Since 1997, Yapı Kredi has been the main sponsor for the excavations being carried out at Çatalhöyük, considered to be the first, and one of the most important, archaeological finds from the Neolithic period in Anatolia.
Çatalhöyük, which literally means "forked mound" in Turkish, takes its name from two hills of different elevation with two flat plains, which from a distance, resemble a fork. The site was discovered by James Mellaart in 1958 and various excavations were carried out between 1961 and 1963, and in 1965. As a result of excavations carried out on the western slope of the higher mound, 13 levels of buildings were discovered.
As one of the world's first permanent settlements, Çatalhöyük sheds light on human history through artifacts that provide us with the first view of the architectural style of first settlers and worshipers and with other unique finds. Excavations at the site continued in 1993 by an international team under the direction of British archaeologist Ian Hodder. Artifacts are kept at the Konya Archeology Museum, which has put some of them on display.
Other artifacts are stored in the museum's storehouse. In order to introduce more members of Turkish society to the excavations carried out and finds unearthed at the site, Yapı Kredi organized a large exhibition at Vedat Nedim Tör Museum in Istanbul between May 26 - September 20, 2006. More than 40,000 people visited the exhibition.
A 197-page book/catalog, which incorporated the originals, replicas or drawings of human skeletons, seals, tools made of obsidian, baskets, beads made of clay, stone or bone and photographs and illustrations was published to accompany the exhibition.
Every year, a team of 120 person team with representatives from various countries, including the UK, the USA, France, Canada, Serbia, Australia and Poland, carry out excavations at the site between June and September and unearth important archaeological finds. During this year's excavations, the unearthing of a wide piece of fabric, among other finds, caused great excitement.
Archaeologists think that this linen fiber, which was weaved very thin, was brought to Çatalhöyük from Syria. This is an important find, indicating that people traded far and wide during the Neolithic period. And we had the greatest of honors and pride when the UNESCO World Heritage Committee resolved to include the Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük in the List of World Heritage Site in July 2013. Accordingly, we take pride in helping unearth, preserve and promote this site of cultural heritage, which bears witness to history.
For more detailed information, please visit www.catalhoyuk.com
Photographs of the Event