Trash Talk: (Re)evaluating External Spaces at Çatalhöyük, Turkey

Author(s): Justine Issavi

Year: 2017


The Neolithic tell site of Çatalhöyük is composed of clusters of structures interspersed with open or external areas that contain extensive deposits of midden, as well as evidence for several other activities. James Mellaart (1967) initially identified these areas as courtyards while the current project has variously evaluated these spaces through frameworks of discard, food, and sharing practices. A general understanding of external spaces at Çatalhöyük sees them transformed from relatively informal and communal spaces into spaces that were used by individual houses or households as they became more autonomous and insulated, mirroring a wider social transformation noted elsewhere in the Near Eastern Neolithic. External spaces at Çatalhöyük, however, tend to be varied and complex and analyses often rely on comparisons between broad spatiotemporal categories. A multi-pronged approach including archaeological excavation, archival research, and spatial and statistical analyses has been deployed to provide a deeper understanding of these dynamic spaces and their long-term development. This paper will provide a brief synthesis of previous results, as well as present preliminary insights from recent research and the excavation of a large external space at Çatalhöyük in order to re-evaluate external spaces as integrated parts of the Neolithic social and architectural landscape.

Cite this Record

Trash Talk: (Re)evaluating External Spaces at Çatalhöyük, Turkey. Justine Issavi. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431490)


Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17256