Ezekiel 5 – Ezekiel Acts out the Diaspora of Judah & Lost Cities of the Near and Middle-East: Catalhoyuk (1 of 8)

Finger Pointing Up

1 Neanderthal Man
Neanderthals and Humans are 99.84 percent genetically identical – so where are the differences?
Research has shown that modern-day humans and their extinct Neanderthal cousins differ by only a fraction of a percent. So what accounts for the differences that are known to exist between the two? In a ground-breaking new study published online in Science, scientists have discovered the cellular equivalent of on / off switches that determine which genes are activated or not.

Scientists have found that the genomes of Homo sapiens and Neanderthals are 99.84 percent genetically identical, and have fewer than 100 proteins that differ in their amino acid sequence. However, although numerous recent studies have shown that we are a lot more similar to Neanderthals than previously believed, there are still fundamental differences.

For example, Neanderthals had shorter legs and arms, bowlegs, larger hands and fingers, curved arm bones, and more prominent brows. There are also a number of diseases and neurological conditions that have been found in humans but not Neanderthals.

Wow, so Catalhoyuk was the first city made in the world.  Strange that they would build a city without streets?  Nacogdoches is the first city of Texas and Catalhoyuk probably wasn’t any filthier.

To go anywhere they had to walk across the roofs.  That wouldn’t work in the United States, people get mad if you walk across their yard.  And especially not in Texas, you can get shot for honking your horn.  No telling what people might do if you come running across their roof.

Catalhoyuk (7400 B.C.) came after Neanderthal Man (200,000 to 35,001 BC.), but probably before You made Adam and Eve?  No one knows exactly when that was, but it’s assumed to be around 4004 B.C.   Abraham’s city, Ur, was created in or around 3800 B.C.

The thing is, I don’t know if they worshipped You, but they were smart enough to know they didn’t get there on their own.  They didn’t have the ridiculous idea like “The Big Bang.”

People today just aren’t that smart, Jesus had to come down here  for “show and tell” and still, people just don’t get it, but I was one of those idiots.

Anyway, when the people of Catalhoyuk worshipped their god (s), did they do it on top of their roofs or did they have…

Ezekiel 5 Ezekiel Acts out the Diaspora of Judah

2 Razor and mirror
Razor and mirror, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, early co-reign of Thutmose III and Hatshepsut, ca. 1479–1473 B.C. Egyptian
From the tomb of Hatnofer and Ramose, western Thebes
Bronze and wood
H. of mirror 6 3/4 in. (17 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1936 (36.3.69,.13)
ON VIEW: GALLERY 116 Last Updated September 4, 2013
This bronze mirror was actually found in one of the other coffins in Hatnofer’s tomb but probably belonged to Hatnofer. It was cast in two pieces: the mirror disk has a tang that fits into a hole in the handle and is held in place by a small bronze peg. The handle depicts a woman’s face with cow’s ears and a curled wig—the emblem of Hathor, the goddess of love and beauty.

1 And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber’s razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair.

“Take thee a knife” – what Isaiah had expressed in a metaphor (Is 7:20) Ezekiel acted out in prophetic symbolism.

2 Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and thou shalt take a third part, and smite about it with a knife: and a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them.

3 Thou shalt also take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts.

4 Then take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel.

5 Thus saith the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her.

6 And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them.

7 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you;

3 Ancient Cannibals
Ancient Cannibals Crafted Cups From Human Skull
A skull cup found in Gough’s Cave in Somerset, England.

It seems as though ancient cannibals had a “waste not, want not” attitude, suggests the discovery of Ice Age cups made from human skulls — what may be the earliest ones known, scientists say.

Human skulls have been made into macabre cups and bowls for thousands of years. For instance, in the fifth century B.C., ancient Greek historian Herodotus portrayed the Scythians as people who drank from the skulls of their enemies, and similar traditions have been described by the ancient Chinese historian Sima Qian sometime in the first or second centuries B.C.

Still, archaeological evidence of how skull cups were made is extremely rare. Now scientists have discovered three skull cups in England that are roughly 14,700 years old.

8 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations.

9 And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations.

10 Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds.

“Fathers shall eat the sons” – cannibalism, the most gruesome extremity of life under siege, was threatened as a consequence of breaking the covenant (Deut 28:5; see Jer 19:9; Lam 2:20; Zech 11:9).

11 Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.

12 A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.

13 Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted: and they shall know that I the LORD have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them.

4 ancient cannibal rituals
Archaeologists uncover evidence of ancient cannibal rituals
More than a thousand people died gruesome deaths in cannibalistic rituals according to traces uncovered at an ancient site in Germany.

14 Moreover I will make thee waste, and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by.

15 So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD have spoken it.

16 When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread:

17 So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the LORD have spoken it.

The Lost City of Catalhoyuk

5 Catalhoyuk

Location: Central Turkey
Date of Construction: c. 7400 B.C.
Abandoned: c. 6000 B.C.
Built By: Neolithic Hunter-Gatherer Farmers
Key Features: No Streets – Continuous buildings with roof access; sub-floor burials; interior  decoration, murals and figurines.

