Dazilkree As ofMellaart had retired from teaching and lived in North London with his wife and grandson. Travelling on the train to Jellaart 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. They were damaged, he said, and been impossible to photograph before they crumbled to plaster dust. He was enviably talented as an archaeologist, and jakes adept in stirring controversies—an accumulation of which brought about the end mellzart his career in active research in Anatolian prehistory. Some experts have suggested that the mysterious girl was a honeytrap working for a gang of dealers seeking authentication for their treasure from a respected archaeologist before selling it to a wealthy collector. James Mellaart: The Man Who Changed History Jimmy spent several days working his way through the large collection of jewellery, gold and silver vessels, weapons and figurines, sketching and writing notes.
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Then, he would try to use this knowledge to develop a coherent historic panorama," Zangger said. This process in itself is not uncommon for an archaeologist or historian. The only difference is that legitimate researchers then look for evidence that either supports or refutes their ideas.
Instead, "Mellaart would fabricate drawings of artifacts and translations of alleged documents to reinforce his theories," Zangger said. Mellaart claimed that he could not read or write Luwian but that he was planning to describe his finding in a scientific publication. Mellaart had mentioned the inscriptions briefly in an article he published in in the Bulletin of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society journal.
Zangger, along with Fred Woudhuizen, 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. That inscription supposedly dates back 3, years and tells of a Trojan prince named Muksus. Some scholars suspected it could be a forgery. Left: Individual items of historic information on cardboard.
Center: handwritten first draft. Right: the finished alleged translation, signed: "I, Artahulas, wrote this tablet in the day of Ura-Tarhundas.
Some of the murals that Mellaart described in publications showed only drawings and no actual photographs. It is virtually impossible to disentangle," Zangger said. In , he was accused of inadvertently aiding smugglers trying to sell stolen artifacts and was barred from excavating in Turkey. During this time, he appears to have increasingly entered an imaginary world. Maybe he wanted to somehow retaliate by misleading his colleagues in the field," Zangger said.
It is much like a Harry Potter kind of world. The names are consistent and apparently make sense. Mellaart was evidently a genius in some ways. But he misused his talents, thereby causing tremendous damage to the field," Zangger said. In fact, there is a published photograph of that mural that appears to have been taken at the time of excavation.
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News James Mellaart James Mellaart, who has died aged 86, ranked among the most controversial archaeologists of the 20th century after claiming to have uncovered priceless royal artefacts plundered from Dorak, near the ancient city of Troy, which he said had been missing since the site was first excavated in the s. These Neolithic settlements contained not only the earliest textiles and pottery known to man but also the earliest paintings found on walls as distinct from caves. Mellaart explained that the original murals had proved impossible to remove or preserve. They were damaged, he said, and been impossible to photograph before they crumbled to plaster dust. Indeed, the only evidence of their existence were hurried sketches made by Mellaart and not released to public examination until , when they only added to the debate. There was no independent way of testing the accuracy, even the existence, of these frescoes, which Mellaart said depicted erupting volcanoes, scenes of men sowing and tending livestock the earliest evidence of the domestication of cattle , and formalised patterns of animals, birds and human figures in which Mellaart detected the origins of the Turkish kilim.
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The site has since been seen as important as it has helped in the study of the social and cultural dynamics of one of the earliest and largest permanently occupied farming settlements in the Near East. However, many other archaeologists did not agree with him, and the dispute created a controversy. Mellaart was even accused of making up at least some of the mythological stories he presented as genuine. The furor caused the Turkish government to close up the site. The site was unattended for the next 30 years until excavations were begun anew in the s.
James Mellaart: The Man Who Changed History
In , on his 80th birthday, he talked to Christian Tyler. We publish the article here in full. Born in , James Mellaart was educated in Leiden and London before going to Turkey in Jimmie Mellaart with his wife Arlette in their London home on his 80th birthday in Portrait by Charles Hopkinson Some people seem to have a nose for finding things.