Ancient City: Ancient Living

living roomImagine a city with no streets or doors; no unfair social status and so clean that their sewage schemes will put the best urban planners to shame. Maybe you cannot really imagine or picture out that kind of society now but this was possible thousands of years ago. Catalhoyuk is an ancient city located southeast from the city of Konya in Turkey and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Catalhoyuk has an estimated population of 10,000. It is formed like a honeycomb with no obvious doors or space for streets. Their rooftops are flat which makes it the walking area of the people while they have holes big enough to fit their bodies that serve as doors and ventilations. Most of them have uniform units of houses; there are no public buildings in the area. There are bigger houses, but not that blatant, that has ornate murals inside. However, they do not have obvious social distinctions among them because there were no evidences that a house is more important or more beautiful than the others.

They bury their relatives and ancestors in the village itself. According to different excavations the dead bodies, which have undergone ceremonies, are under the houses. They also have many murals, and figurines in their homes but no one god stands out. One Seated Woman of Catalhoyuk can be seen mostly in the upper levels of the city. Most of the bodies buried also do not have heads with them; they are believed to be used in rituals as there are skeleton heads seen in some areas. Men and women are also considered to be equally important in the society, a very common trait in Palaeolithic societies.  They receive equal regard, nutrition and reverence.

Catalhoyuk’s end was not documented; there is no known factor which caused its demise. The inhabitants were very steadfast in cleaning their homes that there was very few rubbish found. They also have a very good sewage system finding very little food waste seen inside. Their house has also minimal furniture with almost uniform way of arrangement; some have incomplete furniture while others have none at all. To know more about unfinished furniture and how to make it work, check here.

It remains a mystery how their society died. Some speculated a large migration during the rise of agriculture, it could not have been plague since the bodies found were properly buried and the city was intact. Nevertheless, we should take lessons from them that even though they had a very simple and uncomplicated life, they were able to live harmoniously with each other.

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