Researchers Investigate the Use of Color at Çatalhöyük

News March 20, 2022

(© Jason Quinlan/Çatalhöyük Research Project)
Turkey Catalhoyuk Paintings
(© Jason Quinlan/Çatalhöyük Research Project)

BERN, SWITZERLAND—According to a statement released by the University of Bern, an international team of researchers including Marco Milella has studied pigments such as ochre and cinnabar used in burials and in geometric designs on buildings at Çatalhöyük, an early city in southern Anatolia where people were sometimes buried within the walls of homes. Milella said the number of Neolithic burials in a building may be associated with the number of layers of paintings on the structure, indicating that the walls of the house were redecorated whenever someone was interred. The bones may have even been retrieved, circulated, and reburied after colorants had been applied to them. This practice would have also triggered a new wall painting, Milella explained. The researchers are still trying to determine whose remains would have been buried with colorants, although it is clear that age and sex did not play a role. For more on research about the homes of Çatalhöyük, go to "Around the World: Turkey."

MORE TO DISCOVER

Letter from Nigeria

July/August 2024

A West African Kingdom's Roots

Excavations in Benin City reveal a renowned realm’s deep history

Artifacts July/August 2024

Etruscan Oil Lamp

Read Article
Etruscan Hanging Oil Lamp
(Courtesy Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca e della Città di Cortona; © DeA Picture Library/Art Resource, NY)

Around the World July/August 2024

TONGA

Read Article
(Phillip Parton/ANU)

Digs & Discoveries July/August 2024

Bronze Age Beads Go Abroad

Read Article

Features July/August 2024

The Assyrian Renaissance

Archaeologists return to Nineveh in northern Iraq, one of the ancient world’s grandest imperial capitals

Read Article
(Land of Nineveh Archaeological Project)