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16 February 2014
Millennia-old fabric found in Turkey

Continuing excavations in the earliest settlement of Çatalhöyük in the central Anatolian province of Konya (Turkey) have revealed a 9,000-year-old piece of linen fabric in the ground of a burned house. The fabric was wrapped around a the skeleton of a baby.
     Stanford University Professor Ian Hodder, head of the excavations, said: "Examinations in the laboratory show that this piece of cloth is linen weaved with hemp. This is a first in the world, and one of the best preserved examples." Hodder adds: "This piece of linen, which is weaved very thin, most probably came from the eastern Mediterranean from the central Anatolia. It is already known that obsidians and sea shells had been exchanged in long-distance trade in the Middle East during the Neolithic era, but this fabric may have revealed another side of the trade."
     Hodder noted that they also had discovered a new wall painting. "In the 2013 excavation season we also started excavations in the Neolithic era buildings in the southern skirt of the eastern tumulus. These buildings really have different features from the early era buildings. They have thick walls and big bricks on the walls. They were not set fire to when people left them. A wall painting on the eastern wall of a building here is a unique one that we have never seen. Generally, paintings in Catalhoyuk are in red and black colors on white ground. But in this example, there are white geometrical shapes on dark ground. We believe that this painting continues through the northern walls of three buildings. It was an exciting experience for us to unearth this wall."
     Reports on Çatalhöyük excavations are published on the website Catalhoyuk.com

Edited from Hurriyet Daily News (3 February 2014)

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