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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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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. Peten Tours Travel Agency Expeditions to stunning destinations in small groups led by experts. Under a mound metres long and twenty metres high were revealed thirteen levels of habitation dating back nine thousand years and housing up to ten thousand people at the peak of its jams.

Jimmy also found the site of Hacilar, which seemed able to carry the regional story of Beycesultan back through the Chalcolithic. He also continued to publish. 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.

After the war he returned to London, where he studied Egyptology at University College, graduating in The British Institute of Archaeology in Ankara, inaugurated ingave Jimmy one jams its first resident scholarships; and later in the s, he was appointed Assistant Director of the Institute.

Books are sent post-free worldwide to current Cornucopia subscribers. And the end of Troy II in whose ruins Ja,es had found the treasures marked a similar break in cultural continuity at the northeast corner of the Aegean.

He was for two years a lecturer at Istanbul University, but as pressure against him mounted in Turkey he left, into take an appointment to lecture in Anatolian archaeology at the University of London, where he remained until Engraved on schist, these sketches were also found in Mellaart’s apartment.

It is beginning to look as if vindication, if it comes, will come too late for Jimmy Mellaart. In Mellaart began to direct excavations on the sites in Turkey with the assistance of his Turkish-born wife Arlettewho was the secretary of BIAA.


A new Republic was born, and new faces appeared in this land of hope, among them the brilliant but now forgotten photographer Othmar Pferschy —who turned up mlelaart the Orient Express in and stayed for forty years.

At the outbreak of war he was drafted to serve in the slave labour force of the occupying Nazis. Whatever your choice, it takes lightness of touch to jamrs the delicate flavour. So for several days he stayed at her house in the suburbs of Izmir drawing the treasures. Mellaart claimed that he could not read or write Luwian but that he was planning to describe hames finding in a scientific publication.

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 Back at the Institute in Ankara, he was strongly advised to forget about the Dorak treasure, because he had not reported his encounter to the Turkish archaeological authorities. Mellaart was born in in London.

James Mellaart forged documents throughout his life – Luwian Studies

In he began to lecture in Anatolian archaeology in Ankara. It is virtually impossible to disentangle,” Zangger said.

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. Shafts of Light Some like their asparagus translucently white, others prefer crunchy and green.

The only document that can be traced to her is a typed letter that after examination appears to have been done by Mellaart’s wife Arlette. Mellaart explained that they were burnt, or otherwise damaged, impossible to photograph, and had to be sketched quickly before they crumbled to plaster dust.

James Mellaart – Telegraph

She wore a beautiful bracelet that Mellaart recognised as resembling Early Bronze Age jewellery from Troy. Zangger, along with Fred Meplaart, an independent researcher, took up the project and published details about one lengthy inscription in December, in the journal Proceedings of the Dutch Archaeological and Historical Society.

After that expedition’s completion inhe helped to publish its results. An earlier version of this story said that there is no photograph of a mural from Catalhoyuk that shows a volcano exploding. Zangger examined Mellaart’s apartment in London between Feb. He was spellbound; as a teenager he taught himself Kellaart Egyptian, followed by Ancient Greek and Latin.

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Some of the murals that Mellaart described in publications showed only drawings and no actual photographs.

James Mellaart forged documents throughout his life

After some months she wrote giving him permission to publish the drawings. Travelling on the train to Izmir in the summer ofMellaart said that he had met a girl called Anna Papastrati who was wearing a solid gold bracelet which he could not fail to notice.

Inhe was accused of inadvertently aiding jamfs trying to sell stolen artifacts and was barred from excavating in Turkey.

But when attempts were made to trace the treasure, neither it, nor Anna Papastrati, nor even the house where she lived, could be found. Mellaxrt mystery continues, and still excites debate on the world-wide web. In fact, there is a published photograph of meloaart mural that appears to have been taken at the time of excavation. Zangger said he feels betrayed by the fact that Mellaart asked researchers to publish his forgeries for him after his death. They married and had a son Alan, who is today a headhunter of the corporate sort in Istanbul.

He was also involved in a string of controversies, including the so-called mother goddess controversy [1] in Anatoliawhich eventually led to his being banned from excavations in Turkey in the s. For him, they were associated with the arrival of Indo-Europeans from the eastern Balkans. But her young helper was convinced there was further to go.

An old man now, he agrees he was headstrong and outspoken, often more than was good for him. Quod erat demonstrandumeven though the demonstration of his case broke his career.

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. Some hours later he rings me with this rather modest summary of his greatest endeavour: