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15 August 2003
Houses excavated in Neolithic city Catalhoyuk protected

The houses founded in Catalhoyuk, central Turkey - one of the most ancient settlement areas in the world - have been recently covered with a roof for protection.
     After the Catalhoyuk Research Project's tenth year was completed, Culture and Tourism General Director Nadir Avci visited the excavation site and obtained information from Standford University Archeology Professor responsible for excavation Ian Hodder. Afterwards, Avci opened 20 houses excavated in southern Catalhoyuk, saying that it was necessary to take protective measures since they were trying to preserve the finds after excavating. Meanwhile, Professor Hodder informed visitors at a press conference that the houses would be opened for visiting. "Last year, some 7,000 tourists visited Catalhoyuk, but we expect that this number will reach 100,000 in the upcoming years," added Hodder.
     The Neolithic site of Catalhoyuk was first discovered in the late 1950s and excavated by James Mellaart over four excavation seasons between 1961 and 1965. The site rapidly became famous internationally due to the large size and dense occupation of the settlement, as well as the spectacular wall paintings and other art uncovered inside the houses.

Source: Turkish Daily News (15 August 2003)

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