Inhabitants Used Ladders to Traverse Across the Roofs of an Ancient Proto-City Where a Large Dwelling Was Just Excavated

DOPE Quick Reads

In the egalitarian proto-city of Çatalhöyük, a large dwelling was recently excavated. Proto-cities are Neolithic settlements that were large and densely populated but lacked planning. Jericho is an example of a well-known proto-city. [i]

The population of Çatalhöyük is estimated at 3,000 to 8,000 people. Mud brick square houses covered 34 acres. The settlement was an egalitarian society framed by a belief in social equality. [ii]

Because the city was so densely populated, no streets or alleyways existed. Individuals in the city instead used ladders to travel across the roofs to roof-level entrances. Archaeologists have dated the mud-brick structure that was recently excavated to more than 8,000 years ago. Notably, the building is considerably larger than similarly situated residential constructions. For this reason, it is believed to have been used as a community hall or religious building. [iii]

The city where the excavated building is located, Çatalhöyük, was inhabited for thousands of years. The settlement dates from approximately 7100 BC, the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period. During this period, animal domestication and traditional hunting became more commonplace. [iv]
Large dwelling excavated at ÇatalhöyükMateusz Dembowiak/Heritage Daily

Additionally, the city-dwellers were skilled in agriculture. This was evidenced by their "farming of cereals such as wheat and barley." Homes in the city were generally occupied for 80 years. The residents then disassembled and emptied the home, after which the mud-brick and mortar debris was crushed to make a foundation for a new structure. [v]
Animal bones were used in the internal architecture, set into walls, benches, and pillars.Heritage Daily

Deceased Çatalhöyük residents were often buried below the house's floors and platforms. The people of Çatalhöyük also used animal parts, including skulls of rams and cattle horns, for internal architecture such as walls, pillars, and benches. Watch the video below for more information on Çatalhöyük and other discoveries at the site. [vi]


[i] Heritage Daily, Archaeologists Excavate Dwelling in Ancient Proto-City, (Sep. 23, 2022)

[ii] Wikipedia, Proto-city, (2022)

[iii] Heritage Daily, Archaeologists Excavate Dwelling in Ancient Proto-City, (Sep. 23, 2022)

[iv] Khan Academy, Çatalhöyük, (2022)

[v] Heritage Daily, Çatalhöyük - The Prehistoric Proto-City, (Mar. 18, 2021)

[vi] Id.

Comments / 10

Published by

A daily blend of politics, history, current events, science, astronomy, int'l, and military news.

Aliso Viejo, CA

More from DOPE Quick Reads

Comments / 0