Turkey Archaeology

Turkey Archaeology

Asia Europe

The archaeological documentation of ancient Anatolia has been substantially enriched thanks to excavations, explorations, recovery operations, systematic analyzes and fortuitous discoveries. In the decade following 1950, the number of archaeological expeditions, both Turkish and foreign, grew considerably.

The research on the Paleolithic has made progress thanks to the excavation of the large cave of Karain, N of Antalya (K. Kökten, 1946-74), which presents a stratified sequence of levels of the lower, middle and upper Paleolithic, up to a depth of over 10 meters. The activity of Paleolithic man in this area is also attested by the rock shelters of Beldibi and BelbaŞi SW of Antalya (E. Bostancı, 1959-62). Other excavations related to Paleolithic locations took place in caves at the mouth of the Orontes (Maǧaracık) in the Keban region and in a cave west of Istanbul in Yarımburgaz (Ş.A. Kansu, 1964-65). Superficial finds of Paleolithic tools have occurred in various locations, from the northwestern coast to Kars in the East. Rock carvings and figurative paintings are rare in the most ancient caves;

Many caves that present Paleolithic deposits were also occupied in the intermediate phase of the Mesolithic and the ancient Neolithic. The beginnings of primitive village life are studied mainly thanks to the excavation of hills in southern and eastern Anatolia. Excavations of Cayönü, near Ergani in the Upper Tigris region (H. Çambel and RJ Braidwood, ongoing since 1964) have revealed part of a preceramic village dating back to around 7000 BC. C. with houses well built on stone foundations; in this area the metalworking experiments began very early. In many places the study of primitive animal and vegetable remains and that of the trade and distribution of obsidian, of which Anatolia had good mines, for example, has made progress. in Çîftlik, 40 Km NW of Niǧde. The most important Neolithic community of the food production phase is Çatalhüyük, about 30 Km SE of Konya (J. Mellaart, 1961-67). This hill includes a Neolithic city dating back to around 6000 BC. C. with well established cultural traditions. The houses, with many rooms, were densely clustered and built of mud brick; paintings and wall reliefs depict hunting scenes, symbolic animals (bull heads) and human figures (a woman in childbirth position). Small sculptures were made with stone and terracotta for ritual purposes. The dead were buried in homes under a platform along with their personal belongings. Although metal began to appear, obsidian was the primary material for tools and weapons. Much used were wood, leather and fabrics. Some wall paintings imitate fabric or felt upholstery. It is clear that by this time many communities had already settled in Anatolia. Other Neolithic sites excavated are smaller, and partly older, eg. the aceramic phase of Hacılar near Burdur (J. Mellaart, 1957-60) and Suberde on Lake Suǧla (J. Bordaz, 1963-64). Partly contemporary with Çatalhüyük is the agricultural village of Erbaba near BeyŞehir (J. and L. Bordaz, from 1969, ongoing); the Neolithic levels of sites already excavated in Cilicia (Mersin and Tarsus) and in the Amuq area are also from the same period. 1957-60) and Suberde on Lake Suǧla (J. Bordaz, 1963-64). Partly contemporary with Çatalhüyük is the agricultural village of Erbaba near BeyŞehir (J. and L. Bordaz, from 1969, ongoing); the Neolithic levels of sites already excavated in Cilicia (Mersin and Tarsus) and in the Amuq area are also from the same period. 1957-60) and Suberde on Lake Suǧla (J. Bordaz, 1963-64). Partly contemporary with Çatalhüyük is the agricultural village of Erbaba near BeyŞehir (J. and L. Bordaz, from 1969, ongoing); the Neolithic levels of sites already excavated in Cilicia (Mersin and Tarsus) and in the Amuq area are also from the same period.

The subsequent Chalcolithic period (5000-3500 BC) is well represented by the ceramic phase of Hacılar and Can Hasan near Karaman (D. French, 1961-64). Agriculture and cattle breeding were the foundations of sedentary life, although trade and crafts were developing and the exploitation of copper began. In the Chalcolithic period of Hacılar and Can Hasan the pottery is painted in an elaborate way; the style of the decoration is independent of the Halaf-Ubaid type which instead influenced Cilicia and eastern Anatolia. In western Anatolia the late Chalcolithic is best represented in Beycesultan in the Meander valley (S. Lloyd and J. Mellaart, 1953-59), in Aphrodisias (K. Erim, from 1961, ongoing), in BaǧbaŞi near Elmalı (MJ Mellink, 1963-70) and Demirci Hüyük at EskiŞehir (M. Korfmann, since 1975, in progress). In this period (about 3500 BC) the localities of eastern Anatolia were intensifying relations with northern Syria and Mesopotamia, as is known from the excavations in the Keban region and Arslantepe near Malatya (see, in this App.).

