ETHNOARCHAEOLOGY AND SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY
In January 1995 Nurcan Yalman from Istanbul University and David Shankland, Acting Director of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara undertook a preliminary trip to villages in the Karaman, Çumra and Konya regions to look for traditional architecture that might produce useful parallels for Çatalhöyük. In mountain villages such as Taskale the roofs of houses are used as courtyards by houses higher up the slope, but the houses are mainly made of stone. To get parallels for mud brick architecture, villages closer at hand are more useful and during the field season Nurcan Yalman, helped by Mirjana Stevanovic, began more detailed study of some villages close to Çumra (especially Ürünlü, Türkmen Camili and Gökhöyük. Attention focused on methods of construction and use of mud brick and plaster walls. Some houses still have 'platforms' and niches like those on the site, and the walls are richly decorated - not with paintings but with carpets, kilims and other textiles. The parallels with the Neolithic housing are obvious but so are the differences - the plaster looks the same but has different constituents, for example. A careful programme of sampling bricks, mortars and plasters will be needed in order to provide comparisons with the site architecture, but the potential for providing information relevant to the site, even if only by way of contrast, is considerable.
During the 1995 field season David Shankland began an ethnographic study of the village closest to the site, Küçükköy. As well as providing information on wider aspects of the village, this work will look at the effect of the 1960s and new work at the site on the local community. Nearly all our workmen come from the village and the impact of our presence is considerable. The types of knowledge about the site which circulate in the village are very different from our own. Yet symbols from the site are used - for example, by the local radio station to advertise and identify itself. Relationships with the site are complex and multi-levelled and it will take sensitive and detailed study to provide a full picture.