The 2013 excavation season on the East Mound at Çatalhöyük comes to an end this week. The human remains team still has several burials in the process of being excavated, however, and we need to get caught up on the processing and inventorying of the skeletal material before the end of August.
Last week Chris Knüsel began removing a child skeleton from a complicated burial sequence in Building 80, while Josh Sadvari and Barbara Betz finished removing two adult burials from Building 96 (click on the image below to see a 3D model of Josh’s burial). Josh will return to Building 77 this week to complete the excavation of the northeast platform burial sequence.
Two days ago, Remy and I finally completed the excavation of the multiple burial in the northwest platform of Building 52. At the bottom of the grave cut we found a complete polished marble bracelet, although it was not in direct association with any of the skeletons. In the end, the grave contained one adult and four subadults. I’ll start the osteological analysis of these individuals this week.
In the adjacent northeast platform a double burial containing an adult and an infant was fully exposed last week. Yesterday I lifted the skeleton of the infant and tomorrow I’ll remove the adult. The infant was buried with anklets made of hundreds of tiny colored disc beads in multiple rows (see image below). Another concentration of these beads was found on the abdomen. Traces of red pigment, possibly cinnabar, were also observed on the cranium of this infant. Disarticulated bones from at least two additional individuals were found in the fill of this burial, including a child’s cranium and mandible placed next to the head of the adult.
Click on the image below to view the 3D model of the adult and infant burial in the northeast platform of Building 52.