Commensality as social integration in Neolithic Çatalhöyük: Pottery, faunal, and architectural approaches

Kamilla Pawłowska*, Joanna Pyzel, Marek Z Baranski, Mélanie Roffet-Salque

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


We have considered a range of commensality in Neolithic Çatalhöyük using ceramics, animal bones, and architecture. Integrating the data allowed us to capture the change in commensal practices over the Final occupational phase (ca. 6300–5950 cal BC). The shift from community commensality to family commensality is marked by a decrease in the size of jars, accompanied by slight changes in the size of bowls. These types of vessels were used both for cooking, as shown by soot and lipid residue analysis, and for serving, as can be inferred from the more open form, apparent with the bowls. In the case of bowls, this result contrasts with previous findings suggesting that they had relevance for plant foods only. When we consider feasting events, the data on everyday commensal practice can be seen to contrast with this exceptional commensality. In both, the main role is played by cattle, which are the driver of change as the status of the taxon moves from wild to domestic. Changes in culinary and social practices are embedded in architectural changes in the form of growing number of open spaces which served as places where people could share a meal.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101509
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Anthropological Archaeology
Early online date12 Apr 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank all members of the Çatalhöyük Research Project; special thanks also go to I. Hodder and L. Czerniak, and also S. Frame, A. Klimowicz, A. Marciniak, L. Martin, J. Mulville, D. Orton, A. Powell, N. Russell, K. Twiss. KP thanks ID-UB for grant (041/08/POB1/0007) and MR-S thanks the Royal Society for funding her Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship (DHF\R1\180064 and RGF\EA\181067).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Inc.


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