world. Archaeologists have found a number examples of their work including this pot.