From 2008-2011, the Turkish Cultural Foundation and the Global Heritage Fund partnered to support the Catalhoyuk Excavation in Turkey. In total, TCF has provided a total of $ 85,000 in matching funds to the Global Heritage Fund in support of Catalhoyuk.
TCF funds have supported the building of a shelter to protect the excavated areas and helped to establish walkways, display panels and signage for visitors. TCF grants also provided funding to train conservation students and members of the local community.
Catalhoyuk was finally designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2012, in part due to the diligent efforts of the international excavation team led by Stanford University archeologist Dr. Ian Hodder and improvements to the site as those funded by TCF. The only Neolithic site on the UNESCO list from the Middle East, Catalhoyuk carries universal value for our understanding of the way of life in early agricultural settlements. Inhabited by up to 8,000 people between 7,400 and 6,000 BCE, Catalhoyuk holds, in its streetless settlement of house clusters, numerous wall paintings – including what was recently discovered to may be the world’s oldest known landscape map.
Since 2008, TCF also made visits to Catalhoyuk a standing feature on the TCF Teacher Study Tours to help enhance education on the importance of Catalhoyuk to human civilization.