Described by its original excavator as the earliest city in the world, Catalhoyuk is a Neolithic settlement of almost unprecedented size, with many remarkable features – from its close-packed layout to the wealthy of art and symbolism that adorns its walls.

6 rivers in the Konya Basin
One of the rivers in the Konya Basin was the Çarşamba, which spewed out into the plain and did not link to any other river system. Çatalhöyük was founded on its east bank, most likely on a small existing rise. (The river no longer runs by the site, having been diverted into irrigation channels.) The site would have been surrounded by marshy swamps in the spring, the results of the river’s seasonal flooding.

In the Konya Basin area of Anatolia, in central Turkey, two mounds rise above the semi-arid plain, separated by the course of the now extinct Carsamba River.  This is the site of Catalhoyuk, Turkish for “fork-mount”, named for a path that forked when it reached the base of the larger mound, Catalhoyuk East.

In the Neolithic Era, from 7400-6000 B.C., this was a settlement of up to 8,000 people living in 2,000 houses, covering over 30 acres.  Although not the first Neolithic settlement – settlements at sites such as Jericho date back to 9000 B.C. – it was one of the larges and significantly, was outside the Levantine area previously thought to be the core of advanced Neolithic civilization.

It also proved to be one of the most remarkable prehistoric settlements, thanks to the unusual features uncovered by the two principal digs to explore the site – the excavations of James Mellaart in the late 1950s and early 60s, and the ongoing excavations under Ian Hodder since the 1990s. 

According to leading archaeologist Colin Renfrew, “Catalhoyuk is the dig of the new millennium.”

The Town with No Streets

The most striking feature of Catalhoyuk was that it had no streets.  The houses were packed so close together that they effectively formed a single solid mass and access to each house and travel around the town was via the rooftops.

7 earliest maps
One of the earliest maps is the one discovered during an excavation in 1963 by James Mellaart in Ankara,

The buildings themselves were rectangular, 118-517 square feet in area and probably one-story high.  They were constructed from mud bricks with wooden posts as roof supports, with flat roofs of wooden beams on top of which bundles of reed were laid and mud was packed on top.

Everything was covered with a lime-rich plaster, including internal features of the houses such as ovens, platforms and shelves.  A small square opening in the south side of the roof led into the house via a wooden stairway of squared timber.

This gave access to the main room, where most of the domestic activity took place.  Smaller rooms, thought to be often low-ceilinged and very narrow, led off the main room and were accessed by low doorways; they were probably used for storage.  There were no windows or side-doors.

The oven or heart was situated beneath the ceiling opening to allow smoke to escape.  Ash and debris scraped out of the oven made the floor area in this part of the room relatively dirty.  It was separated from cleaner zones of the room by ridges in the floor or by raised platforms which might be used for sleeping or other purposes.

Some were covered with reed mats.  In fine weather most activity probably took place on the town’s roofs, but during the bitterly cold winters families would have huddled in their snug houses.

Experiments with a modern replica of Catalhoyuk dwelling show that, while in fine weather sunlight through the roof opening would make the interiors, with their white plaster coatings, nice and bright, the ovens/hearths ventilated only poorly and during the night in the winter the houses must have been very gloomy and filled with smoke.

8 A couple rooms.
A couple rooms.

This is confirmed by the finding that the bodies of Catalhoyuk residents show deposits of soot along their ribs.  This is soot that had accumulated in their lungs from lifetimes of exposure to smoke-filled interiors and that settled onto the ribs as the lung tissue decomposed after death.

The Ancestors Below

Another striking feature of Catalhoyuk was that its inhabitants buried their dead directly beneath their living room floors. The area around the hearth was used for burying babies – probably ones that died in child­birth – and also for storing caches of obsidian, with hollow spaces for pots or other small items.

Beneath the raised platforms, however, the bodies of older children and adults were buried, usually wrapped in reed mats or placed in baskets.

Some of the skeletons have been found disarticulated, leading to speculation that they may have originally been buried elsewhere or left out to be scavenged and decompose before burial, but current thinking is that in fact these burials have been disturbed by later ones.

Sometimes the deceased person’s head is missing – these people were probably important or especially revered ancestors, whose skulls might be remodeled with plaster and painted, and kept in the room or buried with someone else. 

9 An excavated hearth
An excavated hearth. The lime-rich mud floors could be shaped with ridges and platforms to divide them up into different functional zones.

After a certain period of time – perhaps if a house became decrepit or enough people had been buried in it – the inhabitants would rebuild over the original on the same floor plan.

The existing building would be cut down to a height of around 3 feet and then carefully filled in. Ritual or talismanic objects were sometimes deliberately placed among the filling material. Then the new house would be raised on top of this foundation.

