On the central Anatolian plateau in Turkey, within view of the majestic 10,600 feet tall twin peaked volcano, Hasan Dag, there has been found the remains of an organized and planned Neolithic society. Within the city, among the many pieces of artwork discovered there, is a wall painting unlike any up to that time. The painting in Catal Hoyuk contains no animals or humans and is the first known landscape painting.
The archeological site shows a city that was well built and religious, with many of the plastered rooms painted with animals and humans. The population of this multiracial city has been estimated at around 6000 people. The once glorious, New Stone Age city of Catal Hoyuk, produced pottery, jewelry, baskets, cloth, and sculpture.
The wall painting was discovered by James Mellart who excavated and studied the area between 1958 and 1964. The city is in view of a twin peaked volcano, showing that the idea of the volcano was not conjured from imagination of the people but inspired by the real volcano, Hasan Dag. The squares represent the many rooms, homes, and cathedrals that made up the city, with the darker squares being the entrance and exits. The painting is a common scene of the city brought inside to display with all of the other artwork found in Catal Hoyuk.
The artist of the first landscape painting did not take their location, its natural majesty, or nature?'s power for granted; moved by the grand scene viewed many times by the people originating, traveling, and trading there. The distant view of the city is captured along with the everyday fear of living under the active volcano. An abundance of artistic materials available and the inspiration facilitated by the decorative society of Catal Hoyuk, Turkey, allowed the creator of the wall painting to provide something never experienced before, the oldest known landscape painting.
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