Prehistory : NEOLITHIC
NEOLITHIC 8,000 – 23,00 BCE
New Stone Age. During this time farming/agriculture begins. Focus shifts to farming and away from hunting, although hunting does not stop. Begin development of villages, urban areas & people settling down. Religion and politics begin to form.
Catal Huyok – 6500 – 5700 BCE – modern day Turkey
- Discovered in 1961, took 4 years to excavate.
- Houses were made out of mudbrick.
- It’s believed that they were continuously building on this site. A planned site that began modest & then built up. This was the first urban establishment. All of the houses were connected, there were no streets. Entrances were on the roofs – this was for safety from other people, as well as animals. Houses varied in size, although it’s unknown exactly why – possibly evidence of a stratified society (upper & lower class).
- Platforms were found on the walls – archeologists believe these were used for sleeping and eating.
- They buried their dead. Rooms have been found that they believe were ritual rooms – completely painted.
Catal Huyok, Landscape, 6150 bce
- Wall painting. Recreation in watercolor. First landscape painting in hart history. Believed to be an actual diagram of Catal Huyok (note the volcanic peak behind the city). Some believe a narrative is occurring; many religions consider volcanoes very important, so in this case, it’s possible that the volcano may have had some kind of spiritual significance.
Catal Huyok, Deer Hunt, 5750 bce
- Wall Painting. Indicates that hunting is still important. There are some similarities to paleolithic period paintings – animals are large & in profile, deer are the focal point. Contrasts to paleolithic: Narrative, painted all at once, unified composition (all figures are meant to work together), men in the painting. Rhythm present in the way the figures are painted. Still no ground line (which we will begin to see in the near east.)
Stonehenge – 2750 – 1500 bce – Salisbury Plain, England
- Post & Lentil construction, beginnings of architecture. Continuously built on. Before there was stonehenge, there was woodhenge – wooden posts placed in a circle. (Native Americans also had woodhenges). Functioned as a calender focused on the sun – useful for a farming community to know when to plant. Heel stone in line with altar stone & this is how the sun would hit.
- The larger stones were taken from about 23 miles away (weigh up to 15 tons). Water may have been used for moving stones. Smaller stones (blue stones) likely brought from 150 miles away. It is believed that these stones came from an area with a spring and that they believed the stones had healing powers.
- Burial mounds have also been found at Stonehenge. Location probably served religious & ritual purposes in conjunction with calender purposes.
(notes from August 29, 2011)