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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Other paintings showed what appeared to be goddesses with panthers or vultures,and formalised patterns of bulls and streams, birds and human figures, in which Mellaart perceived the origins of the Turkish kilim. Zangger examined Mellaart’s apartment in London between Feb.

Cornucopia Magazine James Mellaart (–)

In fact, there is a published photograph of that mural that appears to have been taken at the time of excavation. He had moved from the Institute to a lectureship in the University of Istanbul by the time that the storm overcame him.

An old man now, he agrees he was headstrong and outspoken, often more than was good for him. That discovery, in central Anatolia, made him famous, and envied. Related Places Forgotten Riches. He melaart, inArlette Meryem Cenani, with whom he had a son. When Jimmy was six, the family moved to Holland following a downturn in the art market. Mellaart, who stoutly maintains the truth of his story, is inclined to agree.

His father, however, was ultimately of Scottish descent, jamez family name a Dutch disguise of Maclarty, of the Clan Macdonald.

Seton Lloyd, the Director of the Institute, brought his excavation expertise to the task, and he and Jimmy Mellaart explored the site between andworking through its long stratigraphy through the whole of the Bronze Age and back into the Late Chalcolithic period.

But he was mellaadt finished with his Neolithic city.

Mellaart was evidently a genius in some ways. Mellaart decided to survey sites in the Konya plain, in the centre of Anatolia, where there were known to be Early Bronze mounds; would he be able to find evidence for EB II destructions that might mark the aggressive arrival of the Hittites?


It was on a dig at Fikirtepe, near Istanbul, that he met Arlette Cenani, the adoptive daughter of a prominent Turkish businessman her own father, a Romanian, had died when she was twelve. Mellaart explained that they were burnt, or otherwise damaged, impossible to photograph, and had to be sketched quickly before they crumbled to plaster dust. The antiquity of the mother goddess, and the continuity of kilim motifs from the Neolithic until today were ideas that have strongly embedded themselves.

They were damaged, he said, and been impossible to photograph before they crumbled to plaster dust.

At the outbreak of war he was drafted to serve in the slave labour force of the occupying Nazis. He helped to identify the “champagne-glass” pottery of western Anatolia in the Late Bronze Age, which in led to [ citation needed ] the discovery of Beycesultan.

Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation. The name she had given — Anna Papastrati — turned out to be unknown and her address did not exist. Peten Tours Travel Agency Expeditions to stunning destinations in small groups led by experts.

And the end of Troy II in whose ruins Schliemann had found the treasures marked a similar break in cultural continuity at the northeast corner of the Aegean.

Cornucopia Magazine James Mellaart: The Man Who Changed History

The furor caused the Turkish government to close up the site. Retrieved 9 July Mellaart created an elaborate backstory for the texts, getting around his false claim that he couldn’t read Luwian by saying that the texts had been partially deciphered by other researchers who were all dead by In fact, more recent work has turned up comparable features at other early Neolithic sites in the Near East, and this has benefited many people in their understanding of the site so that many of its one-time mysteries are no longer real issues.

When he was 11 an uncle gave him a book on ancient Egypt. She told him that she had more at home, so he came over and saw the collection. It is virtually impossible to disentangle,” Zangger said. He pauses for a while, then says he will think about it. Retrieved from ” https: A top prehistorian was called in, spent two days down the hole and came up with the verdict: At lunchtime he came back to announce he had found one, intact.


In recognition of his archaeological achievements, he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in He died on 29 July Somehow, throughout the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, he was secreted into a job in the National Museum of Antiquities at Leiden, where he acquired his hands-on skills with archaeological artefacts.

Some people seem to have a nose for finding things. He was a remarkable man of enormous intellectual and imaginative energy, a fund of encyclopaedic knowledge. He said that the young woman, named Anna Papastratiasked him to keep it secret. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Peter Sommer Travels Cruise in style upon the azure seas, explore some of the ancient wonders of the world. Zangger said he feels betrayed by the fact that Mellaart asked researchers to publish his forgeries for him after his death.

She did not allow him to take photographs, but did let him make drawings of them. The British Institute of Archaeology in Ankara, inaugurated ingave Jimmy one of its first resident scholarships; and later in the s, he was appointed Assistant Director of the Institute. There was never any evidence that Mellaart was involved in any way.

James Mellaart forged documents throughout his life

The site is now under the direction of Prof. But as another American, the author Michael Balter, noted after investigating the Dorak affair: The only document that can be traced to her jamew a typed letter that after examination appears to have been done by Mellaart’s wife Arlette. The city as a whole covers roughly