November 1, 2021
We hope our AIA Society Members have been enjoying one of their new member benefits, the ARCHAEOLOGY magazine Archive!
We’re excited to share November’s ARCHAEOLOGY Archive recommendation. This month, Deputy Editor Eric A. Powell shares another article he recommends reading.
Just months after his first excavations at the now-iconic Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Turkey, James Mellaart wrote “The Beginnings of Mural Painting” for our Spring 1962 issue, which makes for grimly fascinating reading today. In restrained tones, the controversial English archaeologist, who would go on to be implicated in the antiquities black market and is known to have faked many of his discoveries, recounts how on the second day of digging at the site his team unearthed the first of several wall paintings. Some of the murals are genuine and date to some 9,000 years ago, but his vivid descriptions of the frescoes include paintings that he almost certainly created himself. Both a pioneering archaeologist and a known fabulist, Mellaart used Archaeology to introduce the world not just to Çatalhöyük, a site now critical to understanding the world’s earliest farmers, but also to the tainted fruits of his imagination.
We hope you enjoy reading this article! For more information on how to access the archive, click here.