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Çatalhöyük: The Leopard's Tale: Revealing the Mysteries of Turkey's Ancient 'Town' Paperback – 30 Aug 2011

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Çatalhöyük: The Leopard's Tale: Revealing the Mysteries of Turkey's Ancient 'Town' + Religion in the Emergence of Civilization: Çatalhöyük as a Case Study + Goddess and the Bull: Catalhoyuk - an Archaeological Journey to the Dawn of Civilization
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd; Reprint edition (30 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500289603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500289600
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 0.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 361,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

`A must-have for those with an interest in Middle Eastern archaeology'
--The Guardian

'Fascinating ... a rare experience now available at an exceptionally small price ... much to be recommended for the delight of the general reader and for the enlightenment of students of archaology'
--The Historical Association

About the Author

Ian Hodder is Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University and one of the world's foremost archaeologists and archaeological thinkers. Among his other books are Symbols in Action, Reading the Past, The Domestication of Europe, Interpreting Archaeology and Archaeological Theory Today. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Anthony K. Divey on 1 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Catalhoyuk, and particularly Hodder's excavation of it, is now a standard case study in archaeology. This is due not just to the fascinating nature of this unique site but also because of what it reveals of Hodder's techniques (painstaking, multi-disciplinary) and theoretical approach (post-processual).

Catalhoyuk itself illustrates so many of the themes of archeology it could comprise a course in its own right: social differentiation (or lack of), gender equality (or matriarchy?), the emergence of agriculture, the beginnings of urbanism (to Hodder Catalhoyuk is always a 'town', in quotes), symbolism and (by no means least) ritual. Personally it's the ritual aspect that's particularly compelling, and indeed alien.

I would recommend it, but also suggest starting with Balter's 'the Goddess and the Bull' which tells the full story of excavations on the site and puts Hodder's work in context. For those new to the subject Balter's book is much more accessible.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Fred Oliphant on 26 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book brings readers up-todate with recent excavations and archealogical interpretation of these ruins after the ground-breaking work by James Mellaart. An exhaustive re-evaluation of the site and what we think we now understand about its significance. Well-illustrated with photos, drawings and maps.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ashtar Command on 5 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Catalhöyük is an archaeological site in central Turkey, excavated by James Mellaart during the 1960's and again by Ian Hodder during the 1990's. Hodder is the author of the book "Catalhöyük. The Leopard's Tale", published in 2006.

For practical reasons, the name Catalhöyük has also been given to the ancient town that existed on the site from 7400 BC to 6000 BC, i.e. during the Neolithic. The town had between 3000 and 8000 inhabitants, and was continuously inhabited for 1400 years. It's sometimes called "the oldest town in history".

Ancient Catalhöyük is a mysterious civilization, difficult for us to fathom. For starters, the town was never destroyed for 1400 years, and there are no indications that the inhabitants waged wars. For some reason, Hodder never emphasizes this point, yet the idea of a peaceful culture that lasted for 1400 years is surely mysterious in itself. At least for those who believe that war is an "adaptive trait" or "human universal".

The Neolithic town had no streets, and access to the various houses was from the roof level. Between the houses were animal pens or places for waste disposal. The houses themselves turned out to be quite sensational when Mellaart first started his excavations. The houses are filled with painted artwork, animal remains and human graves! Naturally, Mellaart assumed they were shrines. Today, we know that they actually were real houses: people lived in one end of the house, while the other end served religious and ritual purposes. Dead family members were literally buried below the floor. The religious symbolism is centered on wild animals, with leopards and wild bulls being most prominent. This is curious for a culture based on agriculture and sheep farming.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The way in which Hodder employs "entanglement" as a way to understand the development of agriculture was an unexpected additional and very helpful aspect of reading this book.
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