RESCHEDULED: THE END OF ÇATALHÖYÜK: The West Mound Excavations - Peter F. Biehl (University of California Santa Cruz)

This talk summarizes the results of 20 years of excavation and research at the West Mound of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Çatalhöyük, Turkey. It provides a comprehensive documentation and original interpretation of Chalcolithic data in Anatolia linking the settlement at the Çatalhöyük West Mound (ca. 6,100 cal BC – 5,500 cal BC) – attributed to the so-called Early Chalcolithic in Anatolian periodization – to the well-established stratigraphy of its Aceramic Neolithic, Early Neolithic and Late Neolithic predecessor Çatalhöyük East (ca. 7,500 cal BC – 5,900 cal BC). It tells the story of this famous site starting at around 6,500 cal BC with the settlement on the East Mound, which after ca. 300 years of gradual social change shifted over a time of ca. 200 years of continued social change accompanied by increasing environmental change to the West Mound at around 6,000 cal BC. The new settlement continues for another ca. 500 years to the end of Çatalhöyük around 5,500 cal BC. The talk scrutinizes this process of cultural, social, economic and symbolic transition between the Neolithic and Chalcolithic in Central Anatolia as well as the palaeo-environmental changes in the Konya plain, in order to examine, for example, how humans responded to the climate change that occurred during the “8.2k cal BP climate event”. Çatalhöyük offers a microcosm that helps us unlock some of the key questions surrounding this time period, and offers the exceptional chance to analyze human responses to cultural and environmental change on a micro-scale. It  provides answers to the fascinating questions of why and how does the shift from the East to the West Mound take place at this time, and what this means for our general understanding of the Neolithic and Chalcolithic in Anatolia and Europe. The talk will also re-evaluate these changes within a framework of agency and materiality theories as well as cutting-edge scientific methods, and contextualize the events at Çatalhöyük at the turn of the 7th – 6th millennium cal BC with other sites in the Near East.

Friday, February 23 at 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Humantities 1, 202

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations

Invited Audience

Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Students, Prospective Students, General Public, Graduate Students



Anthropology Department, Archaeological Research Center


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