For the Ancient Bronze Age it is known that large cities existed in KültepeKanish in Cappadocia (T. and N. Özgüç, since 1948, in progress), in Acemhöyük (N. Özgüç, since 1962, in progress), in Topaklı (P. Meriggi, L. Polacco, ongoing since 1966), in Karahüyük-Konya (S. Alp, ongoing since 1953) and in Beycesultan; there is also evidence of a city with a centralized economic system in the eastern Turkey, for example. in NorŞuntepe (H. Hauptmann, 1968-74) in the Keban region. Minor localities such as Pulur have also been excavated in the same area (H. KoŞay, 1968-70). Affinities in ceramics link this region, in the Ancient Bronze II, to the style known as Khirbet Kerak, typical of northern Syria and Palestine. There is a separate development in the Pontic region where wooden architecture prevails. In this area there is a keen interest in metalworking. In Horoztepe near Amasya a tomb has made metallic material (figurines and musical instruments) related to that of the royal tombs of Alaca Hüyük (T. Özgüç and M. Akok, 1956-57). A treasure from Eskiyapar near Alaca (R. Temizer, from 1967, ongoing) shows links with Troy and Ur. In the West, small protected communities are known in Demirci Hüyük (M. Korfmann, from 1975, ongoing) and Karatas near Elmalı (MJ Mellink, from 1963, ongoing). A necropolis a from 1967, ongoing) shows links with Troy and Ur. In the West, small protected communities are known in Demirci Hüyük (M. Korfmann, from 1975, ongoing) and Karatas near Elmalı (MJ Mellink, from 1963, ongoing). A necropolis a from 1967, ongoing) shows links with Troy and Ur. In the West, small protected communities are known in Demirci Hüyük (M. Korfmann, from 1975, ongoing) and Karatas near Elmalı (MJ Mellink, from 1963, ongoing). A necropolis a pìthoi dating back to the ancient Bronze Age, with a regular layout and arranged for family burials. Similar necropolises have been found at Yortan and Babaköy in Misia. A necropolis of cist tombs discovered in Iaso on the Carian coast (D. Levi, C. Laviosa, from 1960, in progress) shows an affinity with the Cycladic area.

Relations with Syria and Mesopotamia remain alive in Cilicia and south-eastern Anatolia. An Early Bronze III necropolis with cremation graves discovered in Gedikli Hüyük (UB and H. Alkim, 1964-67) shows innovations in the burial system. The destruction of some places of the Early Bronze Age (eg NorŞuntepe) can be attributed to raids by Akkadian kings.

At the beginning of the second millennium a. C. the city of Ashur sent its caravans to the Anatolian plateau where the ancient Assyrian merchants settled in the suburbs of the great fortified cities of Anatolia: the most important example of these was excavated at Kültepe-Kanish (T. and N. Özgüç, from 1948, ongoing). In the Karum (merchant quarter) dozens of houses have been excavated with their set of tablets, tools, artifacts and pottery, particularly rich in level II which shows traces of fire. In the center of the citadel, in an enclosure enclosed by separate walls, was the palace of the king of Kanish. A dagger was found with the inscription: “palace of Anitta, the great king”, relating to a king of the Ib period who ruled at Kanish and conquered Hattush, the city which later became the Hittite capital. The cylindrical and molded seals of Anatolian merchants, who traded with the ancient Assyrians, reveal an Anatolian world of gods, cults, rituals, symbols and sacred furnishings that was later adopted by the Hittite culture. Rich archives of seal prints, once linked to merchandise, they were also found in the burning buildings of Acemhöyük near Aksaray (N. Özgüc, from 1962, ongoing) and of Karahüyük-Konya (S. Alp, from 1952, ongoing). The complex commercial and artistic relations between Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Syria are beginning to be clarified, also including elements of the Aegean area. The richness of this period is evident in the beautiful rock crystal and obsidian vases and the carved ivories from Acemhöyük; the ivories show the development of the ancient Hittite style, which is also found in the local stamped seals. Palaces of this age were large and regular complexes built of mud brick and wood on stone foundations. To the south-east, in Tilmen Hüyük (UB Alkım, 1961-72), the walls of the buildings were covered with stone orthostats; in the west, in Beycesultan,