In this way the inhabitants of Catalhoyuk could live in close connection with their ancestors going back centuries, with the rising settle­ment mound – that reached up to 65 ½ feet above the surrounding plain with 18 levels of habitation – representing the physical embodiment of their group identity and socio-cultural values.

Leopards and Bulls

The third remarkable feature of Catalhoyuk is the exten­sive art and symbolism found in the form of its murals and figurines. The prehistoric residents covered their white plaster interiors with a variety of murals, including abstract patterns, such as circles, and colorful and excit­ing hunting scenes.

These include many scenes of men (their gender indicated by their ithyphallic appearance (shown with erect penises) and occasionally by a beard) hunting or sporting with wild animals such as aurochs (giant prehistoric bulls) and leopards. By contrast there are no depictions of farming. 

Perhaps the most famous mural dates from c 6500 BC and appears to show a view of the town with the nearby twin-peaked volcano of Hasan Dagi in the background; if the interpretation is correct, the mural is the oldest map and/or landscape painting ever discovered. 

10 East Mound of Çatalhöyük
Excavations of the East Mound of Çatalhöyük, done by Mellaart in the 1960s, show that the buildings on the 33.5-acre mound were packed close together, without intervening streets or alleyways. Access to house interiors was originally across the roofs and down a stairway.

Other interior decoration included horns of animals mounted on the walls and skulls of animals (and possi­bly ancestors), remodeled with clay and painted. 

Other figurines have been recovered from beneath floors and in filled-in rooms. They come in a variety of forms, including animals, non-gender specific humans and, in the upper, later levels of occupation, voluptuous women. A famous example, found in a grain bin where it may have been placed to enhance or ensure fertility, is of a voluptuous woman seated on a chair or throne, flanked by a pair of leopards. 

The discovery of examples such as the “leopard queen” prompted Mellaart to assume they were mother goddess figures, suggesting that the people of Catalhoyuk worshipped a dominant female deity and that they were a matriarchal, female-dominated society. 

Hodder’s research has found little evidence for this, showing rather that there was a lot of equality in gender roles, with men and women equally likely to be repre­sented in high-status burials, eating the same diets and sharing most roles around the house. The one excep­tion is that hunting was probably a male activity and was celebrated in the art of Catalhoyuk while agriculture – probably a female-dominated occupation – was not. 

Life in Catalhoyuk

The people of Catalhoyuk had Stone Age technology.  They used obsidian (volcanic glass) to make a variety sharp and functional tools, and also used pottery, weaving and other skills. They had basic agriculture, which became more important to them over the lifetime of the town, and supplemented their diet with hunting the gathering of wild foods.   

The area around Catalhoyuk was marshy, providing good water resources and fish and game, as well as the mud and reeds they used for construction.

Each building probably housed a family of between five and ten people, and in fine weather most of their ; activities would have taken place on the town roofs. Men and women probably shared tasks such as pottery and obsidian tool making, which together with agriculture were the main industries of the town, giving them products they could trade for timber from the nearby hills, for the raw obsidian from Cappadocia about 90 miles away. 

And even for goods from much further afield, such as baskets from Mesopotamia and shells from the Red Sea. Rubbish from each household, including fecal matter, was simply dumped into the spaces around and between buildings, so that they became effectively embedded in a giant pile. 

Ash from the fires and ovens helped to sterilize this waste, but even so there must have been considerable stench and vermin issues. 

Today the mound of Catalhoyuk shows two peaks, suggesting that in prehistoric times the town actually consisted of two slightly separate built-up areas. This is consistent with an endogamous culture – one where people marry only within the group, tribe or in this case, settlement. 

12 Neolithic age
In the Neolithic age, when a wandering life of hunting and gathering made way for more settled communities, the people of Anatolia began to place burial gifts in graves.

These gifts included necklaces, bracelets and rings made of diverse stones, teeth, horns and bones of animals and sea shells. The earliest Anatolian jewellery, dating from between 7000 and 5000 BC, has been found in excavations of Çayönü in Diyarbakir, Çatalhöyük, Asiklar Höyük and Kösk Höyük in central Anatolia.

Many such societies are actually split into two sub-groups or tribes, which intermarry (to prevent inces­tuous marriage), and this may be what is indicated by the twin peaks of the mound. The lack of evidence of any contemporary settlements in the area further suggests that kinship and marriage were heavily localized. 

Ian Hodder questions whether Catalhoyuk can be seen as a city in the proper sense of the word, because its layout and the uniformity of the buildings indicate that there were few or no public spaces or buildings, no central focus, such as a palace or temple, and no evidence of a social hierarchy or specialization of employment. 

It seems that each household was respon­sible for and to itself and there is no sign that they formed a township for defensive reasons. The exact reason why they did gather at Catalhoyuk remains a mystery, as do the causes of the town’s abandonment in around 6000 B.C. 

A smaller settlement to the west of the main site was briefly occupied from about 6000-5700 B.C. Did the inhabitants of Catalhoyuk proper simply move, and if so, why?

ilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the LORD have spoken it.

…High Places like the Israelites did?

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