A Neolithic Irregular Burial at Çatalhöyük (Turkey)


At Neolithic Çatalhöyük adult burials are usually located beneath platforms within habitations. Middens (waste areas) are, on the other hand, only sporadically used as burial locations at the site and, overall, are consistent with intentional exclusion from platform depositions, therefore representing a form of irregular burial.

Here, we describe a young adult male from Çatalhöyük buried in a midden and presenting several skeletal anomalies (united and unhealed fractures, and bone structural changes) consistent with a diagnosis of fibrous dysplasia. The observed pathological condition, together with his deposition in a midden, suggest a complex scenario, with the individual becoming the focus of special attention, possibly in a negative way, as his physical appearance and behavior would have been altered by the progress of the disease. Altogether, the present case may document a form of disease-related social exclusion- and its impact on funerary behavior in a Neolithic society.

Cite this Record

A Neolithic Irregular Burial at Çatalhöyük (Turkey). Marco Milella, Christopher J. Knüsel, Scott D. Haddow. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403091)


Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;