The Origin of Home


By Annalee Newitz A. ニューイッツ
English 日本語 日本語
The Konya Plain in central Turkey is a vast, elevated plateau covered in small farms and dusty fields, edged by dramatic mountain ranges that cast purple shadows. At night, visitors can drive into the foothills and see distant city lights, shimmering like a mirage. The view here has not changed much over the past 9,000 years—even the illuminated metropolitan skyline would look familiar to a visitor from 7,000 B.C.E. That is because the Konya Plain is one of the cradles of urban life. 
Millennia before the rise of Mesopotamian cities to the south, the proto-city Çatalhöyük (pronounced “Chah-tahl-hew-yook”) thrived here. Sprawled over 34 acres and home to as many as 8,000 people, it was the metropolis of its day. People lived in this community continuously for almost 2,000 years, before slowly abandoning it in the 5,000s B.C.E. During its heyday, bonfires from the many parties held at Çatalhöyük would have been visible far across the flat grasslands.  南方にメソポタミアの都市が生まれるよりも数千年前,ここには「チャタル・ヒュユク」という原始的な都市が栄えていた。14ヘクタール近い面積に8000人が居住する当時の大都市だ。このコミュニティーは2000年近く住み続けられた後,紀元前5000年ころに徐々に遺棄された。全盛期には,チャタル・ヒュユクで開かれている多くの宴のかがり火がはるか遠くの草原から見えたことだろう。
Unlike later cities, Çatalhöyük had no great monuments nor any marketplaces. Think of it as a dozen agricultural villages that grew together, forming what some researchers call a “mega site.” People entered its thousands of tightly packed, mud-brick homes through ceiling doors, and they navigated sidewalks that wound around the city’s rooftops. They planted tiny farm plots around the city. Whether they were fixing up their houses or making clothes, tools, food and art, Çatalhöyük residents spent most of their days between four walls, right next to their bed platforms—or, in warmer months, on their roofs.  後世の都市と違って,チャタル・ヒュユクには巨大なモニュメントも市場もなかった。10あまりの農村が一緒になって発達し,「メガ・サイト」と呼ばれる大規模集落を形成したと考えられている。日干し煉瓦造りの家が何千軒も密集し,人々はその天井の扉から家に入り,都市全体の屋上を曲がりくねってつながる通路をたどって移動していた。都市の周囲にある小さな農地で農業が営まれた。チャタル・ヒュユクの住民は,家の手入れにしろ服や道具,料理,美術品の作製にしろ,日常の大半を,四方を壁に囲まれた部屋のなか,寝床となる壇のすぐそばで過ごした。暑い季節には屋根のうえで。
This was not exactly what archaeologists expected to find when they first began excavating at Çatalhöyük in the early 1960s. Based on what they knew of other ancient cities, these investigators were primed to discover shrines, markets and priceless loot. Instead they found the remains of home decor, cookware and ritual items associated with domesticity rather than formal churches. The mismatch between expectation and reality flummoxed Çatalhöyük researchers for decades. It took a new kind of archaeologist to figure out what it all meant, piecing together what life was really like when humans were transitioning from a nomadic existence to a settled one as farmers and urbanites with a strong sense of home.  これは1960年代初めに考古学者がチャタル・ヒュユクの発掘を始めたときに予想していたものとは少し違っていた。発掘チームは他の古代都市に関する知識に基づき,神殿や市場,考古学的に貴重な戦利品などを見つけるつもりでいた。だが実際に見つかったのは,室内装飾品や調理器具,正式な礼拝所ではなく家庭で使われる儀式用具の遺物だった。