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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Figurines, Wall Murals and Daggers: Objects and Art as Emotional Support for Cognitive Development and the Fear of Death

  • Author(s): Donley-Reid, Linda
  • et al.

This paper is about using ethnographic data and psychological theories to interpret the archeological remains from the 9,000-year-old Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük, Turkey. The main theme is to consider how the representations seen in murals and relief sculptures on the plastered walls of the Neolithic buildings, along with artifacts that include clay anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines, might relate to the cultural structuring of personal developmental and emotional needs of the inhabitants. Using especially psychological arguments of fear and anxiety, the paper explores possible ritual practices that gave symbolic meaning to the Çatalhöyük domestic architecture and artifacts.

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