In science, for a long time, the conviction was dominated that the most ancient civilization on earth was Sumerian. And what was the astonishment of the scientific world, when it turned out that it was Chatal-Hyuk in Anatolia that was the first hearth of human civilization!

And what was the astonishment of the scientific world, when it turned out that it was Chatal-Hyuk in Anatolia that was the first hearth of human civilization

This sensational discovery is connected with the name of the English archaeologist Professor James Mellart. The scientist undertook to unearth one hill - Chatal-Hyuk, located in the Konya Valley, about 320 km east of the village of Hadzhilar in Anatolia. And here another discovery awaited him, which stirred up the whole scientific world: under the Chatal-Huyuk hill, Mellart found the ruins of a huge "agro-city", the real capital of ancient Anatolia, whose age was more than nine thousand years!

As the researchers established, Chatal-Hyuk appeared in the second half of the 7th - first half of the 6th millennium BC. In its heyday, it occupied an area of 13 hectares, was the largest Neolithic settlement in the Middle East. Chatal-Hyuk played the role of capital for a whole group of early agricultural tribes.

The settlement of Chatal-Hyuk consisted of 2 to 6 thousand people. Its inhabitants were mainly engaged in agriculture. 14 species of plants were cultivated in Chatal-Hyuk, with preference given to wheat. Other occupations of local inhabitants were cattle breeding and hunting.

Another source of income for the Chatal-Hyuk settlement was obsidian trade. This rock was highly valued in the Neolithic Age. In exchange for obsidian in Chatal-Hyuk from Syria flint was delivered, from which daggers and other weapons were made.

The beautiful fabrics in Chatal-Hyuk were so high-quality that they would not make us ashamed of the modern weaver. The wooden utensils in Chatal-Hyuk, along with the wicker long time replacing ceramics, demonstrate such a variety of forms, technical skill and exquisite taste that it was not similar at that time in the entire Middle East.

The territory of the huge settlement Chatal-Hyuk was built up with monotonous small houses built of rectangular raw brick on brick foundations. Each house had only one floor, the height of which corresponded to the height of the walls of the house had a rectangular layout, each had a storehouse attached to one of the walls. The walls were coated with clay, the floors covered with mats.

The huge settlement of Chatal-Hyuk did not have defensive structures - the outer walls of houses, located along the outer perimeter of the city, in themselves formed a massive wall, so no other fortifications were needed.

One of the most precious finds of the settlement of Chatal-Hyuk became numerous sanctuaries - there are more than forty of them. The sanctuaries had the same plan and arrangement as the houses, but differed in the richness and special character of the decoration. The main figure was the Mother Goddess, personifying the fertility of the patroness of beasts and hunting. The deity personifying the masculine principle was portrayed either as a boy or a boy - the son or beloved of a great goddess, or as a mature man with a beard, often riding an ox.

In addition to the reliefs, often reaching a height of two or more meters, the Chatal-Hyuk sanctuary was decorated with magnificent frescoes - probably the oldest in the world. These drawings, painted with red, pink, white, cream and black paint on still damp, whitewashed or pink-coated walls, were made in the 6th millennium BC.

The theme of the vultures reflects the funeral custom of the residents of the village of Chatal-Hyuk. They initially placed the bodies of the deceased in light huts made of reed wicker and mats, giving them to be torn to pieces. After the deceased were left with only cleanly gnawed bones, they were collected, wrapped in cloth, leather or mats and buried under the platforms of houses and sanctuaries.

What did the inhabitants of the village of Chatal-Hyuk look like? They were strong-build men, tall (men - on average eighty meters, women - seventy-five), slender, long-headed (dolichocephalians), belonging to the Euro-African race. Their age was an average of thirty-five years.

Indeed, the culture in Chatal-Hyuk is very illustrative as an example of those truly enormous opportunities that opened for humanity the transition to agriculture. After all, just a few hundred kilometers from Chatal-Hyuk, at the same time, tribes of cavemen lived, who did not rise above the hunt for wild animals and primitive gathering.