Please do not hesitate to contact Arkadiusz Marciniak, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you require any further information or wish to attend the conference.
This conference is part of the Polish National Science Centre grant (decision DEC-2012/06/M/H3/00286) aimed at investigating the upper Late Neolithic strata of the East mound at Çatalhöyük and recognizing the demise of the previously vibrant mega-city. The conference aims to address three intertwined issues.
The first concerns the character of changes in other parts of the Near East in the second half of the 7th millennium cal BC in order to put up the developments at Çatalhöyük in a broader regional context. While Çatalhöyük was a central settlement in the Early Neolithic, did it manage to preserve its special position in the Late Neolithic? Is it possible that Çatalhöyük did not adopt many developments taking place in the Near East at that time and found itself beyond the regional pace of development?
The second issue comprises social and ideological changes taking place at the end of Neolithic and the beginning of Chalcolithic. This makes it possible to explain the disintegration of constitutive principles binding this large center, emergence of a new social system as well as consequences of this process for the development of fully-fledged farming communities in the region and beyond.
Third, it concerns the changes in lifeways, subsistence basis, environment exploitation, and in particular modes of procurement, consumption and distribution of different resources. Did the Late Neolithic farmers start to exploit different set of resources originating from the previously unexplored areas? Did the end of the 7th millennium cal BC involve changes in farming strategies and shifts in the consumption patterns?
Please do not hesitate to contact Yıldız Dirmit, email@example.com, if you require any further information or wish to attend the conference.
This conference is part of a Templeton-funded project based at Çatalhöyük that is exploring the role of religion and ritual in the origin of settled life. There are three particular foci that we would like the conference to address.
The first concerns the repetitive building of houses or cult buildings in the same place. It can be argued that the long-term social relationships that are characteristic of delayed return agricultural systems need to be based on historical ties to place and to ancestors. At Çatalhöyük history houses have been identified, but repetitive building constructions throughout the Neolithic of the Middle East could have played similar roles.
The second focus for the conference concerns the possible cosmological layout of settlements. Many Natufian, PPNA and PPNB sites in the Middle East demonstrate a degree of organized layout and sectors have been identified, for example, at ‘Ain Ghazal and Aşıklı Höyük but such planning, its function and its development through time have not been examined systematically. At Çatalhöyük there is a clear north-south and west-east significance to house and settlement layout. How widely is cosmological patterning found?
Third, what is the timing of the emergence of a concern with history making in place and cosmological layout? At what point in regional sequences do such features emerge and with what does their appearance correlate? Can such correlations be used to suggest the causal processes that produced such features; causal processes such as agricultural intensification, population increase, social competition and so on?