Military Review

The first metalwork and ancient cities: Chatal-Hüyuk - "the city under the hood" (part 2)

Last time we ended our acquaintance with history ancient metallurgy story about Hirokitiya - the center of the amazing culture of ancient Cyprus, whose inhabitants knew how to make dishes from stone, knew weaving and were able to build houses, but did not own pottery production. The metal was not known to them either, that is, urban culture and metalworking were connected, as it turned out, not always. But somewhere then the first metal melted by man appeared? Well, today this place is known for sure (although it may be that there are other similar places, they are still unknown to us), and it is called Chatal-Hüyuk. Translated from the Turkish language, it means “forked hill”, well, it has become “a city under a cap” since a futuristic-looking double-slope roof was installed above the excavation site, protecting this unique place in all respects from the violence of the elements. This hill itself, by the way, is also artificial and was born as a result of the construction of new dwellings, on top of old ones, which took more than ... thousands of years!

The first metalwork and ancient cities: Chatal-Hüyuk - "the city under the hood" (part 2)

Here it is - "the city under the hood"

How ancient is the city? So, archeologist Ian Hodder, who started work here after his discoverer James Mallaart in 1993, came to the conclusion that he was even older than previously thought and existed during 1400 years (between 7000 BC and 6000) BC. e.), and according to the most recent data, from 7400 BC. e. on 5600 BC e.

The size of Chatal-Hyuyuk in different sources indicates different, ranging from 32 acres (12,96 ha) to 20 ha. Whether this is true or not, it is rather difficult to say precisely, but it is clear that in any case Chatal-Hüyuk is a territory of enormous size, from which only 5% has been excavated, no more!

Unfortunately, the residents of Chatal-Hyuyuk did not possess writing and therefore did not leave us any written messages about how they lived and what they did, what gods they worshiped and whether they worshiped at all. True, archaeologists have collected all artifacts found at the excavation site and studied them carefully. But there are still a lot of unsolved mysteries in this city. For example, why was it built in such a remote place from other settlements? Why are building entrances on roofs? Why were so many houses in the city decorated with images of ox heads made from ... gypsum? Finally, who lived in ancient Chatal-Huyuke and what did these people do in their daily lives?

However, we still know a lot about them, and we already know for a long time. Back in 1972, the book of Ye.N. Black Metal-Man-Time, and, although since then, science itself, and the views of the scientist himself have changed in many ways, he very well described Chatal-Hüyuk on its pages. It is as if we see this ancient city consisting of many houses with curved and very narrow streets, in which the houses themselves are made of mud brick. They have flat roofs with gypsum gutters to drain rainwater. There were no entrances at ground level. People entered their houses and left them through the upper hatch or door, in a sort of hallway built on the roof. There were practically no free areas. If the houses were of different heights, they were connected by wooden stairs. And the lack of doors at ground level in this case was its great advantage, since such a city did not require walls to protect its enemies, which archaeologists never found. After all, if you remove the stairs connecting the houses, then it will be almost impossible to climb up. Especially if its inhabitants are on the roofs with bows and spears with obsidian tips in their hands. In this case, it is not at all difficult for them to ward off any enemy from him. One way or another, but for all its existence, the city has never been crushed or burned (in any case, archaeologists have found no trace of this).

A modern view of the excavations at Chatal-Hyuyuk.

If we were inside the chatal-huyuksky house, we would see there smooth calcareous walls, wooden pillars supporting the roof and framing the living area; a small stove, drowned "in the black"; and on the walls there are “mounts” that served as sofas. People worked for them, slept, were born, died, and they were also used as receptacles for burials, since here, just like in Hirokitiya, it was customary to bury the dead in their homes.

Reconstruction of the house from Chatal-Hüyuk. Visible hole in the roof and stairs.

A small pantry was usually attached to one of the walls of the house. There was also a tiny courtyard - a receptacle of various trash. Not only rubbish was dumped here, but also all sorts of waste, which, however, was covered with ash from above, obviously so that they would not spread a foul odor.

Reconstruction of the house from Chatal-Hyuk. Visible are low platforms and a small storage room.

Pets for the night were driven into special pens, which were, in all likelihood, on the outskirts of the village, since no traces of their stay in houses and courtyards were found. That is, either all the animals were common, or ... the inhabitants of Chatal-Hyuk somehow distinguished their animals from others!

