University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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Photo-realistic Reality: The Level V ‘Shrine of the Hunters’ at Çatalhöyük
Grant Cox, Graeme Earl, Ian Hodder, Shahina Farid, Stephanie Moser

Last modified: 2011-12-21


The Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük, currently directed by Ian Hodder from Stanford University was discovered during a survey in November of 1958. The site highlighted an area covering 32 acres of space on the Turkish Konya plain and the first series of excavations, headed by James Mellaart produced a wealth of archaeological material. One of its many famous features consisted of well-preserved wall paintings spread throughout ten differing layers of habitation that provided an exciting insight into both the culture of its Neolithic inhabitants and on a wider scale, the emergence of human sedentary society.


One of the many buildings uncovered in this series of excavations was a highly decorated level 5 structure, nicknamed the “Shrine of the Hunters”. It was found directly half way through the ten levels of occupation that spanned the site and in total it had four separate painted murals, spread across the entirety of the room. This made it one of the most ornate areas found to date at the site. For over forty years a true representation for this series of paintings had not been undertaken until the summer of 2010, when MSc Student Grant Cox in conjunction with the Archaeological Computing Research Group at Southampton began to develop reconstructions to place the artwork into a virtual context. Achieving this ambition was important visually and analytically because it enabled alternative interpretations to be developed and the wider space to be explored.


Çatalhöyük; Neolithic; 3D Graphics