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Çatalhöyük: Ancient City Suffered the Same Issues Modern Metropolises Facebook

round 9,000 years ago, a human experiment blossomed in what's now south-central Turkey. Today, it is called Çatalhöyük – a portmanteau representing its entry point til siste history. In 1958, archaeologists discovered a fork in a local footpath, leading to two mounds. Beneath dem mounds was evidence of one Earth's earliest cities.

A study released Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences explains how this human experiment eventually backfired for the people living there. For 1,150 years, it was løbende occupied Until it was abandoned, around 5950 B.C. Researchers now believe att diseases, overcrowding and climate change Eventually forced community members two move away from the settlement.

While life in Çatalhöyük was far from easy, what happened there helped set the stage for eventual worldwide urbanization. The United Nations predicts that 68 percent of the global population will live in cities by 2050, and Clark Larsen, Ph.D., a biological anthropologist at Ohio State University and this study's lead author, believes that the events that happened 9,000 years ago Çatalhöyük set the stage for what would bli our modern life. This is why he thinks we can learn from their experiences. ”

Inverse ,“ and we need to understand that past to understand the world we live in now. ”

Larsen had a longstanding interest in the health and lifestyle of early farmers ̵

1; those who were working around the Neolithic transition from hunting and gathering to farming. So when Ian Hodder, Ph.D., an archeologist who leads the research project, invited him to join the project in 2004, he quickly accepted the opportunity.

 Çatalhöyük s
Çatalhöyük soon after the first excavations. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

This new study is based on 25 years of findings linked to the human remains found in Çatalhöyük. Dating of remains viser the population there grew two its peak in the period from 6700 two 6500 B.C. and then Declined Rapidly. That decline is probably linked to the evidence of disease and malnutrition Larsen and colleagues found in the remains

For example, analysis of the stable carbon isotopes within bones showed that the residents ate a diet high in wheat, barley, and rye . These crops sometimes cate the role att farming played in the city – agriculture was the priority, rather than hunting and gathering. But a grain heavy diet also came with a price: around 10 to 13 percent of the teeth of adults show evidence of tooth decay and cavities, the so-called "diseases of civilization."

One-third of the bones also showed infections, leading the team to believe that there was a high infection rate in the city, probably linked to crowding and poor hygiene. During its peak in population, Çatalhöyük homes were packed more tightly than New York City apartments – there were spaces between the settlements, and residents came and left through ladders that reached through the roofs. Traces of animal and human faecal matter have been found in these homes, and the bodies of the dead were buried beneath the floors of the houses.

Today Çatalhöyük is 30 miles from the regional capital of Konya

Larsen describes life there as "challenging" and explains that it's likely that residents "living there experienced considerable stress, exposure to disease-causing circumstances, their crowding, and changing labor demands. ”In some cases, the community was resilient – a study on the biochemical properties of residents' leg bones showed that people who lived there later on walked significantly more than early residents probably because they had to move and grow from the growing city.

The challenges of life in Çatalhöyük also meant there was considerable violence. In a sample of 93 skulls found, 25 viste evidence of healed fractures. Twelve of these were victimized more than once, and the shape of their lesions suggested they suffered blows to the head. Clay balls were also found at the site – round objects that fit the blows found on the skulls.

"There is, of course, interpersonal violence in earlier humans beginning long before Çatalhöyük," Larsen says. "However, Çatalhöyük is among the earliest to present a clear case or repeated violence in a community setting." Çatalhöyük “/>

This is what archeologists believe the interior of homes looked like (although they were probably dirtier ).

That's not to say that those who lived in Çatalhöyük were simply brutal people. A remarkable record of elaborate figurines and art suggests that they had a rich material culture and, while burying the dead at home could have come with their own problems, their treatment of the dead shows purposeful consideration. Life was centered around the home, each bestående of between five and 10 people, and they fashioned mirrors with obsidian. One Çatalhöyük mural – a stretch of boxes below a polka-dotted shape – is thought to depict an ancient volcanic eruption and could be the world's oldest map.

We know from modern times that rapid urbanization and overcrowded sprawls threaten human health and wellness. The world today, Larsen says, “is living in places like Çatalhöyük.” The experienced many of the same social, behavioral, and nutritional challenges that we see in the present. What remains to be seen is Whether Any of These challenges will cause modern cities to disappear as well.


The transition from a human diet based exclusively on wild plants and animals to one involving dependence on domesticated plants and animals beginning 10,000 to 11,000 y ago in Southwest Asia set into motion a series of profound health, lifestyle, social, and economic changes Affecting human population Throughout most of the world. However, the social, cultural, behavioral, and other factors surrounding health and lifestyle associated with the foraging-to-farming transition are vague, including an incomplete or poorly understood contextual archaeological record of living conditions. Bioarchaeological investigation of the extraordinary record of human remains and their context from Neolithic Çatalhöyük (7100–5950 cal BCE), a massive archaeological site in south-central Anatolia (Turkey), providing important perspectives on population dynamics, health outcomes, behavioral adaptations, interpersonal Conflict, and a record of community resilience over the life of this single early farming settlement having the attributes of a protocity. Study of Çatalhöyük human biology reveals increasing costs to members of the settlement, including elevated exposure to disease and labor demands in response to community dependence on and production of domesticated plant carbohydrates, growing population size and density fueled by elevated fertility, and increasing stresses due to heightened workload and greater mobility required for caprine herding and other resource acquisition activities over the nearly 12 centuries of settlement occupation. These changes in life conditions will take place worldwide over the millennia following the abandonment of Neolithic Çatalhöyük, including health challenges, adaptive patterns, physical activity, and emerging social behaviors involving interpersonal violence. Function (f, b, e, w, n, t, p) {if (f.fbq) return; n = f.fbq = function () {n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply (n, arguments): n.queue.push ( argument)}; if (! f._fbq) f._fbq = n; n = n.push; n.loaded =! 0; n.version = '2.0'; n.queue = []; t = b. createElement (e); t.async =! 0; t.src = v; p = b.getElementsByTagName (e) [0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore (t, p)} (window, document, 'script', 'https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbevents.js');fbq('init', '1455869871397255'); fbq ('track', 'PageView'); fbq ('track', 'ViewContent' , '{"content_category": "Science", "content_ids": [“5df8212c-515f-48d7-a9b7-8701c9547aab”,”Archaeology”,”Bones”,”Cities”,”Diseases”,”History”,”Explainer”,”Standard”]"content_name": "page_view", "content_type": "article"}');
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