Catal-Huyuk was a huge settlement established c. 6000 BCE in south-central Anatolia. It is one of the largest and most advanced Neolithic sites ever uncovered and is represents the shift from nomadic life into permanent settlements. Catal-Huyuk is thought to have grown as farming began to flourish, with the region’s fertile alluvial clay conducive to agricultural cultivation. Excavations have revealed a seated ‘mother goddess’ found in a grain bin. Flanked by two lions, she is thought to be protector of the harvest. The site, the size of a large village, contains wall art and many shrines, representing different deities. There are numerous domestic dwellings, clustered together in a honeycomb pattern. It is thought that these multi-roomed dwellings were made of mud and reeds, with holes in the roof to let out smoke. People slept on raised platforms and buried the dead in their houses. Catal Huyuk was abandoned c. 5000 BCE.
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