In one of the houses, a mural pictorial fresco with the image of a peculiar plan of this “city” was discovered. It is clearly visible the longest rows of houses, depicted at the foot of the erupting volcano Gasandag. Next to it is the extinct Karajidag volcano.

Reconstruction of the "sanctuary" in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.

The inhabitants of Chatal-Hyuk were mainly engaged in cattle breeding and agriculture. Almost nothing is known about the organization of their economy, but the grains of various grains and pits of fruits indicate that wheat, peas, barley, and spelled were grown in the adjacent fields. Osteologists studied bones picked up in excavations and found out that cattle and sheep and goats were the basis of the city herd. Osteologists pointed to another curious detail: the Chatal-Huyuksky inhabitants hunted deer, wild donkeys, bulls, pigs and leopards.

Moreover, the residents' table consisted not only of flour and meat dishes. The multitude of grape seeds, picked up in the remains of houses, suggests an entirely possible use of wine by them (although, of course, the grapes themselves went to food).

James Mellaart believed that, despite such a developed manufacturing economy, trade for city residents was no less, if not the most important source of their income. It is possible that in this region they had a kind of monopoly on the trade in obsidian - volcanic glass. This material, like flint, is easy to process. From it did a great combat and front weaponwhich was in demand far beyond the borders of South Anatolia. Well, the "suppliers" of this material were Karadzhidag and Gasandag volcanoes, which were very close. Obsidian represented value and capital, so its reserves were kept in houses under the floors.

For those who get acquainted with the culture of Chatal-Hyuk, the works of art created by its inhabitants usually make a particularly strong impression. First of all, these are the most diverse statues: sitting and standing people, animals (rams, bulls, leopards), men and women along with animals and sitting on animals. Some of them are very schematic and primitive, while others are made in a brilliant realistic manner from greenish stone or from baked clay. Very often there is an image of a woman who was worshiped in Chatal-Hüyük. It is here that the most ancient figures of the Mother Goddess have been found so far, whose cult later spread also in the Balkans and even in the Northern Black Sea region.

This is how bull horns and skulls plastered with gypsum look in the ground.

But the residents of Chatal-huyuk also revered a male deity, which was depicted as a boy - perhaps the son or lover of the goddess, and an elderly man with a beard and a bull's head (an animal sacred in ancient Anatolia). It was a hunter deity, rooted in Paleolithic. His cult was widely spread among the earliest inhabitants of the city, and why this is so, it is quite understandable - the hunt in their life then played a big role, and then it all the time declined, until after 700 years it did not stop at all. Proof of this is the disappearance of the upper layers of the soil of the bones of wild animals, and with them the male figurines also disappear. But the cult of fertility - the cult of the Mother Goddess, flourishes even more magnificently. Special sanctuary buildings appeared with bright polychrome paintings on the white limestone walls, which were often renewed (new images were opened under the layers of plaster), and inside them were huge - up to two meters in height - bas-reliefs depicting people or animals. (On the skeleton of straw or clay, gypsum was superimposed and painted after hardening. Moreover, if it was necessary to depict the head of a horned animal, the skull with horns was taken as the basis, that is, the chatal-huyuktsy thought very rationally, it can be said, just in a modern way .)

Obviously some kind of "holy place."

Archaeologists have found a whole series of ox heads with huge horns, located on the edges of the beds in their homes. Bull heads hang down from the walls, and women's breasts are molded under them and raptor birds of prey spread out in flight, attacking a man. Whatever the burial is a new version of the painting. Scenes of death alternate with scenes of life. The realism of images and crude schematism go hand in hand and, by the way, why this is so incomprehensible.

But Chatal-Hüyuk is interesting not so much with its paintings, statues and houses. From its cultural layers, beginning with the IX horizon and above, archaeologists have extracted quite a lot of metal objects - copper and lead gizmos. These were small stilettos and punctures, oxidized and lying under the ruins of houses, and also beads and tubules found in burials and believed to be attached as ornaments to women's clothing.

Bull heads in the interior.

Unfortunately, all of them had a not very attractive appearance, and, apparently, outwardly, they could not bear any comparison with everything else. Maybe this is why Mellaart told about them somehow casually, just as curious finds and did not even bring their drawings - they found it, they say. Although these "trinkets", as he calls them, today are the oldest copper products of the planet!

