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HOME : Near Eastern Art : Neolithic Artefacts : Catal Hoyuk Stone Idol Pendant
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Catal Hoyuk Stone Idol Pendant - CK.0162
Origin: Anatolia
Circa: 7000 BC to 5000 BC
Dimensions: 2.25" (5.7cm) high x 1" (2.5cm) wide
Collection: Near Eastern
Medium: Stone

Location: United States
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In 1958, British archaeologist James Mellaart discovered the Neolithic settlement known as Catal Hoyuk in Southern Turkey near the city of Konya. Dated from around 7500 to 5700 B.C., the ruins of Catal Hoyuk constitute the largest and best preserved Neolithic site yet found. Much has been learned about the settlement from subsequent excavations. Catal Hoyuk appears to have been devoted entirely to domestic buildings, with little evidence for any public architecture. Unlike modern cities, there were no streets. Instead, the roofs of the mud-brick houses served both as the thoroughfares. Doors were on the ceiling with stairs or ladders leading into the living spaces. Over time, crumbling houses were destroyed and rebuilt, leading to multiple layers of settlement. While little is known about their religious beliefs, the people of Catal Hoyuk buried their dead within the village. Some remains bear evidence of ritual decoration, similar to other Neolithic sites in Syria and Jericho. Murals and figurines have been uncovered throughout the settlement, and interiors and exteriors of buildings were adorned with head of animals, especially cattle, mounted on the wall, all suggesting that the ancient society had a distinctive religious belief system rich in symbolism.

This small figurine, pieced with a tubular hole, would have likely been worn as a pendant. Based on the many mother goddess figures found at Catal Hoyuk, as well as mural decorations of men with erect phalluses, it is safe to assume that fertility cults were highly active. This figure, gripping his hands tightly together in between his legs, may have been related to such activities. - (CK.0162)


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