Nine thousand years ago in Turkey, a large settlement called Çatalhöyük thrived for more than a millennium. Full of densely packed mud brick houses covered in paintings and symbolic decorations, its population hovered around 5,000. That made it one of the biggest settlements of its era, somewhere between an outsized village and tiny city. Now, archaeologists excavating there have discovered a rare, intact statuette of a woman buried carefully with a valuable piece of obsidian.
Figurines resembling this one, with large breasts, belly, and buttocks, have been found throughout the Anatolian region. But this is one of the only intact examples ever found. At nearly seven inches long, it’s also one of the largest. Made of marble, it lay buried beneath the floor of a neolithic home for 8,000 years before its excavation this past summer.
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