The ancient Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List on July 1, 2012, during the World Heritage Committee (WHC) meeting held in St. Petersburg, making this the eleventh UNESCO recognized site in Turkey, the committee reports. UNESCO is a United Nations organization.
Located in the province of Konya in the Central Anatolia, Çatalhöyük is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. The wall paintings in the ancient city are regarded as some of humanity’s earliest artworks, WHC says.
Çatalhöyük is made up of two hills on 34 acres on the Southern Anatolian Plateau. The taller mound to the east includes wall paintings, reliefs, sculptures and other symbolic elements that show 18 different levels of Neolithic occupation between 7,400 and 6,200 B.C. These profound findings illustrate the adaptation of human social organization and cultural practices within a very sedentary lifestyle, WHC says.
The mound to the west dates back to 6,200 to 5,200 B.C. during the Chalcolithic period. The site reveals crucial evidence of the early transition from villages to urban settlements. At the site, visitors will see a group of back-to-back houses, accessible through the roof, with no streets.
Other Turkish sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List include Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia, Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği, Historic Areas of Istanbul, Hattusha: the Hittite Capital, Nemrut Dağ, Hierapolis-Pamukkale, Xanthos-Letoon, City of Safranbolu, Archaeological Site of Troy, and Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex.
The World Heritage List includes 962 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value.
These include 745 cultural, 188 natural and 29 mixed properties in 157 countries. As of March 2012, 189 countries have ratified the World Heritage Convention.
For more information on Çatalhöyük and UNESCO visit www.whc.unesco.org