Nicholas Kropacek, Eastern Turkey Tours Eastern Turkey is one of those truly undiscovered parts of the world that are rare to find today. It is thanks to CWA that it is being revealed to a discerning public for the right reasons: culture and history. Though it is beyond the remit of CWA, we should also mention […]
The Riches of Turkey
The history of Turkey tells of a 10,000 year-old civilisation. Anatolia is a melting pot where cultures from Sumer, Babylon, and Assyria interacted for centuries with peoples such as the Hattis, Hittites, and Hourrites. The result was a unique Anatolian civilisation which has long inspired the thoughts and legends of the West. The ancient Bronze Age witnessed the establishment of the first independent city states. At that time, the centre and southeast of Anatolia were inhabited by the indigenous Hattis. The most spectacular findings from this time are those of Alaca Hoyuk in the Kızılırmak region and of Horoztepe near Tokat, in the Black Sea region. They are contemporary with the royal tombs of Mycenae in Greece.
Denise Allen, Andante Travels There has been a curious contrast over the past decade: while archaeology has been hit hard by the recession, the level of interest of the general public has grown. People are better informed than they ever have been – through TV programmes and magazines – and we are only too delighted […]
The dig Imperial rivalry and a growing awareness that little was known of a major Anatolian civilisation of Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age date – the Hittite Empire – led to a British Museum-funded expedition to explore the remains at Carchemish immediately before the First World War. The Hittites were represented by monumental […]
The Glory of Byzantium and Early Christendom Antony Eastmond Phaidon Press, £59.95 ISBN 978-0714848105 Spanning the 4th-15th centuries, from the late Roman Empire to the Renaissance, the Byzantine Empire witnessed colossal cultural changes. Nowhere are these shifts reflected more clearly than in the art of its inhabitants, which sheds light on their interests, social structures, […]
One of the most spectacular excavations in the world today is in the Great Harbour, built by Theodosius I in Constantinople (Istanbul). So far, 36 shipwrecks have
been discovered – most dating to the 6th to 7th centuries AD – making it by far the biggest collection of craft known from Antiquity. How was it that such a major haul of ships was excavated? Therein lies an interesting story that Andrew Selkirk starts by looking at the transport problems of modern Istanbul.
Solving the mysteries at Van How were some of the first chariots made? Prof. Erkan Konyar of Istanbul University believes he has the answers. His theory turns on a series of strange rock ‘symbols’ found at the early 1st millennium BC site of Van, in Easern Turkey. Nadia Durrani writes. In the early 1st millennium […]
How the mighty have fallen High on a mountain top in a remote part of south-eastern Turkey, the gods congregate at a place known as Mount Nemrut (Nemrud Daği). It is not easy to reach, but definitely worth the climb. After a long trek up the mountain trail to a height of some 2,100m (6,900ft), […]
Excavations in southern Turkey have uncovered a huge Roman mosaic, suggesting that Imperial culture was more influential on the edge of the empire than previously thought. Decorated with large squares, each filled with a colourful geometric design, the mosaic was part of a baths, lying alongside a 25ft-long (7.5m) marble-lined pool, and is thought to […]
The unstoppable Persian king, Cyrus the Great, powered through Anatolia, conquering all in his path. In 547 BC, he defeated Croesus, the legendary Lydian king of ‘rich as Croesus’ fame. The new empire was divided into regional satrapies; the capital of one was Dascyleum, where recent excavations led by Kaan İren tell the story of that fiery onslaught and subsequent settlement.
The Koru tumulus The large cluster of tumuli around Lake Kuş (Lake Manyas) – reminiscent of the Thousand Mounds of Sardis, the great royal cemetery of the father of Croesus, King Alyattes – belongs to Dascyleum. It includes burials of Phrygian, Lydian, Persian, and Macedonian nobles. Here, Kaan İren reports on recent excavations at one […]
News breaking as we go to press that archaeologists have discovered an unknown language dating back 2,500 years to the days of the Assyrian Empire will not surprise CWA readers, who were given an early exclusive by Dr John MacGinnis in his feature on the ancient site of Ziyaret Tepe in Turkey (CWA 50). He […]
Excavations at Perge celebrate their 66th anniversary in summer 2012. The capital city of Pamphylia is a triumph of Classical and Hellenistic design. Now, investigations suggest its roots go back well before its artistic heyday. Prof Dr Haluk Abbasoğlu reveals the long and distinguished past of this prestigious site.
Göbekli Tepe in Anatolia is the world’s oldest man-made structure. Could religion have been the catalyst that ignited the ‘Neolithic Revolution’?
When magnificent mosaics were revealed in the Roman villas at Zeugma, such was their impact that the Turkish authorities decided they deserved their own museum. So it was that the largest mosaic museum in the world opened its doors last year; within two days, more than 3,000 visitors passed through them. The Zeugma Mosaic Museum […]
In Hellenistic and Roman Anatolia, Ephesus and Smyrna (modern Izmir) vied with each other. Ephesus became the more important city but Smyrna’s past is every bit as illustrious as that of its neighbour.
A jigsaw puzzle where 90% of the pieces survive, but there are 120,000 of them – and most the same colour.
The early history of Ionian city-states remains an enigma of Anatolian archaeology, but here at Clazomenae archaeologists are uncovering evidence for the very beginnings of Ionian civilisation.
The popular image of Neolithic communities is of small hamlet-sized groups. Excavation at the vast settlement at Domuztepe has turned this notion on its head. What rules or rituals could have bound such a huge community together? Alexandra Fletcher and Stuart Campbell believe a macabre ‘death pit’ and mysterious red-clay terrace hold the clue.
In the last 10 years, a flurry of archaeological excavation ahead of the completion of the Ilısu Dam on the River Tigris has surprised everyone with the sheer quantity and diversity of material uncovered. The Ziyaret Tepe Team reassess this little understood but soon to be lost region before it is too late.