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James Mellaart

James Mellaart is an English archaeologist who is responsible for discovering the city of Catalhoyuk in Turkey. He was assisted by his wife Arlette and directed the excavation. When Mellaart excavated the site in the 1950s more than 150 rooms and buildings were found, all decorated with murals, plaster reliefs, and sculptures. The site has since been seen as important as it has helped studying the origins of settling, farming and the beginning of the first cities.

The city as a whole was enormous covering roughly 32.5 acres, and housing up to around 10,000 people, whereas the norm for the time was around one tenth of this size. The city stirred great excitement when Mellaart announced it and has since caused much head scratching. In fact, more recent world as turned up comparable features at other early Neolithic sites in the Near East, and this has benefited many people in their understanding of the site and therefore many of its once mysteries are no long real issues.

The city was made up of well designed streets and lanes and the houses were mostly built directly against one another in blocks, with access often through the roof. The houses were remarkably standardized each occupying a floor of space roughly 30 m². From this brief description it is easy to see that the city was not a spaced out place, rather the whole city was very compacted allowing very little personal space.

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