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The wall paintings of Çatalhöyük (Turkey): materials, technologies and artists

Camurcuoglu, DS; (2015) The wall paintings of Çatalhöyük (Turkey): materials, technologies and artists. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük (Turkey) presents the most detailed and the interesting story up to date on Neolithic art and technologies both for the prehistoric archaeology and the material science studies. Çatalhöyük wall paintings are significant in terms of understanding the ideas of beliefs, rituality, symbolism and the social organization within the Neolithic community as well as the development of Neolithic wall art, since there are no other Neolithic sites at which the wall paintings were found of a similar scale in sizes and varieties in representations. However the technological processes which these paintings were created by did not seem to be interconnected with the discussions on the social aspects. The constantly developing field of material science has proved that the social studies on these paintings would not be complete without the study of their technologies which ultimately created these images. For the first time, this research aims to investigate primarily the technological make up of these paintings in detail and tie up the previous studies on the Çatalhöyük pigments and plasters within a broader technological and social context. The nature of wall painting production as a whole i.e. the materials used and their interaction with each other, tools and techniques and how “specialized” this practice was within the Neolithic community were investigated with the variety of analytical techniques available in order to understand the painting methods and the use of materials/sources within their archaeological and technological context. The research showed that most households at Çatalhöyük have involved in the making of wall paintings, their selection of materials/techniques were developed via their close environment and the production work was based on long-lived practices and traditions which were created through simply discovering and experimenting. By undertaking this research, it was also possible to understand the nature of the individual wall painting materials and thus to develop better conservation strategies for their preservation whilst setting up parameters for their safe retrieval from soil, sampling, stabilizing and safe storage which will help to increase the level of information provided by these very old paintings.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The wall paintings of Çatalhöyük (Turkey): materials, technologies and artists
Event: UCL, University College London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1471163
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