Baku, April 19, AZERTAC
Located in the town of Çumra of the Turkish province of Konya, Çatalhöyük - a fairly large Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement is considered to be one of the oldest in human history, dating back to over 9400 years ago.
The site, added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2012 as a cultural and historical asset, is also considered by many to be the oldest village or town ever discovered.
The vast archaeological site of Çatalhöyük comprises two tells rising up to 20 meters above the Konya plain on the Southern Anatolian Plateau.
Excavations of the Eastern tell have revealed 18 levels of Neolithic occupation dating from 7,400-6,200 BC that have provided unique evidence of the evolution of prehistoric social organisation and cultural practices, illuminating the early adaptation of humans to sedentary life and agriculture.
The Western tell excavations primarily revealed Chalcolithic occupation levels from 6,200-5,200 BC, which reflect the continuation of the cultural practices evident in the earlier Eastern mound.
Çatalhöyük is a very rare example of a well-preserved Neolithic settlement and has been considered one of the key sites for understanding human Prehistory for some decades.
The site is exceptional for its substantial size and great longevity of the settlement, its distinctive layout of back-to-back houses with roof access, the presence of a large assemblage of features including wall paintings and reliefs representing the symbolic world of the inhabitants. On the basis of the extensively documented research at the site, the above features make it the most significant human settlement documenting early settled agricultural life of a Neolithic community.
Çatalhöyük provides a unique testimony to a moment of the Neolithic, in which the first agrarian settlements were established in central Anatolia and developed over centuries from villages to urban centres, largely based on egalitarian principles.
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