CATAL HOYUK ON KILIMS


The oldest known woven material is known to have been from 7200 B.C.. It is estimated that it was used to wrap cleansed corpses with before a burial ceremony. In the late Neolithic Age, it became tradition to dress the dead in cotton clothing. This evolved to today's use of cotton. During the years 8000 B.C., the beginning of economic wealth created an earnest cultural transformation for Neolithic settlements. In central Anatolia and surrounding regions, with its roots reaching to the Paleolithic period, the motifs of Mother Goddess cults depict a wealth of visual expression. The remnants of Catal Hoyuk's walls also find meaning in this form of visual expression, as well as paintings which bear great resemblance to the designs on woven material. It is thought that during the same period when Neolithic settlement was spreading that patterned woven material was used on a daily basis. It is a shame that examples of this material have not survived to this date. It is only with the findings in Catal Hoyuk of fired clay seals, that it is thought that they were used for printing designs on skeletons and material.

Even though the woven materials of the time have not survived, with their drawings and traditions we can still trace them today. The adornings on Catal Hoyuk's walls with their abstract figures can almost be perceived as being identical to that of Anatolian kilims. Over time, there must have been some form of cross influence between these wall paintings and patterned woven material. The figures on typical wall paintings are still found on the kilims of many regions of Anatolia. The most important figure being of the Mother Goddess.
Like the wall paintings, leopards and vultures can be found on kilims along side the Mother Godesss or independently. What has interested Mellaart is the possibility of wall paintings being influenced by kilims. In several identical wall paintings, the methods of weaving and making knots is clearly visible. Also, some of these specimens make up a complete kilim. According to Mellaart, during the Neolithic period, the inhabitants of Catal Hoyuk hung kilims on their walls just like the ones depicted in their wall paintings. The sketches of wall paintings found by Mellaart's team show a surprising similarity to kilims made today. What points to the inhabitants of Catal Hoyuk using kilims as wall decorations is the unexpected blanks on some of the walls and the existence of tiny holes in the area. While these findings demonstrate that culture is continuous, Catal Hoyuk's excavations may be a key to finding out more about today's cults and the elements of culture.


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