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Middens, Waste Disposal, and Health at Çatalhöyük

Shillito, Lisa-Marie; Mackay, Helen

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Lisa-Marie Shillito


The transition from a mobile hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a settled way of living is one of the most significant processes in human history. There were undeniable benefits to this process, with increased food security and longer lifespans, but there were also negative consequences associated with an increased density of living. At Çatalhöyük we have over one thousand years of continuous occupation from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic to Chalcolithic period (7100–5700 BCE). The settlement changes from a dense agglomeration in its earliest phase, where individual buildings are constructed wall to wall with no gaps or streets between them, to a more open nucleated settlement towards the end of the occupation. Large numbers of people living in a fixed location inevitably leads to the production of large amounts of waste. One of the most significant consequences of these activities is the creation of “pollution,” both in the physical environment, and the decline in air quality.


Shillito, L., & Mackay, H. (2020). Middens, Waste Disposal, and Health at Çatalhöyük. Near Eastern Archaeology, 83(3), 168-174.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Sep 1, 2020
Publication Date 2020-09
Deposit Date Oct 7, 2020
Publicly Available Date Sep 1, 2021
Journal Near Eastern Archaeology
Print ISSN 1094-2076
Electronic ISSN 2325-5404
Publisher American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 83
Issue 3
Pages 168-174
Public URL


Published Journal Article (4.2 Mb)

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© Copyright 2020 American Schools of Oriental Research.

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