|29 June 2010
Secrets of Çatalhöyük to be revealed this summer
Archaeological findings unearthed at Çatalhöyük (Turkey), one of the oldest known settlement areas in human history, will be shared with the public at the end of the summer, according to a member of the international excavation team. "This information will enable us to learn more details about human beings' unknown journey in the world," archaeologist Gülay Sert said, announcing that scientific publications will be prepared as a result of the excavations and shared with the world this summer. "The main goal of the work at Çatalhöyük is to gain information about diseases and plants and their effects on people during that period," Sert added.
This year's ongoing excavation work was started by a Trakya University team in western Çatalhöyük, which is the second settlement area of the Chalcolithic age. A large part of the team will start excavations in eastern Çatalhöyük, the settlement area of the Neolithic age, after July 15. As most of the archaeological findings regarding life 9,000 years ago have already been uncovered during the excavations to date, the next phase of work will proceed at a slow tempo and mostly focus on education.
The Çatalhöyük research area is not only limited to the ruins where excavation work continues. In recent years, laboratories have been built on the campus established near the ancient city. Excavation team leader Professor Ian Hodder from Stanford University, who has created a new "Hodder School" in world archaeological literature, helps the young archaeologists on his team get experience in this ancient city.
Currently an international excavation team of more than 100 people is working in Çatalhöyük, which is visited by some 13,000 people each year. They are trying to find out about diseases, genetic features and plants and animals in the area. A number of historical artworks have been found during the excavations. Among the findings there is a female figure known as the 'Goddess Kybele,' which is on display at the Anatolian Civilizations Museum in Ankara.
Sources: Hurriyet Daily News, Anatolia News Agency (24 June 2010)
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