The main source for Hittite archeology and history remains Hattusha-Boǧazköy, where the Hittite kingdom was founded in the 17th century BC. Christ. Subsequent campaigns explored the archaeological sequence of the citadel and the lower city, leading to very important discoveries of texts (such as the bilingual annals of Hattushili I, dating back to around 1650 BC), of architectural and artistic elements from the ancient Hittite era until the fall of the Hittite kingdom, shortly after 1200 BC. Christ. The new excavations (K. Bittel, P. Neve, in progress since 1952) made it possible to complete the plan of the citadel; large parts of the city have been brought to light up to the burned level of the ancient Assyrian period; Particularly important discoveries were made in the excavation of the great temple I and the annexed complex to the south.

It became clear that early Hittite art excelled at relief work in stone, metal and ceramics. Relief clay pots illustrated with ritual scenes were found in Boǧazkoy (in fragments) and in a well-preserved specimen in Inandık N of Ankara (R. Temizer, 1966-67). These same themes appear in large format in stone reliefs on orthostats lining the towers of the Sphinx Gate at Alaca Hüyük, now put back on site (H. KoŞay, M. Akok, since 1940, ongoing). Also in Alaca Hüyük a fully rounded Hittite statue was found.

A secondary Hittite center is being excavated at MaŞat near Zile in the Tokat-Amasya region, with an archive (T. Özgüç, from 1973, ongoing). The texts allow the two superimposed palaces to be dated respectively to the 15th and 14th centuries. Other historical evidence comes from Korucutepe in the Keban region (M. van Loon and HG Güterbock, 1968-70), where bullae inscribed with Hittite hieroglyphics have been found which reveal that this was the district of Ishuwa. In Ilgın near Konya (R. Temizer, 1971-75) a stone water basin was found on which texts of Tuthaliya IV (about 1250 BC) are inscribed.

The international relations of the Hittite dynasty are now better known thanks to the archives of Hattusha and the discovery of the archives of Ugarit in northern Syria. Contacts with the Aegean area are also being clarified. The excavations of Miletus (C. Weickert, G. Kleiner, from 1955, in progress), of Iaso (D. Levi, C. Laviosa, from 1960, in progress) and of Cnido (I. Love, from 1967, in progress) revealed that Mid-Minoan contacts preceded Helladic ones. Layered deposits of late Helladic pottery show that Miletus was fortified in the 13th century BC. Christ. In the small town of Müskebi, W of Halicarnassus, Mycenaean colonists were buried in chamber tombs (Y. Boysal, 1963-66). A Mycenaean tomb was discovered in Ephesus; incidental finds of Mycenaean pottery have occurred in Ionia and Caria and also in more distant locations, such as Fraktin to S of Kayseri and to MaŞat in the upper level of the 13th century. The remains of a Late Bronze Age ship carrying copper ingots along the Lycian coast were found during an underwater archaeological expedition to Cape Gelidonya (GF Bass, 1960).

The exploration of the Urartian kingdom in eastern Anatolia has made great progress thanks to the excavations of the citadels of Van-Toprakkale (A. Erzen, since 1961, in progress), ÇavuŞtepe (A. Erzen, since 1961, in progress), Adilcevaz (E. Bilgiç and B. Öǧün, from 1964, ongoing), Patnos (R. Temizer and K. Balkan, 1961-64), Kayalıdere (S. Lloyd, 1965) and Alıntepe (T. Özgüç, 1958-66). Notable examples of fortifications, palaces, warehouses and temples have come to light; new inscriptions clarify the historical chronology. In Adilcevaz carved reliefs were found; murals in Altmtepe and Patnos; tombs with notable metal objects and a memorial consisting of four stelae were found in Altıntepe; the same locality also made a group of Urartian ivories.

