Tuff Architecture


For my very last (and, at this point, quite late!) paper of the semester, I am comparing the volcanic tuff architecture of Cappadocia and that of the Southwestern US–Pajarito Plateau, to be exact.  I’m particularly interested in cavate architecture–where the tuff is actually carved into for more than a back wall/support structure as you see in many of the cliff dwellings in the Southwest.  It’s not a perfect fit, but it’s interesting comparing how people used the soft, sculptable rock in two different regions of the world.

The reading is actually a little sparse–there isn’t a lot in the way of useful literature about Cappadocia written in English and not a lot of archaeology has been done in the region, besides Asikli Höyük, another Neolithic tell site that some of the Catal folks work at.  The Southwest, on the other hand, has an immense amount of archaeological work published, except for most of it is about pottery–not very many architectural analyses that specifically look at tuff.  And the books that may be relevant are all stored in the Bancroft library, which is hands-down the worst library I have ever been to.  It’s an archive, so they’re doing their damndest to keep YOUR grubby hands off THEIR precious material.  But archiving books from 2005 that I could buy for $25 from Amazon and then throwing a big fit when I try to get them to fetch it from the big storage house in the sky, the NRLF?  Not altogether a wonderful fit for a researcher.