We were sad to learn of the death of one of the great archaeologists of the 20th century. James Mellaart’s discoveries at Çatalhüyük in the s and early. Last year, Luwian Studies received documents from the estate of British prehistorian James Mellaart for further investigation. Mellaart had identified these texts. Eberhard Zangger alleges that the prominent British archaeologist James Mellaart forged artifacts. The accusations are difficult to evaluate.

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She wore a beautiful bracelet that Mellaart recognised as resembling Early Bronze Age jewellery from Troy. This page was last edited on 30 Decemberat When he was 11 an uncle gave him a book on ancient Egypt.

They were damaged, he said, and been impossible to photograph before they crumbled to plaster dust. This process in itself is not uncommon for an archaeologist or historian.

If the Dorak hoard was genuine — and Mellaart thinks it was — it would prove the existence of a powerful trading empire coincidental with the Early-Bronze-Age Troy whose treasures Schliemann found. Some scholars suspected it could be a forgery. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. And the end of Troy II in whose ruins Mellaagt had found the treasures marked a similar break in cultural continuity at the northeast corner of the Aegean.

Zangger said he feels betrayed by the fact that Mellaart asked researchers to publish his forgeries for him after his death. Mellaart was even accused of making up at least some of the mythological stories he presented as genuine.

The site has since been seen as important as it has helped in jamea study of the social and names dynamics of one of the earliest and largest permanently occupied farming settlements in the Near East. Although having no camera, and forbidden by his new acquaintance from hiring a photographer, Mellaart spent four days sketching the objects and taking rubbings. Correspondence found in his apartment indicate that Mellaart tried to get others interested in publishing the forgeries before he died, Zangger said, adding that “he had no scruples when it came to harming other people’s careers.


James Mellaart — Some people seem to have a nose for finding things. It was on a dig at Fikirtepe, near Istanbul, that he met Arlette Cenani, the adoptive daughter of a prominent Turkish businessman her own father, a Romanian, had died when she was twelve. Did it ever exist, or was it a fabrication of Mellaart’s fertile imagination?

He said that the young woman, named Anna Papastratiasked him to keep it secret. Mellaart was evidently a ajmes in some ways. From iames s Marija Gimbutas, installed at UCLA, gained a large following, mostly of ladies, who were enthusiastic about her ideas of Neolithic societies in which women played the key roles both socially and spiritually. Two objects in the Dorak treasure were critically important to Mellaart: As he told the story, he had met a young lady on a train journey to Izmir.

The site is now under the direction of Prof. Among the archeologists they knew were Max Mallowan and his wife Agatha Christie, whose detective stories they had admired but whose person they found rather remote. Later, at Jericho, he was sent out one morning to look for tombs by the leader of the dig, Kathleen Kenyon, a pupil of the celebrated Sir Mortimer Wheeler.

Some time later again, however, he went ahead with the Illustrated London News publication, and that started a public outcry against him in Turkey, where the smuggling of antiquities for the international art market is a recurrent insult to a young nation’s pride in its ancient cultural heritage.


With almost the first slice of the spade Mellaart discovered the ruins of a neolithic city.

James Mellaart forged documents throughout his life

Owen Jarus, Live Science Contributor on. The letter to Zangger shows both the depth of Mellaart’s historical knowledge and imagination.

Inon his 80th birthday, he talked to Christian Tyler. He enjoys reading about new research and is always looking for a new historical tale.

In mellaart projects Wikimedia Commons. The Man Who Changed History. The name she had given — Anna Papastrati — turned out to be jxmes and her address did not exist.

There, with almost the first slice of the spade, jxmes discovered the ruins of a Neolithic city. The s were formative. That discovery, in central Anatolia, made him famous, and envied.

He was as capable with his pencil at drawing archaeological artefacts as he was with his pen at communicating his enthusiastic vision of prehistoric worlds. His early enthusiasm for geology and Egyptology were also a help. And that was where he was when several mellaatr concatenated to bring about his downfall.

Famed Archaeologist ‘Discovered’ His Own Fakes at 9,Year-Old Settlement

Originally published on Live Science. Owen has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Toronto and a journalism degree from Ryerson University. Monday 31 December

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