Stephen Mitchell is Honorary Secretary of the British Institute at Ankara (BIAA). He brings us the latest from the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük.

Çatalhöyük is the flagship of the excavation programme in Turkey supported by the BIAA. It has been world famous since the 1960s when excavations revealed the large size and dense occupation of the settlement, as well as the spectacular wall paintings and reliefs uncovered inside the houses. Since 1993 an international team of archaeologists, led by Ian Hodder, has been carrying out new excavations and research, in order to shed more light on the people who inhabited the site. In 2012 the site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list, and attracts growing numbers of visitors. 

Many articles relating to the Çatalhöyük project have been published in the Institute’s journal, Anatolian Studies, and reports with updates of each season’s discoveries are presented in the BIAA magazines, Anatolian Archaeology (to 2010) and Heritage Turkey (from 2011).

The main aim of the middle section of the planned 25-year project has been to understand the social geography of the settlement, its layout and social organization. Ian Hodder delivered the BIAA Alan Hall Memorial Lecture at the British Academy on 10 December 2013 on this theme, under the title ‘The leopard changes its spots: recent work on societal change at Çatalhöyük’, and a recording of his lecture is available here.

In 2013 and 2014 four volumes of scientific reports on project results from the 2000-2008 seasons are being published jointly by the BIAA and the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA. Find out more here.

Click here to access a selection of articles about the site published in Anatolian Studies, including James Mellaart’s original preliminary reports.

Featured image: Wall paintings at the site of Çatalhöyük.

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