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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He had moved from the Institute to a lectureship in the University of Istanbul by the time that the storm overcame him.

Antiquity Journal

James Mellaart, who unearthed the city and its stunning wall paintings, recalls the stages of a momentous discovery. The Man Who Changed History. Mellaart’s interest in the treasure, I think, lay in its vindication of his view of mellaart civilisation represented but poorly documented until the recent excavations by Troy II. The disaster, however, was Mellaart’s role in the story of the Dorak treasure, a brief account of which he published in the Illustrated London News in The letter to Zangger shows both the depth of Mellaart’s historical knowledge and imagination.

In recognition of his archaeological achievements, he was elected a Fellow of the British Jamws in Related Destinations Central Anatolia.

All those who worked with Mellaart use the same word to describe him: Mellaart, who stoutly maintains the truth of his story, is inclined to agree. Related Articles James Mellaart: Mellaart was the author of several books, as well as chapters in Cambridge Ancient History and numerous scholarly articles in Anatolian Studies and other learned and specialist journals.

James Mellaart

Mellaart created an elaborate backstory for the texts, getting around his false claim that he couldn’t read Melaart by saying that the texts had been partially deciphered by other researchers who were all dead by He gave the story to The Illustrated London Newsand then Turkish authorities demanded to know why they had not been informed.

His Dutch immigrant father, descended from Scottish migrants called Maclarty a division of the Clan Macdonaldwas an expert in Dutch Old Master paintings and drawings.

The most popular theory is that the girl was working for a gang of dealers who needed authentication for their treasure before selling it to some rich millionaire. He described to students more wall paintings which had not melllaart in his preliminary reports, and which, when they were finally published incaused another sensation and more controversy.


The mystery continues, and still excites debate on the world-wide web. Retrieved 9 July As detailed as any written record, these Neolithic narratives provoked a frenzy of excitement, especially among rug dealers, who drove prices up to record levels.

Some objects apparently from his sites had turned up mellxart the country, and mellwart Turkish press, led by Milliyetsought a scapegoat. James Mellaart was both fortunate and unfortunate as an archaeologist.

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

What happened to the treasure? Individual items of historic information on cardboard. But one-to-one, or in a small group of people that he knew such as Stuart Piggott, who was a close friend of Seton Lloyd he was outgoing, happy, talkative, a fund of stories and extraordinary information of many kinds—preferably on his feet and pacing the floor, with a glass of whisky in one hand, and one of his Dutch cigars in the other. For, as with the Dorak treasure, there was no photographic evidence, no independent means of testing the accuracy, even the existence, of these astonishing murals.

Some people seem to have a nose for finding things.

Mellaart claimed that he could not read or write Luwian but that he was planning to describe his finding in a scientific publication. Some of the murals that Mellaart described in publications showed only drawings and no actual photographs.

He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in There he found a trove of similar objects taken from ancient tombs at Dorak. They married and had a son Alan, who is today a headhunter of the corporate sort in Istanbul. And Linear B was shown to be a way of writing jzmes early form of Greek. Jimmy also found the site of Hacilar, which seemed able to carry the regional story mellaxrt Beycesultan back through the Chalcolithic.

He died on 29 July Fame and envy led on to misfortune: It is beginning to look as if vindication, if it comes, will come too late for Jimmy Mellaart.

Correspondence found in his apartment indicate that Mellaart mllaart to get others interested in publishing the forgeries jamrs he died, Zangger said, adding that “he had no scruples when it came to harming other people’s careers.

The site stirred great excitement when Mellaart announced it and has since caused much head scratching. It is virtually impossible to disentangle,” Zangger said. Mellaart said that he had seen the treasures in in the Izmir home of a young woman whom he met on jaems train.


Kathleen Kenyon had dug down to ajmes she believed was the bedrock at Jericho, outside the famous walls. Why on earth did Jimmy go public on the Dorak treasure? She sat in front of him in the train car, wearing a gold bracelet which drew his attention.

Famed Archaeologist ‘Discovered’ His Own Fakes at 9,000-Year-Old Settlement

In the early s he made a survey of the Anatolian hinterland — then considered an archaeological desert — largely on foot, identifying and later working on several sites. Magazines are sent post-free worldwide by Standard Air which takes up to three weeks. Related Books Mylasa Labraunda.

They also provoked a storm of protest and disbelief which rages still. Two objects in the Dorak treasure were critically important to Mellaart: Likewise, he publicised his belief that some of the panels of non-figurative, geometric painted decoration on the walls of buildings probably imitated textile designs, making them the prototypes of the mellqart Turkish flat-weave carpet kilim motifs.

The antiquity of the mother goddess, meolaart the continuity of kilim motifs from the Neolithic until today were ideas that have strongly embedded themselves. The furor caused the Turkish government to close up the site. He was later allowed to return but later banned completely. Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Mellaart jamex to survey sites in the Konya plain, in the centre of Anatolia, where there were known to be Early Bronze mounds; would he be able to find evidence for EB II destructions that might mark the mellaart arrival of the Hittites?

Seton Lloyd, the Director of the Institute, brought his excavation expertise to the task, and he and Jimmy Mellaart explored the site between andworking through its long stratigraphy through the whole of the Bronze Age and back into the Late Chalcolithic period.