Thursday, December 22, 2022

Excavations at the Palatial Complex: Kerkenes Final Reports 2

Geoffrey D. Summers, with contributions by Susanne Berndt, Ahmet Çinici, Yılmaz Selim Erdal, Evangelia Pişkin, Noël Siver, and Françoise Summers; introduction by Nicholas D. Cahill; and Turkish summary by Güzin Eren














The city on the Kerkenes Dağ in the high plateau of central Turkey was a new Iron Age capital, very probably Pteria. Founded in the later seventh century BC, the city was put to the torch in the mid-sixth century and then abandoned. Excavations at what we have identified as the Palatial Complex were conducted between 1999 and 2005. The stone glacis supporting the Fortified Structure at the eastern end of the complex was revealed in its entirety while the greater portion of the Monumental Entrance was uncovered. Portions of buildings within the complex were also excavated, notably one-half of the heavily burned Ashlar Building, one corner of the Audience Hall, and parts of other structures.

This volume documents as fully as possible the results of those excavations with the exception of sculpture, some bearing Paleo-Phrygian inscription, already published (OIP 135). The location of the complex, its development from foundation to destruction, and its architecture are discussed and illustrated. Within the Monumental Entrance were extraordinary, unexpected, semi-iconic stone idols, and other embellishments that include stone blocks with bolsters, bases for large freestanding wooden columns, and stone plinths. Extensive use was made of iron in combination with timber-framed façades and large double-leafed doors. Objects of gold, silver, copper alloys, and iron attest to former splendor. Organization of the volume is roughly chronological, beginning with the Fortified Structure, and concluding with the Monumental Entrance. Presentation of material culture is organized with an emphasis on context.

Specialist chapters report on alphabetic and nonalphabetic graffiti and masons’ marks, animal bones among which was found the jawbone of a dolphin, and a Byzantine-period burial. This volume provides further dramatic and surprising new evidence for the power, wealth, and sophistication of an eastward expansion of Phrygian culture exemplified by architecture, cultic imagery, Paleo-Phrygian inscriptions and graffiti, pottery, and artifacts. The brief existence of this extraordinary city, hardly more than one hundred years, together with the excellent stratigraphic context provided by the destruction level, offer an unparalleled window onto the first half of the sixth century BC on the Anatolian Plateau.

Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations
List of Tables
List of Figures
List of Plates
Preface. Geoffrey D. Summers
Acknowledgments. Françoise Summers and Geoffrey D. Summers
Introduction. Nick Cahill
Bibliographical Notes on Kerkenes Project Publications
1. Background: Remote Sensing, Excavation Strategies, Methods, and Notation. Françoise Summers and Geoffrey D. Summers
2. The Fortified Structure A. Geoffrey D. Summers
3. Structures B, D, C, and E; the Northern Wall of the Complex and the Trench across the Street. Geoffrey D. Summers
4. The Audience Hall. Geoffrey D. Summers
5. The Ashlar Building. Geoffrey D. Summers
6. Visual Reconstructions of the Audience Hall and the Ashlar Building. Ahmet Çinici and Geoffrey D. Summers
7. The Monumental Entrance. Geoffrey D. Summers
8. The Finds. Geoffrey D. Summers and Noël Siver
9. Pot Marks and Graffiti on Pottery at Kerkenes Dağ. Susanne Berndt
10. Animal Bones from the Palatial Complex. Evangelia Pişkin
11. The Byzantine Period. Yılmaz Selim Erdal and Geoffrey D. Summers
12. Concluding Remarks. Geoffrey D. Summers
13. Türkçe Özet / Turkish Summary. Çeviren Güzin Eren
Appendix 1. Concordance of Site Inventory and Identification Numbers
Appendix 2. Concordance of Identification Numbers Ordered by Trench and Then by Unit
Appendix 3. Concordance of Trenches 1928–2011
Appendix 4. Units of Excavation by Trench
Appendix 5. Place Names
Appendix 6. Technical Abbreviations

  • Oriental Institute Publications 148
  • Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 2022
  • ISBN (hardcover) 978-1-61491-079-4
  • ISBN (eBook) 978-1-61491-080-0
  • Pp. 532 (xlvii + 485)
  • 1 figure; 241 plates; 21 tables
  • Hardback, 9 x 11.75 in
  • $149.95 (hardcover)

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