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For those who love archaeology and the discovery of ancient places, Catal Huyuk holds a special place.
Widely accepted as the largest, oldest Neolithic village or town ever found, it was home to 3,000 – 8,000 people.
Located in southern Anatolia, in Turkey, it was first discovered in 1958. It was not until the archaeologist, James Mellaart, began excavating in 1961, and continuing at least until 1965, that the world began to take notice.
Catal Huyuk was lived in 9,400 to 7,700 years ago and only about 5% has been excavated at this time.
Restoration of a room (Photo Credit: facts and details.com)
The houses were built very close together, in clusters, and normally had 3 rooms. The point of access was through the ceiling, which was also the source of both light and ventilation. Subsequent homes were just built over older ones, making it an archaeological wonder.
There are several larger buildings that could have been used for public events or worship. Colorful murals and figurines suggest that much symbolism was used in their spirituality. These murals are the oldest found on structures built by human hands.
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Their dead have been found buried within the village, and found beneath the homes and hearths.
Many tools, i.e., axes and mace heads, etc have been found, as well as grinding tools, and jewelry.
It would appear that the people of Catal Huyuk lived simple lives and there seems to be no indication of gender or caste classifications. Findings also indicate a vegetarian diet consisting of grains and legumes, a diet which many are following again today.
There has been an abundance of female figures found in Catal Huyuk, which James Mellart indicates a female deity, and the worship of a Mother Goddess. While many animal figurines were found and a small number of male figurines, the female far outweigh these. Some of these figurines showed the Goddess flanked by two feline figures, which represent as guardian to powerful places. Similar figurines have been found at different sites around the world, including Malta. There are many archaeologists that deny that these figurines indicate a Goddess worship, or a peaceful civilization; the bulk of these archaeologists are male, but there are also females who refute Mellart’s assertion.
The renowned archaeologist, Marija Gimbutas, advocated for this peaceful civilization and Mother Goddess who has been worshiped from Paleolithic times until the present day. I highly recommend any of Ms. Gimbutas’ books; they are well worth the read.
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Recently, in 2016, an 8,000 year old female figurine was discovered in Catal Huyuk, found with a valuable piece of obsidian, which would indicate an honor and a reverence.
(Photo Credit: arestechnica.com)
(Photo Credit: ancient-wisdom.com)
While there will always be those who will deny the existence of these peaceful civilizations, as well as the existence of the Goddess, in the past and in current times, there are enough of those who believe differently and who know that some day, the Goddess will once more make Herself known to all and peace will once more be the way of the world. May this be soon.
(Photo Credit: Pinterest.com)
(Photo Credit: Pinterest.com)
About the Author:
Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is [email protected]