But the most important thing is that here they also found a piece of copper slag. And this means that the residents of Chatal-Hyuyuk could not only process the metal, most likely native, but also in the opinion of the same Mellaart, they knew how it could be smelted from ores.

So it was the finds in Chatal-Huyuke that destroyed all archaeological schemes, according to which metallurgy never appeared before the production of ceramics. Metallurgical production, that is, the smelting of metal from ores, was repeatedly made dependent on the art of burning ceramics in special furnaces and the ability to obtain a temperature sufficient to recover copper from the ore. Here this dependence has been refuted. True, the first fragments of badly burned and coarse earthen vessels Mellaart found already at the very bottom of the Chatal-Huyuksk stratification, but they soon disappeared, apparently unable to withstand, according to the scientist, the competition with the beautiful wooden and bone vessels and leather skins. Later, from the VI "a" layer, ceramics reappears. Its quite a lot and it is made at a higher technological level, but the fact that a number of rather early layers does not contain ceramics, but contains metal products - a fact!

Pottery from Chatal-Hyuyuk.

But it is especially interesting that these discoveries were made in Anatolia, a region that serious researchers of the Neolithic era considered completely abandoned suburbs. Only a few years before the opening of Chatal-Hyuyuk in the book of the largest English archaeologist Gordon Child, “The Most Ancient East in the Light of New Excavations”, because of the lack of materials about this area, he did not write anything at all. This book was published in London in 1952, and four years later its translation appeared in the USSR. However, it was only nine years, and James Mellaart could literally write the following: “Without exaggeration, we can say that Anatolia, long considered the outskirts of the Fertile Crescent, is now being established as the most important center of Neolithic culture in the entire Front East. The Neolithic civilization discovered in Chatal-Huyuk shines like a masterpiece among a rather dim retinue of simultaneous agricultural cultures. ”

Fabric from Chatal-Hyuk.

Well, and then he will also dig up a small settlement in Western Anatolia - Khad-Zhilyar, where metal of the 6th millennium BC will be found. That is, it turns out that the technology of metal processing in the area and at that time was known to residents of not one, but several settlements at once, and the very first metals with which they dealt were lead and copper!

Here it is - the oldest metal from Chatal-Hyuk!

P.S. As a postscript, I would once again like to draw the attention of HE visitors to the works of E.N. Chernykh is a well-known Russian archeologist, head of the laboratory of natural science methods at the Institute of Archeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, doctor of historical sciences, professor, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and author of many significant works on this topic. A complete list of them here hardly makes sense to quote when he is on Wikipedia on his biographical page. Man works at the forefront of historical science, uses the most modern research methods and wherever he doesn’t “dig”. Naturally, his opinion matters far more than the opinion of all those who have nothing to do with all this!
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  1. Reptiloid
    Reptiloid 28 June 2016 06: 30
    Good morning everybody!
    I really liked the article. The combination of colors in the photo creates a good mood.
    It seems such a beautiful paleolithic idyll, a noble, calm life of smart, hardworking, talented people.
    Thanks Vyacheslav Olegovich.
    1. kalibr
      28 June 2016 06: 37
      Good morning to you too! What an early bird you are! However, as our ancestors said - "The early bird stuffs the nose, and the late one only clears it." For you, the morning hours are also "the most work"?
      1. Reptiloid
        Reptiloid 28 June 2016 07: 03
        It’s a shame to say, I’m slowly going, I don’t like to rush and run out with my tongue out. Then in the morning there are calls and mail and plans.
        1. Vend
          Vend 28 June 2016 09: 52
          I visited Cyprus, walked through the ruins of ancient cities. Interesting impression.
  2. Mangel olys
    Mangel olys 28 June 2016 06: 49
    The article is interesting and informative. Thanks Vyacheslav Olegovich. In Japan, forged and still forged swords of samurai, made of steel using Tatara technology. I would like to know an opinion on this matter and read your article on this topic.
    1. kalibr
      28 June 2016 07: 14
      Good morning Mangel! I had articles on VO about Japanese armor and weapons - look through the profile. About swords was little and casual. In August, the book "Samurai - Knights of Japan", which received a grant from the Russian Humanitarian Science Foundation, is to be published. But ... we must see what was not included there. But I don't promise soon. I'll have to write to the curator of the Tokyo National Museum. Wait for what and how he will answer. Or maybe not to answer? And a lot of work "on bronze".
    2. Amurets
      Amurets 28 June 2016 10: 25
      Sorry to interrupt. But here is a link to the technology of Japanese swords "Katana" .http: //
      html And if you are interested in oriental, melee weapons, or rather damask steel, then there is an interesting book by Yu.G. Gurevich "The Riddles of Damask Pattern". It has a technology for the production of Japanese damask steel. The book is on the net.
      1. Kotyara Fat
        Kotyara Fat 29 June 2016 22: 18
        The book is really interesting! Although, in some places, it requires some knowledge of metal science.
  3. Reptiloid
    Reptiloid 28 June 2016 08: 52
    He returned, re-read the article again. I am glad that the new data that you write about break all past theories! Or maybe high civilizations existed not only in Anatolia, but also in other regions of the World? And not only from 7400 BC, but also, say, in the Wurm ice age? Although if there were civilizations then they were nomadic: the sea level then changed strongly and constantly, and cities could not be built and not served. What do you think?
    I was also ashamed that I saw these imperfect beads from various materials in the Hermitage, but did not attach any importance to them.
  4. AK64
    AK64 28 June 2016 11: 18
    Ahhhhhh ....

