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A prehistoric settlement in Turkey brings fine signs of modern woes



WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Overcrowding. Violence. Infectious diseases. Environmental degradation. It may sound like the worst of the modern mega-cities.

A researcher excavates the ruins of Catalucci, a prehistoric settlement located in southern central Turkey, about 9,100 to 7,950 years ago, on this photo published by Istanbul, Turkey, June 17, 2019. But people collided with these and the same problems when the first large settlements were created thousands of years ago when people began to change the existence of a nomadic hunter-gatherer for a way of life based on agriculture, scientists said on Monday, based on the findings of prehistoric southern central Turkey.

Researchers examined 742 human skeletons found in the prehistoric ruins of Catalucci, populated from 9,100 to 7,950 years during the main time in human evolution, for clues about what life was like in one of the earliest significant settlements in the archaeological record, 3500 to 8000 people lived there, and the researchers called it a "proto-city".

Residents have a high incidence of infections, as seen in teeth and bones probably caused by diseases spread in crowded people Conditions for the challenges to proper hygiene, researchers say. Overcrowding may have contributed to interpersonal violence. Many skulls are evidence of healed fractures in the upper or the back of the skull, some with multiple injuries.

The form of these injuries indicates that they may have been caused by hard clay balls found in Catalucci, which scientists suspect are being used as a sliver weapon shell

the behavior has deep roots in the history of mankind, says the biological anthropologist of Class Spencer Larsen, Ohio, who runs the study published in the National Academy of Sciences reports.

"People living in this community face challenges in the lives of settlements that deal with fundamental issues: what to eat, who produces food, how food is distributed, what are the social norms of division of labor, the challenges of infection and infectious disease in places where there is limited sanitation, the strategy of interpersonal relationships involving hostility in some cases, "added Larsen. As the world emerged from the last Ice Age, with warmer conditions favoring the appropriation of crops, there was a shift from feed to agriculture, starting from 10,000 to 12,000 years ago among people in many places. People cultivated crops, including wheat, barley and rye, and raised sheep, goats and possibly livestock. Some homes boasted wall murals, and other works of art included stone figures of animals and sunken women. The inhabitants of Catalhook lived in clay brick-like facilities, like apartments, entering and exiting stairs that linked the residential areas of the rooftops. After death, residents were buried in pits dug into the floors of homes.

Catalucius, measuring about 32 acres (13 hectares), has been continually occupied for 1150 years and seems to have been largely an egalitarian community. Eventually, he was abandoned by the environmental degradation caused by the human population and by a drying climate that made farming harder, the researchers said.

Reporting by Will Dunham; Editing by Sandra Maler

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