Engaging With the Wider Context: Social Anthropology at ÇatalhöyükAyfer Bartu and Can Candan
Understanding and engaging with the wider context of Çatalhöyük has continued to be the primary concern of the social anthropological work during this season. Can Candan, a documentary film maker from Istanbul Bilgi University, has joined the team this year and we started working on an ethnographic/ documentary film about the different groups interpretations and engagements with Çatalhöyük. Although this work is very much part of the ongoing work on the wider context of this site, this will also enable us to represent the multiple faces of Çatalhöyük through a powerful medium-film.
This season we continued our dialogue and engagement with the local community and particulary with the villagers in Küçükköy through a series of projects. A group of villagers who have been working on this project for the last seven years were active participants of the study season. They participated in the group discussions on a series of topics such as rubbish, domestication, food, art and decoration, gender, memory, plants. They engaged in lively discussions over the interpretation of the archaeological evidence from the site and proposed insightful interpretations that will be part of the publications of the 2001 study season.
Figure 19: Handing over the books
This season we were also able to accomplish the opening of the Küçükköy/Çatalhöyük Library, something we had been discussing with the villagers for the last two seasons. The first steps for setting up this library had been taken by a group of students at Koç University in Istanbul. Through a book collecting campaign at the university, students collected around 200 books that we took to Çatalhöyük. Many others have also contributed to setting up the school library. Through a fund raising party at the site, we were able to raise money to buy more childrens books, reference books for village schools and school supplies that were urgently needed at the school. Several bookstores in Konya also made contributions to the library by donating books. National Geographic photographer Reza and his family, who were visiting the site at the time, contributed significantly to our library project. Rezas son Azad donated school supplies that he carried all the way from Paris to this library. TEGEV (Türkiye Eğitim Gönüllüleri Vakfı-Education Volunteers Foundation) contributed childrens books, art and school supplies for our library.
We are working on other possibilities of collaboration with TEGEV in developing various educational activities in Küçükköy. We had the opening ceremony of the Küçükköy/ Çatalhöyük Library on August 30th that coincided with the Victory Day in Turkey. The school teachers (Melek and Erhan), the muhtar of the village, villagers, children and members of the Çatalhöyük team took part in the opening ceremony. The library has now around 500 books and will be part of the new school building that is being built. We are continuing raising funds in Istanbul (Koç University students have already started organizing fund raising events!) to provide more books and school supplies that are still desperately needed in Küçükköy.