    In Chyuyuk I read the most interesting thing is the social order. And about this something - not a word.

    Read Hyuk is considered an example of communist relations.
    1. kalibr
      28 June 2016 11: 52
      Andrei, here is a story about material culture, and social relations on it can be modeled only partially. Why multiply fantasies? They are enough without me.
      1. AK64
        AK64 28 June 2016 12: 20
        So in fact Chatal Hyuk is unusual in this.

        Well, to mention that "there are hypotheses that ..."
        Otherwise, what is interesting exactly in Guyuk? Well, an ancient city, so what?

        But for example, an abundance of holidays is noted (or supposed) - in the picture the children are dancing, and even men (which is very unusual) with the children.
        Or multiple reconstructions of "apartments", which implies the communal use of these.
        Well, the buildings on the central square destroyed and stopped in the landfill, again ...
        1. kalibr
          28 June 2016 13: 37
          You are right, all this is very interesting. But I have a theme on bronze, metal, and from this point of view everything is considered. If you also climb into the social network, then it will be ... hoo, but I need to meet the 15 AV
          1. Riv
            Riv 28 June 2016 14: 15
            Taki have to, about the social program ... The social system and economy are inseparable.
        2. Mikhail Matyugin
          Mikhail Matyugin 28 June 2016 16: 14
          Quote: AK64
          Well, the buildings on the central square destroyed and stopped in the landfill, again ...

          This is the case for many (or at least some) ancient cities. Before abandoning the city, the population literally canned it, filling up with garbage and earth, as if it were dispossessed.
    2. Mikhail Matyugin
      Mikhail Matyugin 28 June 2016 16: 12
      Quote: AK64
      Read Hyuk is considered an example of communist relations.

      Well, or some arrangement of society as the earliest universal tyranny based on when all citizens are essentially slaves (whether they are communities, states, or the estates of the few higher hierarchs).

      In general, it is a very mysterious city, and there are others there too.
  5. Riv
    Riv 28 June 2016 13: 57
    I wonder why they decided that the metal found in Chatal-Hyuk was smelted there. If you think a little: for several thousand years, a huge fortification should have formed around such a craft and trade center (I specifically use this term). Not one or two, but tens of kilometers in circumference. Not found. Or were you looking badly?

    There is a somewhat infantile view of the economy and the division of labor. Here is a metal ring found. Not a purely utilitarian object like a stone scraper, but decoration. That is, among local artisans there were jewelers. But jewelry is the pinnacle of ancient crafts. In order to make such a ring, you need a very specific toolbox and a fairly long process chain, which begins with the extraction of ore. Who mined this ore? Free people? Slaves? The master himself? Who mined metal from it? Where did you get firewood for stoves? On what principle was the division of labor carried out? Perhaps there was money, then why they were not found?

    Now sofa archaeologists will swoop in with minuses: "Division of labor - WTF? In the ancient world ???" But in reality, if one master provides all the links of the technological chain, then he (I am exaggerating of course) will produce a couple of rings a month. He will still have to be distracted by sowing work, harvesting, fighting the aggressors ... a lot of things.

