Çatalhöyük'te Şamanizm İzleri
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Çatalhöyük has been named among the most important Neolithic settlements of the world since it was begun to be investigated by James Mellaart in 1961. Çatalhöyük, which relays its period’s thought structure and regulating mechanisms of its social life with almost all kinds of remains from architectural structures to small finds, offers an important opportunity for the research of belief system. Religious beliefs have been one of the factors that influence the socio-cultural structures of societies throughout history. It can be considered that a number of belief systems in prehistoric times may have had an impact on social life. This thesis is based on the hypothesis that the belief system that shapes the socio-cultural life of the Çatalhöyük community can be-“Shamanism”. For this reason, firstly Shamanism and shamanic aspects were investigated deeply and a general framework was established. Then, the method of how Shamanism and rituals were investigated in archaeological records was examined and thus some criteria were determined in order to determine the traces of Shamanism in Çatalhöyük. Among there are the wall paintings, which are the communication media between shamans with the spirits, the chimaeras (hybrids) that point to the animal-shaman relationships, spirit animals, figurines and noise-making instruments like drums. Each of these findings related to Shamanism was evaluated within their contexts and according to the development of layers, thus, the relationship between the finds were established and important clues were obtainedconcerning Shamanism. In addition, attempts to understand what the findings might have meant for Çatalhöyük society with the reference of ethnographic data were made and various opinions and suggestions were presented. The determination of a shaman-based belief in Çatalhöyük is important in terms of understanding the ideas underlying the intense symbolism and providing an explanation for the dynamics of its egalitarian social structure; the shamanistic interpretation of Çatalhöyük allows the interpretation of the meanings of the finds unlike other approaches. It is not possible, of course, to say that the belief system of Çatalhöyük society is definitely Shamanism. However, in the light of the data retrieved, it can be said that there was a belief system based on respecting the ancestors and the natural entities. The art in Çatalhöyük reveals its efforts to communicate with the ancestors and the strong ties of the society with their past, and the egalitarian social structure of Çatalhöyük seem to coincide with the shamanism.