Capital of Konya Province
Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük
Provides unique evidence of the evolution of prehistoric social organisation and cultural practices
Location and site
Two hills form the 37 ha site on the Southern Anatolian Plateau. The taller eastern mound contains eighteen levels of Neolithic occupation between 7400 bc and 6200 bc, including wall paintings, reliefs, sculptures, and other symbolic and artistic features. Together they testify to the evolution of the social organization and cultural practices as humans adapted to a sedentary life. The western mound shows the evolution of cultural practices in the Chalcolithic period, from 6200 bc to 5200 bc. Çatalhöyük provides important evidence of the transition from settled villages to urban agglomeration, which was maintained in the same location for over 2,000 years. It features a unique streetless settlement of houses clustered back to back with roof access into the buildings.
The vast archaeological site of Çatalhöyük comprises two knolls rising up to 20 meters above the Konya plain on the Southern Anatolian Plateau. Excavations of the Eastern tell have revealed 18 levels of Neolithic occupation dating from 7,400-6,200 BC that have provided unique evidence of the evolution of the prehistoric social organization and cultural practices, illuminating the early adaptation of humans to sedentary life and agriculture. The Western tell excavations primarily revealed Chalcolithic occupation levels from 6,200-5,200 BC, which reflect the continuation of the cultural practices evident in the earlier Eastern mound.
Criterion (iii): Çatalhöyük provides a unique testimony to a moment of the Neolithic, in which the first agrarian settlements were established in central Anatolia and developed over centuries from villages to urban centers, largely based on egalitarian principles. The early principles of these settlements have been well preserved through the abandonment of the site for several millennia. These principles can be read in the urban plan, architectural structures, wall paintings, and burial evidence. The stratigraphy of up to 18 settlement layers provides an exceptional testimony to the gradual development, re-shaping, and expansion of the settlement.
Criterion (iv): The house clusters of Çatalhöyük, characterized by their streetless neighborhoods, dwellings with roof access, and house types representing a highly circumscribed distribution of activity areas and features according to a clear spatial order aligned on cardinal directions, form an outstanding settlement type of the Neolithic period. The comparable sizes of the dwellings throughout the city illustrate an early type of urban layout based on community and egalitarian ideals.
- Çatalhöyük is a very rare example of a well-preserved Neolithic settlement and has been considered one of the key sites for understanding human Prehistory for some decades. The site is exceptional for its substantial size and great longevity of the settlement, its distinctive layout of back-to-back houses with roof access, and the presence of a large assemblage of features including wall paintings and reliefs representing the symbolic world of the inhabitants.
- On the basis of the extensively documented research at the site, the above features make it the most significant human settlement documenting the early settled agricultural life of a Neolithic community.
Mr. Ugur Ibrahim Altay
Konya Metropolitan Municipality
Dis Iliskiler Daire Baskanligi Nisantas Mahallesi Vatan Caddesi No: 2
Konya, Selçuklu, Turkey
+90 332 221 14 05
Mr. Selim Yücel Güleç
Konya Metropolitan Municipality Head of Department of Foreign Relations
Foreign Relations Department
Konya Metropolitan Municipality
+0090 332 352 83 84