Chapter One: It's Neolithic!
Late in the afternoon of November 10, 1958, a green Land Rover lurched down a narrow dirt road in south central Turkey, about thirty miles southeast of the city of Konya. Three British archaeologists were packed inside. A frigid wind gusted from the south, blowing swirls of cold dust over the surrounding wheatfields. The Land Rover pulled up to the edge of a massive hill that stood out prominently from the flat plain. The archaeologists already suspected that this was no ordinary hill. The crunch of the tires went silent, and the three men climbed out to have a closer look.
The leader of the group was...
The archaeologist is digging up, not things, but people.
-- Mortimer Wheeler, Archaeology from the Earth
One hot day in August 1999, archaeologists excavating at Çatalhöyük (pronounced "Chah-tahl-hew-yook"), a 9,500-year-old prehistoric village in south central Turkey, found two detached human skulls lying on the floor of what had once been a mud-brick house. The skulls had taken on a faint reddish color from the dense soil that had kept them hidden down through the ages. They were slightly crushed but still remarkably intact. The physical anthropologists working at Çatalhöyük took...