    So, there are no signs of a division of labor in Chatal-Hyuk ... There are no houses that could be defined as the workshops of a blacksmith, or a carpenter, as the houses of free, or slaves - all the same. A roughly equal standard of living. And I recall only one historical example of this: Sparta. If the analogy is true, then the Cheka is not a craft center, but something like a military camp combined with a cemetery.
    1. Riv
      Riv 28 June 2016 14: 13
      Yes, by the way: a typical native. :)
    2. kalibr
      28 June 2016 15: 37
      You ask wonderful questions, but ... you will not find answers to them either on me, or on Wikipedia, or even in the book of E.N. Blacks. How can this be known? Collapse the ring does not have to be a jeweler, by the way. There is slag - it means they poured or forged. Otuda firewood? Who knows? Well and so on. By the way, I didn’t put any minuses to you and I won’t put it; on the contrary, I would take your questions, if you will, as a model, so to speak, of an inquisitive thought. But I repeat - we are talking about metal. That is, everything that goes beyond will be minimized. Otherwise, you can’t keep within the volume. And besides ... I’ll tell you a terrible secret - I just don’t know. The only consolation is that I am not alone!
      1. Riv
        Riv 29 June 2016 08: 25
        Collapse the ring? Hehe! .. Have you ever tried to roll up a copper strip and weld a joint so that it turns out a ring? Somehow to broaden your horizons, try. Of the tools, use a stone (or copper) hammer and wooden sticks. :)

        Such a ring at the level of Stone Age technology can only be cast. Grind with the same stone hammer (here's the slag for you), polish - you get a ring. Copper, beautiful, shines in the sun. The soul rejoices. But how are the people there? "A wedding ring won't fit on an egg." And what is in the illustration will not fit your finger. Part of an earring? Smallish. What was attached to the ear? Stone Age in the yard, hooks are not yet made. In principle, it is possible to forge a fairly thin copper wire, but where are the finds? If it were something like beads, the find would not be a single one ...

        Here is another version for you: this ring is a stone age coin. If somewhere in the excavation they find a pot, or a bag with similar ones, then be sure that it is.
        1. kalibr
          29 June 2016 21: 29
          Copper rings were money, it seems, in Egypt ... In any case, Efremov's "On the edge of the Oycumene" says: "Give two copper rings for ...". It is clear that the book is fiction, but Efremov described everything else very accurately and he was an archeologist. So, probably, it was so. I just don't know for sure.
  6. Above_name
    Above_name 28 June 2016 15: 17
    Thanks Vyacheslav Olegovich, but the statement ... After all, if you remove the stairs connecting the houses, then it will be almost impossible to climb up ... extremely boldly.
    1. kalibr
      28 June 2016 15: 38
      This is not I say - others. I retold! And so, probably, if one plants the other, then gives the hand (and does not get a stone ax on the head), then yes, why not?
  7. MP
    MP 4 July 2016 16: 03
    Thank you for the article! Very interesting and informative. I did not even know about such a city.
  8. Jääkorppi
    Jääkorppi 5 July 2016 11: 56
    Thank! Very interesting! And the oldest city of the existing, if not mistaken, Jericho. It is interesting to compare how they lived. And, sorry, there are no photos of drawings and statuettes.
  9. xtur
    xtur 11 August 2016 13: 44
    judging by the fact that the Wikipedia article gives the city an Armenian name, we are talking about a find in the Armenian Highlands. So, in the Armenian Highlands, writing, in the form of pictograms, has been known since almost 18 000 BC

    so firstly, it’s not necessary to take away the cultural achievements of the ancestors of the Armenian people, secondly, to use names like Anatolia when it comes to the Armenian Highlands. And thirdly, it’s not a fact that the residents of the city did not write anything about themselves - the question is whether they wanted to find their messages and translate?
  10. Vladivostok
    Vladivostok 24 September 2016 07: 31
    Residential buildings with roof entry? Strange somehow, irrational. And unnatural. Maybe these are not residential buildings, but, say, religious buildings? Then the remains of people, and works of art, and "any rubbish" are logically tied together.
  11. Noct uf
    Noct uf 13 February 2018 17: 36
    "You somehow distinguished your animals from others" either you never lived in a village, I don’t know how in the western part of Russia in the Trans-Urals from our Siberian side, or you have an idea of ​​cattle in the pictures. Scott A is different in color. Character. It’s like two different people. So are two different cows. They are not the same. Easy to distinguish