Paleoanthropology Society of Turkey


Paleoanthropology Society of Turkey

This group is organized particularly for educational and scientific purpose in order to organize a new and official initiative of paleoanthropological society in Turkey.

Location: Ankara
Members: 2
Latest Activity: Dec 10, 2012

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Comment by Larry Stout on December 10, 2012 at 7:02pm

Hello, Ferhat!

I'm a retired geologist/editor, avocationally interested in human history, prehistory, cultures, languages, etc.  I was privileged to spend a couple of weeks in western Turkey last year  -- it was a wonderful experience, and I hope to return!

I posted a question elsewhere, but it clearly belongs here:

The Neolithic site Catalhoyuk, as you no doubt know, is of very considerable interest in many regards; here I shall mention in particular the abundance of leopard representations in wall paintings and painted wall moldings, and also the famous "volcano and town" painting, so perceived by the original excavator, James Mellaart.  In the latter painting, the "volcano" is speckled, or spotted, which has inclined some to see it rather as a headless and pawless leopard pelt (Prof. Tristan Carter, a principal investigator at the site, latterly thinks it is in fact -- as Mellaart posited -- a representation of the twin-peaked volcano Hasan Dag, which was active during the Neolithic and is visible from the site).
Having since found online reference to extant Turkish folklore that places a mythic "guardian lion" in the swale between the twin peaks, and noting that the Hittite/Neo-Hittite lion god was depicted in the midst of a pyre, and that the Hittite/Neo-Hittite mountain god was depicted astride of a lion, I wonder if some conflation of leopard and volcano existed in the Neolithic cosmology at Catalhoyuk.  Of course, there is a great gap in time between the Neolithic record of the site and the attested Hittite culture (some 34 centuries, perhaps), and, certainly, modern times (~70 centuries).
So, my question:  Is it at all conceivable that a myth might be expressed diachronically and transculturally to such great extent (the leopard, in this case, having been transmogrified into a lion)?


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