Religion, history and place in the origins of settled life in the Middle East.

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

This session explores the role of religion and history making in the origin of settled life in the Middle East. There are three particular foci that the session will address. The first concerns the repetitive building of houses or cult buildings in the same place. It can be argued that the long-term social relationships that are characteristic of delayed return agricultural systems need to be based on historical ties to place and to ancestors. At Çatalhöyük history houses have been identified, but repetitive building constructions throughout the Neolithic of the Middle East could have played similar roles. The second focus concerns the possible cosmological layout of settlements. Many Natufian, PPNA and PPNB sites in the Middle East demonstrate a degree of organized layout and sectors have been identified. At Çatalhöyük there is a clear north-south and west-east significance to house and settlement layout. How widely is cosmological patterning found? Third, what is the timing of the emergence of a concern with history making in place and cosmological layout? At what point in regional sequences do such features emerge and with what does their appearance correlate? Can such correlations be used to suggest the causal processes that produced such features?

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-9 of 9)

  • Documents (9)

  • Aspects of ritual and domestic life in first farming village (PPNB period) : Contribution to Tell Halula (Euphrates Valley Syria) (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Miquel Molist.

    In this communication we will deal with the symbolic documents that the archaeological excavation at Tell Halula (Syria) (7800-6500cal BC) have provided. The documents are essentially symbolic paintings representations on the walls of houses, figurines and a rich funerary objects. This documentation provides exceptional discussed the symbolic world of the first farmers while data confronts economic and social communities of emerging farmers. SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy...

  • Establishing identities in the Protoneolithic: History making at Göbekli Tepe in the late 10th millennium calBC (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Lee Clare. Oliver Dietrich. Jens Notroff. Joris Peters.

    Processes of early sedentism are associated with the agglomeration of complex hunter-gatherer populations within the ‘confines’ of spatially limited permanent settlement systems, possibly with ‘fixed’ territorial claims, and with an economy based on stored harvests of wild cereals and pulses, and broad-spectrum hunting. Against this background, the emergence of social hierarchies and identities has long been an area of discussion among archaeologists. Be this as it may, we still find it...

  • Evidences for Social Structure and Ritual Practices from Körtik Tepe at the Beginning of Settled Life (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Marion Benz. Kurt W. Alt. Vecihi Özkaya.

    Until the end of the 1990s, southeastern Turkey was considered a secondary center of Neolithisation. However, excavations in the context of the Ilisu Dam project have shown that there was a long local tradition of permanent settlement since at least the Epipaleolithic. Evidences from Körtik Tepe indicate strong commitments to the site and to households. Social and emotional relationships were consolidated by intense ritual behavior, including burials beneath house floors, the increasing use of...

  • Interrogating "Property" at Neolithic Çatalhöyük (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Rosemary Joyce.

    Neolithic Çatalhöyük poses an interpretative challenge: while there is evident distinction among houses in elaboration, concentration of mortuary remains, and generational persistence, this did not translate into the kinds of material advantages that can be discerned as dietary privilege or preferential mortuary treatment. This has led to the characterization of the people of the site as "fiercely egalitarian". In this paper, I reconsider the established facts from the perspective of the...

  • Long-term Memory, the Individual and the Community in the later Prehistory of the Levant (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Nigel Goring-Morris. Anna Belfer-Cohen.

    Shared historical memory is a given feature of every human society as a basic component of group identity and cohesion. With increasing tendencies towards sedentism the material culture evidence for communal memory increases, as reflected in spatial correlates at both the inter- and intra-site levels. It appears that social stress, deriving from increased community sizes and staying together for prolonged periods of time in close proximity, amongst others, raised the need for mechanisms to...

  • The ordering of space at Boncuklu, central Anatolia (8500-7500 cal BC); household and community. (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Douglas Baird. Andrew Fairbairn.

    This paper explores the degree to which the spatial ordering of Neolithic settlements may be related to the nature of households and their inter-relationshps and where symbolic and cosmological factors may have had a role, using evidence from central Anatolia, notably from Boncuklu, where practices antecedent to those at Çatalhöyük are well attested. Still influential is a ‘ Domestic Mode of Production’ model in which it is proposed that increasing household autonomy in the Neolithic reflects...

  • Radical Neolithic? (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Gunes Duru.

    Continuity Phenomenon that lasted for thousands of years in Central Anatolia could be one of the reasons of a distinctive or local process of neolithization in Central Anatolia when compared to the Core Area or the PPN world.The rapid changes, the fast innovations in PPNB, defining discontinuity, have brought a development momentum to the region, however all these PPN began to loose power in their most glorious period. Aşıklı never became part of this system, the people found solutions within...

  • Ritual Consumption? Exploring the Staging of Ritual Acts through the Deposition of Ground Stone Tools in Building 77 at Neolithic Çatalhöyük (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Christina Tsoraki.

    The destruction of buildings by fire, either deliberately as a ritual act or accidentally, is among the most interesting elements of Neolithic Çatalhöyük, in central Anatolia, not least for the patterns of deposition of material culture at the time of destruction. Burnt Building 77, a well-preserved structure excavated by the current project, stands out in many respects, but one of its intriguing features is the large number of clustered grinding tools and other stone objects that seem to have...

  • Virtually Rebuilding Çatalhöyük History Houses (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Nicola Lercari.

    3D technologies, remote sensing, geographic information systems, and virtual reality have changed the documentation and interpretation process of Çatalhöyük (Berggren et al. forthcoming 2015). Work at Çatalhöyük Building 89 has allowed a new methodology of data capture, processing, visualization, and analysis of stratigraphic layers based on digital technologies (Forte et al. 2012). On the other hand, virtual reconstruction of Neolithic buildings rebuilt in the same place has been little...