Submitted by Dominik Lukas on Wed, 09/13/2017 - 21:56
A review of the Cambridge conference on 'Consciousness and Creativity at the Dawn of Settled Life' by Nazlı Gürlek to appear in Aktuel Arkeoloji:
Consciousness is a hot topic today yet a great mystery for most. Biologists and neuroscientists pair up with psychologists and philosophers to understand how the brain functions and how a physical brain creates our experience of the world. Given the complexity of the argument, trying to understand the Neolithic mind looking at the archeological evidences of material culture with the help of cognitive scientists may sound like a crazy prospect, yet a truly interesting one...
As a PhD student at the University of York, my research focuses on the ways in which people engage with heritage in the places where they live and work, namely contemporary cities. In the summer of 2016 I had the chance to apply this line of thinking to a different type of site as a member of the Çatalhöyük Visualisation Team. Çatalhöyük is a meaningful place for many people. The site is unique in that it is both open to tourists and is also an active dig where archaeologists have lived and conducted research for several months each year for almost 25 years straight. The following vignettes begin to explore the relationship between this place and the people who interact with it: the impact Çatalhöyük has on us, the impact we have on Çatalhöyük, and the impact we have on each other through our time here.