Finds from Çatalhöyük in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara

The archaeological site called Çatalhöyük, from the Turkish words çatal “fork” and höyük “tumulus”, is a tell of a huge Neolithic and Chalcolithic proto-city settlement in southern Asia Minor. It existed from approximately 7500 BCE to 6400 BC and flourished around 7000 BCE. It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2012.

So-called Mother Goddess Figurine from Çatalhöyük

The finds from Çatalhöyük, dating back to the 1st half of the 6th millennium BCE, are now on display in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara.

So-called Mother Goddess FigurineSo-called Mother Goddess Figurine

Female Figurines

Figurines from Çatalhöyük, the 1st half of the 6th millennium BCE, now in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara. These figurines depict mainly women; thus they were dubbed the goddesses, but this identification is uncertain. They were made from a variety of materials, including limestone, terracotta, alabaster, and marble.

Female figurines collectionFemale figurines collection

Female figurines collectionFemale figurines collection

 

 

Female figurines collectionFemale figurines collection

 

Female figurines collectionFemale figurines collection

 

 

Female figurines collectionFemale figurines collection

 

 

Female figurines collectionFemale figurines collection

 

 

Female figurines collectionFemale figurines collection

Leopard Reliefs

Leopard reliefs from Çatalhöyük (painted plaster ornament, 6000 BCE). Leopards must have had a special place or a religious meaning in the lives of the people of Çatalhöyük. These plastered leopard reliefs once decorated the walls of a Çatalhöyük house. The number of coats of plaster and paint applied to the leopard heads suggest that the reliefs adorned Çatalhöyük residences for many years.

Leopard ReliefsLeopard Reliefs

Leopard ReliefsLeopard Reliefs

Leopard ReliefsLeopard Reliefs

 

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Scene with a Bull

A scene with a bull, from Çatalhöyük, painted plaster ornament, around 6000 BCE. Around a cloven-hoofed red bull with huge horns, a big tail and tongue shown lolling out, there is a group of highly active people with a leopard skin. The picture depicts mostly men as well as a pregnant woman. Donkeys and dogs are also shown. There is an object on the bull’s tail, which could be a drum. Some people are shown holding bows, sticks and axes.

 

Scene with a BullScene with a Bull

Scene with a BullScene with a Bull

Humans Surrounding a Deer

Human figures around a deer, painted plaster ornament, from Çatalhöyük, 6000 BCE. Around a large red deer are shown numerous male figures with beards who wear various types of garments made of black leather and leopard skin. Some of the figures are shown bent forward as if they were running. None of the figures have weapons. Some of the men are shown touching the deer’s nostril, tail, and horns. Below there is a dog and a female figure rendered with exaggerated lines.

Humans Surrounding a DeerHumans Surrounding a Deer

Wild Animals Mural

Mural with the representation of wild animals. Mural painting from Çatalhöyük (Painted Plaster Ornament, 6000 BCE).

 

Wild Animals MuralWild Animals Mural

Volcano Mural

Mural Painting from Çatalhöyük (Painted Plaster Ornament, 6000 BCE). This mural painting is believed by some to depict Mount Hasan the volcanic hill rising behind the town of Çatalhöyük. James Mellaart, the first excavator of the site, believed it to be so. Alternatively, other scholars think it depicts a stylized leopard skin with geometric patterns. If the former interpretation is true, then it may be considered the world’s first city plan.

Recently, the researchers from the USA, New Zealand, and Turkey have provided new evidence that supports the hypothesis suggesting that the mural excavated at the Neolithic Çatalhöyük is the oldest-known map.

Volcano MuralVolcano Mural

Obsidian and Flint Weapons

Weapons found at Çatalhöyük comprise daggers, arrowheads, spears, mace heads, and axes, made of obsidian and flint. All were produced with great care. The dagger with the snake-shaped handle of bone and cutting blade made of flint is thought to have been a ritual implement.

 

Obsidian and Flint WeaponsObsidian and Flint Weapons

Obsidian and Flint WeaponsObsidian and Flint Weapons

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Ceramics

Collection of ceramics made of terracotta and stone, and a spoon made of bone.

CeramicsCeramics