Photographer's Note

I hesitated in posting this as it's really quite sad and a little macabre. This is the remains of a 1 year old child from the very large Neolithic settlement of Çatalhöyük, one of the worlds oldest cities, dated between approximately 7,100 BC to 5,700 BC. Çatalhöyük settlement had the practice of burying their dead beneath the floorboards of their dwellings & is located about 40 km south east of Konya. This unfortunate child has met with a horrible accident that crushed their skull. Perhaps a section of the stone walled dwelling collapsed during an earthquake? It's way too early for the spoked wheel and chariots, which first appeared around 2,000 BC so we can rule that out as a possible cause. Maybe a large stone jar of water or olive oil? I noticed a clay fired pottery bathtub adjacent in the museum. Anyway, what astonished me was the poignant 'goodbye' bracelet around the child's wrists made from alternating coloured stone & bone. There is another bracelet around the ankles made solely from bone, which has deteriorated.

I might load a workshop showing the English Museum text. "Burials at Çatalhöyük were made intramurally - that is, underneath the floors, usually in the central room of the family's house. Skeletons of men, women, and children are found on their sides in a tightly flexed, fetal-like position, which suggests the bodies were wrapped or bound before burial. This is normal for Neolithic burials in ancient Anatolia, but at Çatalhöyük, archaeologists found 14 headless bodies. Only one of them had cutmarks suggesting the body was probably defleshed by humans -- the rest were a mystery. Researchers have long considered the possibility, though, that vultures, which figure prominently into the murals and sculptures at the site, were involved in defleshing the body prior to burial."



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Additional Photos by Chris Jules (ChrisJ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 16827 W: 1065 N: 36593] (167234)
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