It is now possible to learn more about the events of the Luvii, neo-Hittite survivors of the late Bronze Age, their art, architecture and history, thanks to the continuation of the works at Karatepe in the Taurus mountains (H. Çambel, since 1948, in progress) and at Malatya -Arslantepe (see malatya, in this App.), And thanks to the new excavations of Göllüdaǧ (B. Tezcan, 1968-69) and Porsuk Hüyük at UlukiıŞla (O. Pelon, since 1968, ongoing) and the discoveries in Kululu NE of Kayseri, where an important statue and lead strips with Luwian hieroglyphic texts came to light. The sculpture of the Neo-Hittite era is of great importance for the study of orientalizing Greek art. In Yesemek near Zincirli (UB Alkım, 1957-61) a quarry containing a large number of unfinished sculptures for orthostats and doors was explored.

The most ambitious successors of the Hittite kings were the kings of Phrygia. Their capital, Gordio, has been extensively excavated (RS Young, 1950-74); the fortified citadel, with mègara- shaped residential buildingsgables and large warehouses, reached full development in the 8th century BC. C.; destroyed by the Cimmerians in 696 a. C., was rebuilt in Phrygian style and subsequently restored under the auspices of the Lydians and Persians. The tombs of the Phrygian nobles were wooden chambers covered with large earth mounds; the largest, perhaps of King Midas, who died in 696 BC. C., was excavated in 1957. It contained a large and well built wooden cell with a double sloping roof. The king was buried there with a rich set of bronze vases, jugs, cauldrons, fibulae, fabrics and beautifully inlaid wooden furniture. In this tomb and in the citadel, at the pre-Cimmerian level, inscriptions in the Phrygian alphabet have been found.

Other Phrygian locations explored are Pessinunte (P. Lambrechts, 1967-73), and Hacıtuǧrul near Polatlı (B. Tezcan, from 1972, ongoing). Numerous Phrygian mounds have come to light in Ankara (E. Akurgal and S. Buluç, 1967-68). Important information on the expansion of the Phrygians towards the Hittite area comes from the Iron Age levels of localities that had been Hittite, especially Boǧazköy where the citadel and the lower city were reoccupied and where the presence of the Phrygians is attested by materials and inscriptions.. In Boǧazköy, Ankara and Gordio, statues and cultic reliefs of the Phrygian goddess Kybele-Kubaba have been found.

Another kingdom originating from Iron Age Anatolia is being explored in Sardi, capital of Lydia and of the Mermnade dynasty (GMA Hanfmann, CH Greenewalt jr., From 1958, ongoing). The citadel, the city and the mound necropolis (Bintepe) have been partially explored. Lydian architecture is distinguished by beautiful limestone and marble works, which are especially visible in the built burial chambers. Lydian sculpture, terracottas and ceramics show an affinity with eastern Greece. A Lydian gold-working workshop was discovered along the eastern bank of the Pattolo river. Excavations continue and an extensive exploration of the Lidian levels and fortifications is proposed. A lot of work has been done to excavate and restore some of the major buildings of the Roman and Byzantine Sardinians: the gymnasium, the marble courtyard, the synagogue. Lydian mounds have also been excavated in other locations. Several mounds were looted recently in Güre near UŞak; very beautiful silverware from an archaic tomb was recovered (B. Tezcan, 1966). Other mounds looted in the past are reported in Selçikler (N. Firatlı, 1967-70).

The Lycian capital Xanthos has been the subject of excavations since 1950 (P. Demargne and H. Metzger). Further research has begun at the sanctuary of the Letoon across the Xanthos River (since 1962, ongoing). The acropolis of Xanthos, the pillar tombs and other funerary monuments including the monument of the Nereids were studied; three temples and other shrine buildings have been excavated at the Letoon; bi- and trilingual texts (Lycian-Aramaic-Greek) came to light. In Limyra (J. Borchhardt, 1969-74) the heroon was excavatedof the Lycian king Pericles, high up on the slopes of a mountain, decorated with caryatids and reliefs; in the lower city the cenotaph of Caio Cesare (who died in Limyra in 4 AD) was discovered. In northern Lycia, near Elmalı (MJ Mellink, from 1969, ongoing) it was discovered that two mounds contained tomb chambers built and decorated with murals, the earliest being archaic dating to around 525 BC. C., the second in Grecopersian style dating back to around 475 BC. Christ.

