Extensive Survey, 2009

In addition to intensive site survey, CLAS continued regional field survey along the edge of the foothills north of the Gygaean Lake. Survey units were usually defined by agricultural field boundaries through which survey teams of between two and six people walked parallel tracks at intervals of 20 meters. Assuming a two-meter wide observation swath for each surveyor, this protocol results in 10% coverage of each survey unit. Over the course of 10 days, CLAS surveyed 204 such survey units, focusing primarily on the area between the current paved road that skirts the northern edge of the lake and the lower foothills of the mountains to the north. This methodology resulted in good coverage of these areas, primarily of fields with good ground visibility. Fields to the south of the road were surveyed when there was a topographic rise that would preclude major overburden of lacustrine deposits. As with the intensive site survey, all finds were counted, and all diagnostic finds were collected. All survey unit and find documentation, photography, and/or drawings were then entered into a database.

Many SUs contained little or no cultural material. This is significant as it probably shows that further survey in the plain between the Gygaean Lake and the foothills is unnecessary, as lacustrine deposits have surely covered over any potential points of ancient activities in this area. Survey units in which cultural materials were collected, however, show that range of chronological periods represented spans at least the second millennium BCE and the early modern, Ottoman period.

In addition to survey units (or SUs), fields with high densities of finds and/or with architectural or other notable features were established as points of interest (POIs) or by more specific titles (e.g., tumuli). These POIs serve as labels for areas of special interest that would more typically be defined as archaeological “sites.” In 2009, CLAS identified one previously undocumented tumulus, and established 14 other POIs, including 9 settlement sites, 2 cemeteries, 2 quarries, and one singleton limestone bathtub-shaped sarcophagus of Lydian or Late Lydian type that was found removed from its original context. The chronological range of these finds extends from Early Bronze Age through the Late Antique period. That the majority of POIs were recorded in the foothills north of the lake calls for continued survey of the foothills in future years.

Of these POIs, Tınaztepe stands out as one of the more significant sites in the area. It has been known at least since 1981, when Archaeological Exploration of Sardis members noted a rectilinear foundation of roughly dressed limestone blocks just below its highest point and collected a Lydian skyphos sherd among later Hellenistic and Roman finds (Greenewalt et al. 1985: 57). The site was visited again briefly in 1995 by Manisa Museum staff and again in 2001 (Roosevelt 2003; 2009).

During the 2009 season, CLAS team members surveyed fields on and around the site and mapped the remains of what appears to have been a circuit of fortification wall, enclosing the northern terminus of the site and extending towards the south and the lakeshore. The remains of this wall are uniformly composed of unworked or sparingly worked fieldstones set without using mortar; the trace of wall takes several “jogs” as it turns around the contours of the artificial hill on which it was built. In addition, dense ceramic concentrations were noted especially at the southern terminus of the site.

Before this work, we hypothesized that the site was founded by the second millennium BCE: its form is characteristic of the known second millennium BCE fortifications in the survey area, and its wall construction matches well with known second millennium BCE walls at the nearby site of Kızbacı Tepesi (POI07.04). Finds from 2009, however, provide no support for this dating, showing only that the site was used in the Lydian period, with continued and probably continuous activity into the Byzantine period. Two Roman inscriptions found in nearby Kemerdamları and referring to a sanctuary of Apollo Pleurenos at Pleura (“on the shore”) may refer to this place (Roosevelt 2009).