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14455RE: [ANE-2] Prof. James Mellaart- In Memoriam

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  • Trudy Kawami
    Aug 28, 2012
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      I think that there is no question that James Mellaart’s early work was good, sound and useful. But from the “Dorak Affair” onwards his statements and writings took a very peculiar turn to the romantic and fantastic. It was shocking – and sad – to see his bizarre watercolors of supposedly lost Catal Huyuk paintings surface in textile magazines. Rather like seeing a beloved uncle succumb to dementia, aided and assisted by “New Age-y” types with a monetary interest in the associated topics.

      Trudy S. Kawami

      From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of David Hall
      Sent: Monday, August 27, 2012 8:52 PM
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Prof. James Mellaart- In Memoriam


      I respect your contributions to the science of archaeology, your work in the Rockefeller Museum, and numerous posts to ANE-2. I think Melaart deserves some praise.

      He studied proto-urban Neolithic and Chalcolithic sites in Asia Minor. I have read some of his publications in a research library and can remember his documentation of the transition between gathering wild species of wheat to the domestication of wheat during Neolithic times. He was a scientist accused of being involved with antiquity looters. Most of his publication was from his own diggings and in depth research. The publications I read did not rely on faked or stolen antiquities.

      David Q. Hall

      From: Joe Zias <joezias@...<mailto:joezias%40yahoo.com>>
      To: ANE II list <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com>>
      Sent: Sunday, August 26, 2012 3:41 PM
      Subject: [ANE-2] Prof. James Mellaart- In Memoriam

      One of the most important archaeologists in the 60's, Prof. James Mellaart, who excavated Catal Huyuk in Turkey, passed on without much notice almost a month ago. His excavations beginning in 1958, running four years changed the way in which urbanization was viewed. Unfortunately, like a handful of archaeologists, biblical scholars, 'arkologists' today, he became enamored with fame and fortune, scandals, highly questionable stories and when challenged by his colleagues soon fell into scholarly oblivion .
      Today those events which marked his career have overtaken what he had accomplished in those four years of excavating in
      Turkey. What I find interesting here is that the Turks eventually decided he was persona non gratis for his questionable academic behavior whereas here in Israel similar individuals excavated on and off for years by having colleagues secure them licenses. At least he was a trained archaeologist. There's a lesson here. May he rest in peace.
      Joe Zias

      Joe Zias http://www.joezias.com/

      Science and Antiquity Group - Jerusalem
      Jerusalem, Israel

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