A true gift of mother earth: the use and significance of obsidian at Çatalhöyük Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • AbstractThis paper reviews 50 years of obsidian studies at Neolithic Çatalhöyük in the Konya plain, central Anatolia. A number of key issues are addressed: (1) the source of the site's raw materials, the means and forms by which the obsidian was introduced to the site and the role of Çatalhöyük in the supra-regional dissemination of these raw materials; (2) the alleged gender associations of certain obsidian goods in the burial record and beyond; (3) a more general consideration of the social significance of the circulation and consumption of obsidian at the site, including the phenomena of hoarding and gifting, plus the important role of projectiles in the creation of social identities and various forms of ritual behaviour, not least the termination of the life of a building/individual; (4) the technotypological and raw material variability through time; (5) the use of obsidian in daily practice and craft-working.

publication date

  • December 2011