Neolithic Site of Catalhoyuk

Discover Konya and visit prehistoric settlements

The Land of Beginnings

Neolithic Site of Catalhoyuk, which is located in the district of Cumra in Konya province, was discovered in 1958. The first site in the world where a city plan is depicted in wall paintings, Catalhoyuk was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2012.

Catalhoyuk

Catalhoyuk is renowned as one of the earliest settlements of the Neolithic era, and sheds light on the dawn of human settlement with unique examples of the earliest domestic architecture and landscape painting as well as the sacred objects of mother goddess cult.

The Neolithic Site of Catalhoyuk has extraordinary arts and crafts, with the earliest finds dating from 7400 BC, and it has been an inportant key to unlocking the mysteries of the beginnings of agriculture and civilisation. The social organisation of the Neolithic Site of Catalhoyuk and its urban plan are believed to represent the ideals of equality. The tumulus shows that the history of mining in Anatolia dates back to the Neolithic era and provides ample evidence that people were involved in agriculture as well as hunting and gathering at that time.

Catalhoyuk is also the first site in the world where a city plan is depicted in wall paintings. Baked clay seals from the site show that the concept of property ownership developed in that area.

Archaeological Site

The tumulus is a remarkable urban architecture with a history that goes back approximately 9400 years. When a family's time in the household ended, it was filled with earth and a new one was built on top. Building new layers of family adobes on top of each other created the present day 21 m tall tumulus. Excavating the tumulus revealed that there were 18 structural layers and that the materials used in the construction were cob, timber and reeds. The ceilings were made of compressed clay soil laid over reed mats. The adobes were single storey, and the entrance was through a trapdoor on the ceiling with a ladder to the floor level. Each adobe had both a room and a storage area with each room containing a square cooking hearth. The walls were plastered and whitewashed, on top of which yellow, red and black pigments were used to create wall paintings. The skulls of bulls, rams, and stags were conserved with compacted clay and attached to the walls. Human and animal reliefs were also unearthed alongside them.

Among the most significant objects unearthed in Catalhoyuk were the figurines of the mother goddess. Being the proof of reverence to the fertility of the goddess, these figurines indicated that the belief system of the era was centred on an all powerful goddess.

UNESCO World Heritage

Neolithic Site of Catalhoyuk, which is located within the boundaries of Konya province, was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2012 on cultural criteria.

  • Official Name: Neolithic Site of Catalhoyuk
  • Date of Inscription: 2012
  • Category: Cultural
  • Reference: 1405
  • Location: Konya, Turkey
The Land of Beginnings
Catalhoyuk Archaeological Site, Konya