Research

The oldest city in the world suffered from cramp, dirt and violence

One of the most ancient cities in the world is consideredlocated in the territory of present-day Turkey settlement called Chatal-Hüyuk. Its ruins were discovered in 1958, and are being investigated to this day — excavations are taking place every summer, and archaeologists each year excavate on average a couple of new structures. In the course of a new study under the leadership of the anthropologist Clark Larsen, it was found out that the inhabitants of the ancient settlement suffered from three main problems of modern cities with large populations and poverty: overcrowding, poor sanitation and crime.

It is believed that Chatal-Hüyuk was founded 9000years ago - it can be called one of the first settlements that arose several thousand years after people moved from the lifestyle of a hunter-gatherer to farming. About 3,500–8,000 people lived in it, and for that time it was considered a very large indicator of the population. According to Clark Larsen, the locals have fully experienced what is happening if you gather a lot of people in a small area: crowdedness, infectious diseases, and violence.

Spread of infectious diseases

Anthropologists learned about all this by examining the remains.742 locals. Isotopic analysis showed that these people consumed a lot of plant food, such as wheat, barley, rye. They also ate meat from sheep, goats, and some wild animals, which caused them to have problems with their teeth. This is evidenced by 13% of the skulls studied by researchers.

City Chatal-Hüyuk

Also the condition of the skeletons indicatedthat city dwellers suffered from infectious diseases. Their focus was mainly livestock - people lived in close proximity to sheep, which at that time carried many parasites. Having picked up diseases from them, people quickly passed them on to each other, because they lived in extreme crampedness and poor sanitation.

They lived in very crowded conditions, with trashpits and animal pens near some of their homes. Thus, poor sanitary conditions were created in the city, which contributed to the spread of infectious diseases, the researchers shared.

Causes of crime

Of course, hard life directly influencedrelationship between residents. An analysis of the skeletons revealed much evidence of interpersonal violence — signs of fracture were found in 25 of the 93 studied skulls. Most of the injuries were on the occipital region, suggesting that the victims were often attacked from behind. Strikes were delivered to both men and women.

Residents of Chatal-Huyuk decapitated people before burial

Ancient culture

For all this, the city of Chatal-Hüyuk was not hellish.place. During the excavations, archaeologists found many wall paintings and figurines, that is, culture and art in it were also well developed. Also, residents of the city adhered to a very strange funeral ritual - they buried the dead under their houses. At the same time, in group burials, some people were not related to each other by kinship, and anthropologists are now finding out why people buried few familiar people together.

Marble figure from Chatal-Hyuyuk

On the subject of archaeological finds also recommendyou read our material about the bag of the ancient shaman, found in the valley of the river Sora in southwest Bolivia. After examining the insides of the bag, the researchers found out a lot of interesting things about its owner.

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