Guest writer: Civilisation and the Catal Huyuk’s

By Anirban Sarkar I just managed to discover the most environment-friendly and pollution-free method to dispose off the dead. Neither burning nor burial can prove any match to this natural way to restore nature.

Throw the dead body in the open for vultures to swoon down upon them, eat to their fill, thus save many species of this bird that have gained the endangered status. They sure deserve a reservation and pampering.

Once the vultures gorge out the flesh and soft parts of the body that are prone to decay, pick up the sturdy bones and the peeled off basic skull and bury them…well…not in the open. That needs a lot of open space and will give a severe jolt to the rising India’s booming real-estate business. Tuck them under the floor, right below your bed!

Believe me, this is not my invention, but a discovery of a most scientific method that existed in antiquity—about two thousand years beyond the glamorous Mesopotamia came into existence.

About seven thousand to five thousand years before Jesus was born, that is, two thousand or four thousand years before the Mesopotamian civilisation (scientists are still busy fighting to decide the date) there existed a civilization called Catal Huyuk in Turkey. The Neolithic or late Stone Age civilization was no inferior breed compared to its start-studded counterparts in Mesopotamia or Harappa.

They ate meat, blackberries and many other fruits. And yes! They knew how to cook.  They left kitchens with indigenous chimneys to be discovered in the late twentieth century by a team of British archeologists. They did not eat cereals; does that mean they thrived on industries and not agriculture, which was the basis of any early civilization? If they did well with some berries and meat, why waste land for agriculture? They sure had a real estate boom those days! We Indians realized this little smart and flat piece of economy so late; also, even to these days people are crying hoarse over land-grabbing and SEZs. I wonder why our politicians and their uniformed henchmen waste time in making up logic and parallels, when we have such a brilliant piece of precedent to cite!

And now, the most important lesson they left for us to learn. How to prevent your house from burglars? Burglar alarms? Nope! That causes sound pollution. Best way is not to have a door at all. Then how would you enter your house? Well, they taught us that too. Through the roof with a ladder. Climb up and climb down.  Before going to bed, just remove the ladder. And place some fire right below the roof-door. The thief can’t jump or try his tricks with a rope. In that case he lands up straight into the purgatory flames and then goes to heaven.

Also, there were roof-to-roof roads and alleyways, connected with ladders. You could easily hop on roof to roof and hop off at the market. Because they knew climbing down is easy, climbing up is difficult.

And the most important part of all, who were the heads of their families? Well, it was always the female. She had a bigger bed in the form of a raised platform running along the wall. The male had a smaller one on the other side. The beds also worked as their writing desk and workstation during the day. Quite a space saving architectural strategy, which is the buzzword of the modern-day interior decorators! And to save even more space, as mentioned above, the bones and skulls of the dead of the family neatly swathed in cloth of other materials and respectably tucked under those bed-cum-burial platforms.

Major part of our urban population believes, the root of all evils in society is the swelling population. Earlier civilisations did not have to face this crisis. Well, you are badly mistaken! More than eight thousand years ago there existed this civilization called Catal Huyuk and Professor Lawrence Angel had reasons to assert that overcrowding was a serious issue to this antique civilization that lived in an era which dates back to a period much before than any civilisation was ever thought did exist. But, see how well they managed.

And now the mosquitoes! The people of Catal Huyuk suffered from a terrible disease that is carried by the malaria causing tiny winged monsters! Surprisingly, there are no mosquitoes to be found in the region where the civilization had spread its wings. This leaves a serious question, did they migrate from other regions, carrying hyperostosis and may be a bit of culture along? If so, as it is very likely to have happened, why do people question one’s patriotism when he craves to move out of India and settle down in the Silicon Valley or the credit-crunched Great Britain.  You cannot deny the menace of the mosquitoes in our urban towns and even the sylvan villages. And sure those winged beasts should be a deciding factor about our career and life-style and your ‘home’.