Leiden University celebrated its 436th anniversary on February 8, 2011. One aspect of the festivities was the bestowal of an honorary doctorate on Ian Hodder.
Hodder is an archeologist and his fame derives from Catalhoyuk, a 9000 year old site in central Turkey. There are relief carvings and statues of many beasts, including felines excavated here. The urban setting is huge,-- a population of 8 to 10 thousand is possible -- and the clay housing resembles more a beehive in that the houses are stuck together,there are no pathways around the dwellings. The entrances are in the roof, and the original inhabitants would have descended via ladders into domestic spaces which were immaculately clean. The rooftops probably formed a plaza area for the inhabitants. When Hodder took over the excavation, in the early 1990s, he was associated with Cambridge University, and now he is affiliated with Stanford. He has recovered some 2,000 figurines, mostly animals, from Catalhoyuk.