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!