9,000-year-old burial plot sheds new light on early humans
Human remains discovered beneath the floors of mud-brick houses at one of the world’s first permanent settlements, were not biologically related to one another, a finding that paints a new picture of life 9,000 years ago on a marshy plain in central Turkey.
Even children as young as 8 were not buried alongside their parents or other relatives at the site called Çatalhöyük, the researchers found.
“It speaks a lot to the type of social structure that they might have had,” study researcher Marin Pilloud, a physical anthropologist with the United States military at Joint Accounting Command, in Hawaii, told LiveScience.
Çatalhöyük covered 26 acres (10.5 hectares), and its people — estimated to be as many as 10,000 — would have made a living by growing crops and herding domesticated animals. It was built on a marshy plain in central Turkey. Read more.
Into the Stone Age With a Scalpel: A Dig With Clues on Early Urban Life
CATALHOYUK, TURKEY — A pair of space-age shelters rising from the beet and barley fields of the flat Konya Plain are the first clue to the Catalhoyuk Research Project, where archaeologists are excavating a 9,000-year-old Neolithic village.
The experts, armed with scalpels, gingerly scraped away micro-layers of white plaster from a wall deep in the dig last month to reveal what the project director, the British archaeologist Ian Hodder, called a “very exciting” and “particularly intriguing” painting with deep reds and reddish oranges thought to be made with red ochre and cinnabar.
“We were taking off many, many layers of plaster and we have a program where a joint team of Turkish and British conservators try to take them off one by one, so it’s extremely slow-going,” Dr. Hodder said this week by telephone.
“I got called over to where they were working because they saw some paint. The pattern initially didn’t look like very much: We often find just specks of paint or a wall of all-red paint. But this time it gradually emerged that this was a complete painting, and the best preserved painting that I’ve ever seen at Catalhoyuk, with wonderfully fresh, bright colors and very neat lines.” Read more.