1/14 – Close to Konya is the archeological site of Çatalhöyük, where artifacts as old as 9000 BCE have been salvaged from underground houses that pre-date the concept of a village (buildings with differentiated uses). Excavation has been going on since the 1960s. It’s a little cold to visit the excavation, so we decided to do the next-best thing and visit some of the artifacts at Konya’s Archeological Museum.
We navigated across town thanks to the Google Maps GPS on our phone. I really can’t imagine how we could have gotten this far without it. It’s another cold, grey-slush day. A little girl says Hello! as we pass. When I reply Merhaba! (hello) her face lights up with delight.
We pay 5 lira each admission, and the security guard flips on the light switch and motions us into a dusty room. We are the only visitors.
The first room is filled with Roman sarcophagi from the 3rd century CE.
There are also pieces of mosaic floor, undated (not much signage here).
The next room has the artifacts we came to see. Pottery from 1950 to 5000 BCE. Said another way, these pots are up to 7000 years old! This blows my mind.
Here is an Çhatalhöyük artifact with red handprints, dated 7000 BCE. 9000 years old!
The skeleton of a one year old child, buried with bracelets on wrists and ankles. Bodies were buried in baskets, under the floors of the houses.
Here is a lamp, shaped like a bunch of gropes. Although I smile when I see attempts at English translation that fall short of the mark, I am very grateful for all the signs we have encountered that make the attempt. We would be lost without them!