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Identifying Medieval Burials – what to do with unexpected Byzantines?

King's Building, Strand Campus, London

23 Oct
Sappho statue
Part of CHS Late Antique & Byzantine Studies Seminar Series

Above both the East and West mounds of the UNESCO world heritage site of Neolithic Çatalhöyük is a cemetery in discontinuous use from the 1st to the 17th century AD. Since 1997, when the burials were initially identified as ‘Byzantine’, approximately 200 individuals have been excavated from this phase and since 2011 there has been a dedicated research team on site studying the historic cemeteries. This paper considers the various bodies of evidence which allow us to differentiate between the periods of cemetery occupation, incorporating both the graves themselves and the immediate landscape surrounding Çatalhöyük into the analysis. At Çatalhöyük an archaeological strategy designed to investigate the Neolithic settlement has produced rich data sets for the Roman, Late Antique, Seljuk and Ottoman periods. I will consider how the research methodology constructed for Neolithic period has enabled and constrained the analysis of later periods, and how the targeted nature of funding awards has affected the study and publication of the total history of this multiperiod site.

Dr Sophie Moore is a Byzantine Archaeologist who works on the experienced nature of the past. She is currently preparing the final site report for the historic period cemetery at Çatalhöyük, fieldwork is funded by a British Institute at Ankara Strategic Research Initiative: ‘The Cemeteries of Çatalhöyük from Christianity to Islam: constructing memory, burying the dead and knowing God’. A former Post-doc at the Joukowsky institute for archaeology and the ancient world, Brown University, she is a graduate of Oxford (Mst) and Newcastle (BA Hons, PhD). Her research focuses on the nature of memory and how it differs from knowledge of the past, leading to questions of how archaeologists create and validate knowledge.

Part of the Late Antique and Byzantine Studies seminar series.

This event is open to all and free to attend. No booking is required.

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