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Çatalhöyük

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Majir
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« on: December 08, 2010, 01:25:14 pm »

The entire settlement of Çatalhöyük was composed of domestic buildings; the site has no obvious public buildings. While some of the larger buildings contain rather ornate wall murals, the purpose of such rooms remains unclear.[5]

The population of the eastern mound has been estimated at up to 10,000 people, but population totals likely varied over the community’s history. An average population of between 5,000 to 8,000 is a reasonable estimate. The inhabitants lived in mud-brick houses which were crammed together in an agglutinative manner. No footpaths or streets were used between the dwellings, which were clustered in a honeycomb-like maze. Most were accessed by holes in the ceiling, which were reached by interior and exterior ladders and stairs. Thus, the rooftops were used as streets. The ceiling openings also served as the only source of ventilation, letting in fresh air and allowing smoke from open hearths and ovens to escape. Also, the doors were on the ceilings of the houses, and there were stairs/ladders leading to the doors.

Houses had plaster interiors characterized by squared off timber ladders or steep stairs, usually placed on the south wall of the room, as were cooking hearths and ovens. Each main room served as an area for cooking and daily activities. The main rooms contained raised platforms that may have been used for a range of domestic activities. All interior walls and platforms were plastered to a smooth finish.[5] Ancillary rooms were used as storage, and were accessed through low entry openings from main rooms.

All rooms were kept scrupulously clean. Archaeologists identified very little trash or rubbish within the buildings, but found that trash heaps outside the ruins contain sewage and food waste as well as significant amounts of wood ash. In good weather, many daily activities may also have taken place on the rooftops, which conceivably formed an open air plaza. In later periods, large communal ovens appear to have been built on these rooftops. Over time, houses were renewed by partial demolition and rebuilding on a foundation of rubble—which was how the mound became built up. Up to 18 levels of settlement have been uncovered.

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