Intensive Survey, 2009


The first nine days of 2009 fieldwork were spent at Kaymakçı (POI06.01). The goal was to define areas of occupation outside of the fortified citadel. This work follows on preliminary survey conducted in 2001 (Roosevelt 2003), extensive survey in 2006 (Roosevelt and Luke 2008), intensive microtopographic and geophysical mapping in 2007 (Roosevelt and Luke 2009); and architectural survey in 2008 (Roosevelt and Luke 2008R). As established from this earlier data, it is clear that the 8.6 ha citadel of Kaymakçı contains a number of different features and sectors within its bastioned and gated fortifications: lower southern and southeastern sectors, potentially small houses nestled in streets and/or workshop areas; a central sector characterized by additional circuits of fortification and at least two gates defining an inner citadel and abutting terraces; and a western sector containing the remains of large buildings, possibly including a building of megaron form.

Survey work in 2009 focused on areas outside the citadel, on the lower slopes of the site. Following a survey protocol similar to that adopted in 2008 for the site of Bozyer (POI05.43) (Roosevelt and Luke 2008R), a Real-Time Kinematic Geographic Positioning System (RTK GPS) (Topcon HiperLite+) was used to locate all survey units precisely by overlaying a virtual 40 by 40 meter grid on the previously documented upper site and extending that grid down the slopes in all directions. In addition, the RTK GPS was used to conduct microtopography survey of a few key areas. These included areas immediately southeast and northeast of the citadel, on the slopes of the site where access ramps may have been located and where a seemingly Iron Age tumulus was constructed on top of a second-millennium terrace.

Within each 40 by 40 meter grid square spaced evenly over the site, a 2.52 meter radius circle was inscribed on the ground to create a 20 square meter survey unit. A total of 455 survey units of this type were surveyed in 2009. Within each survey unit ground cover, land use, ground visibility, and other characteristics were recorded on a survey form, all finds were counted, and diagnostic finds were collected for documentation, photography, and drawing, as necessary. All survey-unit and find data was then entered into the project database system.

The 2009 survey data was then combined with that from previous years of survey at Kaymakçı using Geographic Information System (GIS) software (ArcGIS). The citadel and uppermost slopes of Kaymakçı (as surveyed in 2007) are relatively dense with material remains (ceramic finds, in this case); as one continues down the slopes the density of finds varies. As one continues along the ridge west-northwest towards Gür Dag, material remains drop off quickly, suggesting that the western boundary of the site should be located immediately west-northwest of the bastion and megaron-like building(s) of the western sector. Furthermore, several terraces to the immediate east of the citadel appear to be devoid of material culture; yet the density of contemporary finds on the upper and lower northeastern slopes and along the shore of the Gygaean Lake confirms the occupation of these areas in connection with the citadel at Kaymakçı. Similarly, the southwestern and southeastern slopes of the site are covered with material remains of varying density. The remains extend to the southwest at least as far as an area preliminary defined as a cemetery of pithos and cist graves, and as far as farm houses and a modern dirt road that runs along this side of the site.

The 2009 survey of Kaymakçı adds to our understanding of the extent of the site, which we are actively working to define with the goal of beginning excavations in the future. The site includes not only the well-fortified 8.6 ha citadel, but also several possible access ramps, lower terraces, and, with the exception of north-northwest of the citadel, settlement in all directions down the slopes as far as the modern agricultural fields on the southwest and the shores of the Gygaean Lake on the northeast. The density of surface remains is highest within and just outside the walls of the citadel. The areas between the citadel and the lakeshore show intermediate areas of occupation with increasing density along the shoreline. The material culture over this entire area is suggestive of relatively continuous settlement, similar to known second-millennium BCE patterns of lower settlement elsewhere in Anatolia. At Troy, notably, the relatively small citadel (c. 2 ha) is accompanied by a much larger lower town of relatively continuous density, with size estimates ranging from 20 ha to 40 ha (Korfmann 2004; Jablonka and Rose 2004). Kaymakçı then, can be discussed with two basic definitions: the upper citadel and the lower settlement, which extends and concentrates along the shores of the Gygaean Lake.

On a separate note, we record that looting occurred at Kaymakçı during the 2008/2009 winter in several areas of the site. Of specific note is a c. 8 meter deep pit, buttressed with sand bags and wooden supports, on the northeastern slope of the site. Looting at Kaymakçı tends to focus just above or beneath rock overhangs, suggesting that the lore of gold in naturally occurring bedrock outcrops still holds credibility with local populations. Based on the geology at the site, gold or other precious metals is not present; regardless, looting continues. For future excavations to take place, the condition of the site must remain in excellent condition. In order to protect the site as well as prepare for future excavations, we have now filed a registration form with the Manisa Museum of Ethnography and Archaeology to designate Kaymakçı as 1. derece sit alanı.

Kılcanlar Höyük

The settlement mound of Kılcanlar Höyük has been known to archaeologists and Manisa Museum staff at least since the early 1960s. It is located c. 250 meters west of the village of Kılcanlar, north of the Gygaean Lake, on land that has belonged to the family of İsmail Şanlıoğlu, of Akhisar, since the 1960s; in the 1970s and 1980s the land was used to grow cotton and/or tobacco; today the site is covered by an olive orchard that is deeply and annually plowed. Grab samples of pottery and other finds from its surface were collected by members of the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis in 1964, 1980, and 1981 (Hanfmann 1965; Greenewalt et al. 1985), by Manisa Museum staff in 1975, and by Recep Meriç’s survey team in 1984, and Meriç also made a topographic map of the site (Meriç 1985). Though unpublished, data on the material, kindly shared by the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis, indicates activities on the site ranging from the Early Bronze Age through the Byzantine or Ottoman eras, with a noted concentration in the second millennium BCE.

In order to establish the chronological range and density of material on the site CLAS returned to it to conduct microtopography survey and to make systematic collections following the same protocol that was used at Kaymakçı earlier in the season. A morning of microtopography survey established the dimensions of the site: area = c. 4.3 ha; max. length = c. 325 meters (east–west); max. W = c. 175 meters (north–south); max. H: 11.5 meters (west of center). Subsequently 20 square-meter collections units (2.5 meter radius circles) were spaced evenly within a 40 by 40 meter grid virtually superimposed over the entire 4.3 ha of the site for a total of 34 survey units. Following the survey, we filed a registration form with the Manisa Museum of Ethnography and Archaeology to protect the site under 1. derece sit alanı.

As at Kaymakçı, the results from the Kılcanlar survey were entered into a Geographic Information Systems database; the result is a map that visually represents the density of material culture over the mound with the southeastern areas showing the highest concentrations. During the course of the intensive survey, the high density of fieldstones was noted repeatedly. These appear on the surface because of annual and deep plowing, and they probably represent the now ruined stone foundations of structures once spread over the entire site. Multiple different time periods are represented, from Early Bronze Age through Byzantine, confirming the importance of Kılcanlar for understanding the broad culture-history of central Lydia.

Given the density of finds across the site, it is clear that Kılcanlar Höyük was a popular place to live for several millennia. Noted concentrations of material dating to the second millennium BCE, as noted previously, suggests the importance of the site in the regional network of second-millennium sites in central Lydia. It appears quite likely, in fact, that it was the primary lower settlement for which Asartepe, located c. 155 meters above and c. 1.4 kilometers to the north of Kılcanlar Höyük, served as a fortified citadel, perhaps used primarily in times of duress.