Creative Practice: How Communities were ‘made’ at Çatalhöyük

Govier, Eloise (2017) Creative Practice: How Communities were ‘made’ at Çatalhöyük. Doctoral thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Abstract

What role did creative practice play in social life at the Neolithic tell Çatalhöyük, and what evidence is there to suggest that making informed the maintenance of the ‘social bond’? Socio-creativity is an undeveloped but important area of research for archaeological approaches to the Neolithic, and offers a unique opportunity to consider both individual and community dynamics, tensions and changing social values from the residues of material interactions. Utilising the work of Bennett (2010a), Barad (2003, 2007, 2012), and Gell (1998) I formulate a critically-informed but practically embedded methodology that finds material “phenomena” (Barad 2003) at the settlement. Çatalhöyük offers a particularly unique example of social organisation as it is believed to have been an egalitarian settlement (Hodder 2014a,c). Furthermore, the material culture provides us with a rich dataset that contains the traces of highly creative and materially-engaged individuals who routinely made and re-made things, such as sunbaked clay figurines, basketry, and beads. I focus on Neolithic interactions with colourful or brilliant materials, substances, and spaces, and explore how these material interactions, as phenomena, reveal certain sensorial dynamics in-action at the Neolithic town. I outline how creative practices can create certain sensory dispositions - ways of seeing, feeling and doing - and I argue that the senses can be profiled during making events (cf. Howes and Classen 1991). The sensorial implications of making have wider connotations for the changing dynamics and tensions between ‘communities of practice’, and can yield important information about macro-scale changes in lifeways (Lave and Wenger 1991; Wenger 1998, 2012; Wendrich 2012; Bartlett and McAnany 2000). I contend that creative practice was an important element of egalitarian community maintenance and argue that socio-creativity played an integral role in social organisation at Çatalhöyük.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Catalhoyuk, Neolithic, Creative practice, Socio-creativity
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Institute of Education and Humanities > Academic Discipline: Humanities
Depositing User: Sandra Stedman
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2020 13:00
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2020 13:00
URI: http://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/1181

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