Congratulations Turkey! New UNESCO Heritage Site 'Çatalhöyük'


As the World Heritage List celebrates its 40th birthday this year, Turkey joins the party adding its eleventh location to the list; Çatalhöyük.

Çatalhöyük is a large Neolithic and Chalcolithic site in Konya, in Southern Turkey. Its history goes back to 7400 BC, and it is the largest and is said to be the best-preserved Neolithic site to be discovered hitherto. The site was first excavated in 1958. It is composed entirely of residential buildings and held an estimated population of 10.000.

In the UNESCO Resolution, accepted by its 21 experts from various countries, it is expressed that Çatalhöyük fulfilled the basic requirements set by the Treaty of World Heritage, it preserved its authenticity and entirety and had a “global outstanding quality”.

The site was nominated for the list by the Turkish Ministry of Culture, and the resolution won raves in Turkey from many parts of society. On the other hand, UNESCO experts declared that a void was filled in the list with this latest extension.
I believe this is very good news as well. Turkey has a lot of under-rated historical sites in within its boundaries and their recognition is important for their preservation. In most cases excavations begin and lead to nowhere, and some artifacts found get lost or stolen. It is not very likely that such things will happen with the provision of UNESCO. With its diverse array of historical sites, Turkey deserves to be dug up more carefully.

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