Prehistorical times are studied in three separate periods. Since the emergence of humans
until 12000 B.C., this first period is called the Palaeolithic Age; this period is also
named the Old Stone Age. The Palaeolithic Age which left only cave paintings, primitive
stone tools and monuments was followed by a transitional period between 12000 B.C. and
8000 B.C. called the Mesolithic Age or Middle Stone Age.
This period also established the foundations for systematic organisation of agriculture
and cities during the Neolithic Age. The Neolithic Age emerged between 8000 and 2700 B.C.
It is also known as the New Stone Age. This period was not experienced at the same time
throughout the world. Continental Europe did not come into the Neolithic Age until much
later after Asia minor. Even though there are other Neolithic settlements in Anatolia
such as, Asikli Hoyuk, Hacilar, Yumuk Tepe, Kizil Kaya, Fikirtepe and several more, Catal
Hoyuk carries the most significant features of the Neolithic Age. Catal Hoyuk is known to
have been occupied by people even during the classical ages; a recent excavation found a
Byzantinian grave in the area.
Near the north of Karadag there are many more hills indicating further settlements during
the Neolithic period such as, Magarali Pinarbasi. The existence of other settlements does
not diminish the importance of Catal Hoyuk as these settlements do not display the same level
of sophistication and civilisation. The inhabitants of Catal Hoyuk created an economic
revolution by maintaining animal stock such as, chickens, cattle, deer, wild boars and
donkeys. They also hunted for leopards and fish. With established methods of agriculture,
the people of Catal Hoyuk grew three types of wheat and barley as well as many other
varieties of grain and cereal. It is also known that they produced oils of maize, wheat
and peanut. There are indications that the people produced beer and wine too.
Despite Catal Hoyuk being a highly organised city, it is not known whether a central
system of management existed. It is interesting to note that not one single private
or central place of worship has yet been found. Nor is there a fortress or any semblance
of a city wall. Instead, the houses were erected adjoining one another. The walls facing
the outside of the houses are without windows or doors, which may have provided the