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The Long Life of the Transient: investigating Painted plasters at Çatalhöyük

Author(s): Gesualdo Busacca

Year: 2017

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Summary

During the two decades of the Çatalhöyük Research Project, painted plasters have been investigated using a wide array of methodologies and theoretical perspectives, spanning from contextual to experimental approaches, and from iconographic classification to archaeometric analyses. While the transient character of Çatalhöyük paintings has often been discussed, the longer life-cycles of entire plaster sequences have rarely been investigated. Using a mixed methodology that combines block sampling, excavation tests, photogrammetric techniques (3D modeling and Reflectance Transformation Imaging) and archival research, a new dissertation project has started to investigate how painted surfaces at Çatalhöyük changed over time. For instance, how often were walls painted and where are painted layers placed in the sequence of plasters? How do earlier painted layers relate to later ones? Were paintings always covered by successive plaster layers or were they preserved and repaired in some cases? Preliminary research shows a remarkable variability in plaster sequences across the site and suggests that some paintings were less "transient" than others, being retouched and repaired after the first painting event. This paper will discuss these preliminary results and their implications on previous interpretations and research practices at Çatalhöyük.


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The Long Life of the Transient: investigating Painted plasters at Çatalhöyük. Gesualdo Busacca. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431485)


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Abstract Id(s): 14682

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America