Earliest Known Depiction of a Narrative Scene Found in Turkey

Antiquity Magazine recently ran a piece on the oldest piece of narrative art created by homo sapiens sapiens. An excerpt reads:

“A wall relief, comprising five figures carved on a bench in a communal building dating to the ninth millennium BC, was found in south-eastern Turkey in 2021. It constitutes the earliest known depiction of a narrative ‘scene’, and reflects the complex relationship between humans, the natural world and the animal life that surrounded them during the transition to a sedentary lifestyle…

“The site of Sayburç comprises a Neolithic mound, located 60km east of the Euphrates River, on the southern periphery of the eastern Taurus Mountains (Figure 1). It was mostly covered by the construction of the modern village of Sayburç in 1949, after which the site takes its name. Excavation of the site began in 2021, which revealed two separate Pre-Pottery Neolithic occupations. The first, which comprises communal buildings, is located in the northern part of the village, on the south-eastern edge of a small Roman settlement. The second, consisting of residential buildings, is located 70m further south. The communal building containing the relief was discovered in the northern occupation area. Here, two modern houses, one of stone, the other of concrete, had been constructed over the remains (Figure 2). To date, only half of the building has been excavated (Figure 3). The modern houses will be demolished in future field seasons to enable the Neolithic structure to be exposed in its entirety.”


Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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