Remixing Catalhöyük Essay

1080 words - 5 pages

Catalhöyük is an important Neolithic site near Cumra, Konya. Its importance is primarily attributed to the size of the city, as several thousand people occupied this town roughly 9,000 years ago (Scarre, 2013, p. 216). The virtual tour created by Berkeley University emphasizes the importance of this site by offering several perspectives of the material to the public. Exploration of the web page is possible through a virtual excavation, introductions with chief excavators, a map accompanied by many photographs, and a detailed timeline of the town’s inhabitation period and surrounding context. Berkeley adopts a unique approach and has made the material highly accessible to many audiences while still retaining depth and detail for the more knowledgeable visitor. Excellent information is provided, especially if the visitor actively searches for it through various links and engages with the material to the extent of making connections. The site not only provides information but encourages the visitor to engage with the material on a deeper level. This is gravely important, as the discovery and continued excavation of Catalhöyük has furthered our understanding of the early farmers of the town, who exhibited a complex belief system through their use of art, architecture, in-house burials, and plaster modeling techniques (Scarre, 2013, p. 216).
This particular web resource was chosen for its wealth of information as well as its engaging presentation. The site requires excavation of an ancient house, exploration of an interactive timeline of events to provide context for the site’s significance, and exploration of an interactive map detailing the site’s location with many different points of reference. A list of excavators with personal details and their relation to the research project is also provided. Upon exploring the web page for the first time, it was remarkable the amount of information that could be gleaned from the hands-on and multi-vocal approach adopted by Berkeley. An individual with basic background knowledge on the site most likely would gain the most, as the vivid visuals fill in the gaps where literary articles or basic magazine articles cannot. The interactive excavation provides the most concrete information about the site, as it illustrates eleven artifacts found in their respective proveniences in a sample building from the site, “Building 3”. Artifacts like wall segments, art and symbolic representations, skeletal remains, as well as household remains like cooking implements, daggers and ladders help to illustrate the complex belief system that existed in this Neolithic town. While the interactive web page lacks written material, it attempts to offer as much as possible while still maintaining its broad appeal and interactive nature. Almost as compensation, a plentiful amount of external links to more research and information on Catalhöyük is presented. Through micro-analysis of the Catalhöyük cultural phenomena the visitor can...

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