Displaying 25 years of work by the Çatalhöyük Research Project, "An Excavation Story: Çatalhöyük" exhibition has finally opened at Koç University's Anatolian Civilizations Research Center (ANAMED) in Istanbul.
The exhibition offers some interactive displays such as 3-D models of the findings at the Çatalhöyük archaeological site, laser scanning of the excavation areas and Çatalhöyük's buildings in virtual reality.
The curator of the exhibition, Duygu Tarkan, said that the excavation, which has been ongoing for 25 years, has only uncovered 7 percent of the archaeological findings in the region and is to come to an end this year.
According to Tarkan, the purpose of the exhibition is to present the methodology, archeologists' works, their working methods and improvement of the site within the 25 years. He further explained that their main aim was to focus on archeologists and researchers more than the ruins themselves.
"Our project is coming to an end, but Çatalhöyük will remain there. We wanted to make our guests become detectives and part of our journey. Therefore, we've followed an interactive rout and, through the use of different electronic methods, we provide information on the excavation sites and ruins and findings. We're trying to draw attention more to archaeology than the archaeological ruins and findings through showing what a meticulous and tiring job archaeological excavation is," Tarkan, who has been the director of ceramics for the past 13 years at Çatalhöyük, said.
Ian Hodder, a British archaeologist leading the excavations since 1993, attended the opening of the exhibition. The exhibition, which used experience-based display methods, offers a chance to examine the transformation process of one of the oldest civilizations of the world ever found from a hunter-gatherer society to an agricultural one and the socio-economic organization of the time.
Visitors of the exhibition, which also offers a collection of more than 500 articles and books published on Çatalhöyük until today, can experience how archaeologists accessed the data and the scientific analysis at their laboratories interactively.
The exhibition contains information on all stages of the excavation from the starting point to when the first ruins were discovered and from how data was transformed into information to the publication.
The story of Çatalhöyük, which dates back to the seventh century B.C., can be visited until Oct. 25.