The Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Turkey has been world famous since the 1960s when excavations revealed the large size and dense occupation of the settlement, as well as the spectacular wall paintings and reliefs uncovered inside the houses. Since 1993 an international team of archaeologists, led by Ian Hodder, has been carrying out new excavations and research, in order to shed more light on the people who inhabited the site. The present volume reports on the results of excavations in 2000–2008 that have provided a wealth of new data on the ways in which the Çatalhöyük settlement and environment were dwelled in.
A first section explores how houses, open areas, and middens in the settlement were enmeshed in the daily lives of the inhabitants, integrating a wide range of different types of data at different scales. A second section examines subsistence practices of the site’s inhabitants and builds up a picture of how the overall landscape was exploited and lived within. A third section examines the evidence from the skeletons of those buried within the houses at Çatalhöyük in order to examine health, diet, lifestyle, and activity within the settlement and across the landscape. This final section also reports on the burial practices and associations in order to build hypotheses about the social organization of those inhabiting the settlement. A complex picture emerges of a relatively decentralized society, large in size but small-scale in terms of organization, dwelling within a mosaic patchwork of environments. Through time, however, substantial changes occur in the ways in which humans and landscapes interact.