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farming, animal husbandry
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circular ditches, henges, megaliths
Neolithic religion

Çatalhöyük (Turkish pronunciation: [tʃaˈtaɫhøjyc]; also Çatal Höyük and Çatal Hüyük, or any of the three without diacritics; çatal is Turkish for "fork", höyük for "mound") was a very large Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement in southern Anatolia, which existed from approximately 7500 BC to 5700 BC. It is the largest and best preserved Neolithic site found to date.

Çatalhöyük is located overlooking wheat fields in the Konya Plain, southeast of the present-day city of Konya (ancient Iconium) in Turkey, approximately 140 km (87 mi) from the twin-coned volcano of Mount Hasan. The eastern settlement forms a mound which would have risen about 20 m (66 ft) above the plain at the time of the latest Neolithic occupation. There is also a smaller settlement mound to the west and a Byzantine settlement a few hundred meters to the east. The prehistoric mound settlements were abandoned before the Bronze Age. A channel of the Çarşamba river once flowed between the two mounds, and the settlement was built on alluvial clay which may have been favourable for early agriculture.



The site was first discovered by James Mellaart in 1958. He later led a team which excavated there for four seasons between 1961 and 1965. [1] [2] [3] [4] These excavations revealed this section of Anatolia as a centre of advanced culture in the Neolithic period. [5] Mellaart was banned from Turkey for his involvement in the Dorak affair in which he published drawings of supposedly important Bronze Age artifacts that later went missing. [6]

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