A study conducted by researchers from the UPF Culture and Socio-Ecological Dynamics research group (CaSEs) and the University of Leicester (UK) has provided a highly dynamic image surrounding the use and importance of hitherto unknown wild plant resources at the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük (Anatolia, Turkey). The researchers carried out their work combining the analysis of microbotanical remains and use-wear traces in various stone implements recovered from the site, which in the past hosted one of mankind's first agricultural societies.
Çatalhöyük is a world heritage archaeological site located in Anatolia (Turkey), which was inhabited during the Neolithic, between 7,100 and 6,000 BC. This site has received worldwide attention due to its size and because it is one of the first urban centres with a high density of agglomerated dwellings, to which entry was gained through the roof and which contained elaborate wall paintings inside. The settlement was studied continuously for nearly three decades and provided a wealth of archaeobotanical remains (charred remains of plants) and a wide range of stone artefacts and tools used to process plant resources.
Despite the extensive research conducted in the area, much of what is known about agricultural practices and the use of plant resources, both at Çatalhöyük and in many other archaeological settlements, is based on the study of charred remains. However, these remains occur causally, either when cooking food or due to accidental fire, which gives a limited image of the use of plant resources in the past.