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Çatalhöyük

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Majir
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« on: December 08, 2010, 01:27:17 pm »

Vivid murals and figurines are found throughout the settlement, on interior and exterior walls. Distinctive clay figurines of women, notably the Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük (illustration, right), have been found in the upper levels of the site. Although no identifiable temples have been found, the graves, murals, and figurines suggest that the people of Çatalhöyük had a religion which was rich in symbols. Rooms with concentrations of these items may have been shrines or public meeting areas. Predominant images include men with erect phalluses, hunting scenes, red images of the now extinct aurochs (wild cattle) and stags, and vultures swooping down on headless figures.[5]Relief figures are carved out of the walls, such as the depiction of lionesses facing one another.

Heads of animals, especially of cattle, were mounted on walls. A painting of the village with the twin mountain peaks of Hasan Dağ in the background is frequently cited as the world's oldest map and the first landscape painting.[5] Some archaeologists question this interpretation of the artifact. Stephanie Meece, for example, argues that it is more likely a painting of a leopard skin instead of a volcano, and a decorative geometric design instead of a map.[7]

The people appear to have lived relatively egalitarian lives with no apparent social classes, as no houses with distinctive features (belonging to royalty or religious hierarchy, for example) have been found so far. The most recent investigations also reveal little social distinction based on gender, with both men and women receiving equivalent nutrition and apparently, having relatively equal social status as typically found in Paleolithic cultures.[8][9][10][11]

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