Turkish Beauty

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Science  20 Aug 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5687, pp. 1102a
DOI: 10.1126/science.305.5687.1102a
CREDIT: JASON QUINLAN/ÇATALHÖYÜK RESEARCH PROJECT

A new strategy of more extensive excavations at Çatalhöyük, the huge 9000-year-old farming village in Turkey, is already yielding fresh treasures—as evidenced by this “Mother Goddess”-style figurine found last month. The stone carving, about 9 centimeters long, is the first such statuette to be found in 40 years. Excavations in the 1960s revealed a wealth of Mother Goddess-type sculptures, most of them in clay, which made the site a mecca for the Mother Goddess women's spirituality movement. But dig leader Ian Hodder of Stanford University is skeptical that the figurines represent actual deities.

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