We were sad to learn of the death of one of the great archaeologists of the 20th century. James Mellaart’s discoveries at Çatalhüyük in the s and early. Last year, Luwian Studies received documents from the estate of British prehistorian James Mellaart for further investigation. Mellaart had identified these texts. Eberhard Zangger alleges that the prominent British archaeologist James Mellaart forged artifacts. The accusations are difficult to evaluate.

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Mellaart had calibrated the available radiocarbon dates from Troy Suess’s “cosmic Schwung” calibration curve had just appearedand they supported his controversial early dating of the Trojan Early Bronze Age, which made the civilisation of Troy II chronologically parallel with the Royal Cemetery of Ur in southern Mesopotamia, and with the major pyramids of the Egyptian Old Kingdom.

Individual items of historic information on cardboard. He met Arlette, a beautiful young Turkish archaeology graduate, on an excavation at Fikirtepe in northwest Turkey; they married, and Arlette has been his constant companion and loyal support throughout all his excavations, various posts, and many trials and tribulations.

We were sad to learn of the death of one of the great archaeologists of the 20th century. In fact, there is a published photograph of that mural that appears to have been taken at the time of excavation. And the publisher went on to reproduce a number of those chapters as slim, colour-illustrated paperbacks. Fame — and envy — led on to misfortune: Jimmy was sure of his descent from the Lords of the Isles, and usually wore his clan tartan as a tie.

James Mellaart: The Man Who Changed History

James Mellaart — Some people seem to have a nose for finding things. And that was where he was when several things concatenated to bring about his downfall. They also provoked a storm of protest jamees disbelief which rages still.


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James Mellaart forged documents throughout his life – Luwian Studies

In Anatolia, the Hittites were already known to be Indo-European speakers. The scale of the site Mellaart claimed it as a supernova of precocious urbanismits well-preserved and dramatic architecture, vivid wall-paintings and sculptures plastered onto animal skulls embedded in the walls, the hundreds of burials beneath the floors, together with extraordinary preservation of organic materials, such as wooden dishes and boxes, ropes and textiles, all contributed to its impact on the public imagination.

An earlier version of this story said that there is no photograph of a mural from Catalhoyuk that shows a volcano exploding. Jimmy wasn’t always comfortable in formal gatherings.

What happened to the treasure? Related Books Mylasa Labraunda. There was no independent way of testing the accuracy, even the existence, of these frescoes, which Mellaart said depicted erupting volcanoes, scenes of men sowing and tending livestock the earliest evidence of the domestication of cattleand formalised patterns of animals, birds and human figures in which Mellaart detected the origins of the Turkish kilim.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to James Mellaart. Views Read Edit View history. He said that the young woman, named Anna Papastratiasked him to keep it secret. Travelling on the train to Izmir in the summer ofMellaart said that he had met a girl called Anna Papastrati who was wearing a solid gold bracelet which he could not fail to notice.

At lunchtime he came back to announce he had found one, intact. And he was a genius or was he just lucky enough to be the right person, in the right place, at the right time?

Among the archeologists they knew were Max Mallowan and his wife Agatha Christie, whose detective stories they had admired but whose person they found rather remote. Among the treasures, he said, were mellarat of a gold sheet adorned with Egyptian hieroglyphics bearing the name of Pharaoh Sahure believed to have ruled between and BC.


The names are meellaart and apparently make sense. Mellaart explained that the original murals had proved impossible to remove or preserve. Some people seem to have a nose for finding things. Mellaart still speaks with the Dutch accents of his youth.

Those books mel,aart have had a wider readership than Mellaart’s contributions to the third revised edition jamfs the Cambridge Ancient History. This process in itself is not uncommon for an archaeologist or historian. But as another American, the author Michael Balter, noted after investigating the Dorak affair: Mellaart has sometimes been compared to the flamboyant Heinrich Schliemann, who dug Mycenae and Troy.

Jimmy spent several days working his way through the large collection of jewellery, gold and silver vessels, weapons and figurines, sketching and writing notes.

The mystery continues, and still excites debate on the world-wide web. It is beginning to look as if vindication, if it comes, will come too late for Jimmy Mellaart. The antiquity of the mother goddess, and the continuity of kilim motifs from the Neolithic until today were ideas that have strongly embedded themselves. Books are sent post-free worldwide to current Cornucopia subscribers. The site was unattended for the next 30 years until excavations were begun anew in the s.

Why on earth did Jimmy go public on the Dorak treasure? At the end of our interview I asked him how he would like to be remembered. Zangger said he feels betrayed by the fact that Mellaart asked researchers to publish his forgeries for him after his death.