Spatial continuity of the house is often seen as crucial in providing temporal depth for the Neolithic societies of southwest Asia. While an emphasis on the creation of such continuities is evinced at densely agglomerated sites, other sites are characterised by dispersal and frequent relocation of habitation. Çatalhöyük (Turkey) and Tell Sabi Abyad (Syria) appear to be at either end of this spectrum. However, recently found evidence and reinterpretation of older evidence call into question the apparently stark distinction between the two sites. The purpose of this paper is to compare aspects of the archaeological evidence from Tell Sabi Abyad and Çatalhöyük, and in doing so to understand the different ways in which site formation and social continuity were achieved. In particular, the presence of breaks in spatial continuities – an often overlooked aspect of site formation – and its implications are discussed. It appears that at these two sites both continuity and breaks gave form and meaning to the settlements and to the societies that inhabited them. We argue that social continuities and anchors to the past can be constructed in many variable ways, and that direct spatial continuity of the house is but one.