Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2010

24 September 2011

Religion in the Emergence of Civilization. Çatalhöyük as a Case Study

Edited by Ian Hodder

Religion in the Emergence of Civilization. Çatalhöyük as a Case Study

City: Cambridge

Year: 2010

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Description: Paperback, 372 p., 43 b/w illus., 25,3x21,5 cm


This book presents an interdisciplinary study of the role of spirituality and religious ritual in the emergence of complex societies. Involving an eminent group of natural scientists, archaeologists, anthropologists, philosophers, and theologians, this volume examines Çatalhöyük as a case study. A nine-thousand-year old town in central Turkey, Çatalhöyük was first excavated in the 1960s and has since become integral to understanding the symbolic and ritual worlds of the early farmers and village-dwellers in the Middle East. It is thus an ideal location for exploring theories about the role of religion in early settled life. This book provides a unique overview of current debates concerning religion and its historical variations. Through exploration of themes including the integration of the spiritual and the material, the role of belief in religion, the cognitive bases for religion, and religion’s social roles, this book situates the results from Çatalhöyük within a broader understanding of the Neolithic in the Middle East.


List of figures and tables

  1. Ian Hodder, ‘Probing religion at Çatalhöyük: an interdisciplinary experiment’ [1-31]
  2. Ian Hodder &Lynn Meskell, ‘The symbolism of Çatalhöyük in its regional context’ [32-72]
  3. LeRon Shults, ‘Spiritual entanglement: transforming religious symbols at Çatalhöyük’ [73-98]
  4. Wentzel van Huyssteen, ‘Coding the non-visible: epistemic limitations and understanding symbolic behavior at Çatalhöyük’ [99-121]
  5. Harvey Whitehouse & Ian Hodder, ‘Modes of religiosity at Çatalhöyük’ [122-145]
  6. Maurice Bloch, ‘Is there religion at Çatalhöyük … or just houses?’ [146-162]
  7. Ian Hodder & Peter Pels, ‘History houses: a new interpretation of architectural elaboration at Çatalhöyük’ [163-186]
  8. Webb Keane, ‘Marked, absent, habitual: approaches to Neolithic religion at Çatalhöyük’ [187-219]
  9. Peter Pels, ‘Temporalities of religion at Çatalhöyük’ [221-267]
  10. Paul Wason, ‘The Neolithic cosmos of Çatalhöyük’ [268-299]
  11. Carolyn Nakamura, ‘Magical deposits at Çatalhöyük: a matter of time and place?’ [300-331]
  12. Ian Hodder, ‘Conclusions and evaluation’ [332-355]


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