According to PETSINCLUDE.COM, many of the major localities of the Greek, Hellenistic and Roman period are being excavated with long-term projects: Pergamum (E. Boehringer, W. von Radt, from 1957, ongoing) where the Asklepieion was exploredand where many parts of the acropolis are still being worked on, including a housing area; the ancient Smyrna-Bayraklı (E. Akurgal, from 1966, in progress) with the excavation of the temple of Athena and the houses to the South of the temple which have returned a large quantity of archaic and orientalizing pottery; Ephesus (F. Miltner, F. Eichler, H. Vetters, from 1954, ongoing) where he investigates the S complexes of the Via dei Marmi, the official buildings to the North and the agora, and where he continues the study of the complex of the altar of the Artemisio; Mileto (C. Weickert, G. Kleiner, W. Müller-Wiener, from 1955, ongoing) and Didyma (R. Naumann, K. Tuchelt, from 1962, ongoing) where the sacred way is being explored. In Caria, Iaso (D. Levi, C. Laviosa, from 1960, in progress) made a good sequence of levels of the Bronze and ancient Iron ages with architecture and tombs: the agora and annexed buildings are being studied; at Halicarnassus, new excavations at the Mausoleum (K. Jeppesen, ongoing since 1966) have led to a re-examination of the interpretation of the monument. Aphrodisias (K. Erim, from 1961, ongoing), where the theater and neighboring buildings are being excavated, is a rich source of classical sculptures and inscriptions; we are beginning to study Cnidus in detail and in depth (I. Love, from 1967, in progress). In Pamphylia, it has been made clear that Perge and Side were great Hellenistic-Roman cities (AM Mansel, J. Inan, from 1947, ongoing); in Anamur (E. Alföldi, J. Russell, from 1966, ongoing) work is being done on funerary monuments and large Roman buildings. Special projects have been undertaken in Dascilio, Focea, Pitane, Eritre, at Panionion, in Claro (L. Robert, 1950-61), in Cauno and Laodicea. In the Commagene, the historical and archaeological articulation of the funerary complex of Antiochus I at Nemrud Daǧ (T. Goell, 1953-64) and of the hierothèsion of Mithridates Callinico, in Arsamea (FK Doerner, from 1953, ongoing). On the island of Marmara, research has begun on the Proconnesian marble quarries and on the trade in sarcophagi (N. Asgari and N. Firath, ongoing since 1971); the quarries of Phrygia and Lydia are also being studied.

We insist on the importance of long-term exploration of the localities and monuments, also taking care, according to modern criteria, of conservation and restoration. Many of the ancient cities have become splendid open-air museums; important reconstruction projects were undertaken in Pergamum (Trajanus), Sardi, Ephesus (Celsus library) and Hierapolis (theater and martyrium, P. Verzone, ongoing since 1957).

Excavation projects are planned for the Byzantine period for many of the aforementioned locations, especially Pergamum, Sardis, Miletus, Cnidus, Aphrodisias, Xanthos and Anamur. In Istanbul the great church of S. Polieutto was excavated in Saraçhane, built in 425-527 (N. Firath and RM Harrison, 1964-69). Discoveries of cisterns, sculptures and sarcophagi are made annually by the staff of the Istanbul museums, who also record topographical observations. A 4th century hypogeum with frescoes has been excavated in Iznik-Nicea (N. Fıratlı, 1967). Other hypogea with paintings have been found in Istanbul, Izmit and Sardi. In the UŞak region, in Selçikler (N. Fıratlı and Ü. Izmirligil, ongoing 1966), a 6th century church was discovered, built on the ruins of Roman baths. In Lycia, churches have been studied in numerous locations. The Turkish Antiquities Department excavated and partially restored the church of St. Nicholas in Myra in 1963-64; further analyzes took place in 1964-68 (Y. Demiriz, U. Peschlow). Churches in the mountains N of Myra are being cataloged (RM Harrison, from 1958, ongoing). In Isauria a 5th century monastery has been excavated in Alahan (M. Gough, 1955-73) In the area around Bodrum diving expeditions have been dealing since 1961 with the remains of Byzantine ships (GF Bass). You see 1955-73) In the area around Bodrum diving expeditions have been dealing with the remains of Byzantine ships (GF Bass) since 1961. You see 1955-73) In the area around Bodrum diving expeditions have been dealing with the remains of Byzantine ships (GF Bass) since 1961.

Turkey Archaeology