Navigation – Plan du site

AccueilNumérosXXVIIIChroniques des travaux archéologi...Tunceli Iron Age and Hellenistic ...

Chroniques des travaux archéologiques en Turquie 2019

Tunceli Iron Age and Hellenistic Survey - 2018

Serkan Erdoğan et Kudret Sezgin
p. 201-217


Le projet « Prospection de l’âge du fer et de la période hellénistique à Tunceli » qui se tient depuis 2016 dans les limites de la province de Tunceli vise à trouver de nouvelles données sur les vestiges archéologiques qui sont connus mais qui n’ont pas encore fait l’objet de recherches approfondies. Les travaux d’observation et de documentation de ce projet de recherche ont identifié en 2018 de nombreuses empreintes datant du début de l’âge du Bronze au Moyen Âge dans la région de Tunceli. Les nouveaux sites archéologiques en question se trouvent à Köteriç (Güneyharman), la vallée d’İndere, la Tour d’Obrukbaşı (Lemk), l’église Obrukbaşı (Lemk) ainsi que Yılanlı Kale. En outre, quelques caractéristiques non décrites auparavant de la forteresse de Mazgirt/Kaleköy et des tells de Til-Kale ainsi que Göktepe/Konaktepe seront abordés dans cet article. Par ailleurs, cet article, vise également à présenter une maison typique du village de Yaşaroğlu (Koman) dans la province de Mazgirt, laquelle reflète l’architecture traditionnelle de la région.

Haut de page

Texte intégral


1The survey project, which started in 2016 within the borders of the Tunceli province, is aimed at gathering data in order to understand how the Iron Age began in the Tunceli region, which cultural factors it can be identified by, what innovations were brought by the Urartian Kingdom’s expansion into the region, which routes or roads were used during the Urartian Period, what did the Urartian settlements look like, possible open-air spaces of worship, local sources of minerals during the Iron Age, and to what level they were processed. Additional goals of this survey include obtaining artifacts related to the cultural changes which occurred after the fall of the Urartian dominance and understanding how the Late Iron Age and the Hellenistic Period were reflected in the material culture of the region. The survey’s main goal, however, is to, in part, eliminate the lack of information regarding the archaeology of Tunceli, which, up until this point, has only played a minor role in archaeological research.

Fig. 1: Tunceli Iron Age and Hellenistic Period Survey – 2018

Fig. 1: Tunceli Iron Age and Hellenistic Period Survey – 2018

2The third season of field work of the “Tunceli Iron Age and Hellenistic Period Survey” project was carried out in May, 2018. Surveys were concentrated around the areas of Mazgirt, Hozat, and in part Çemişgezek (Fig. 1). Analyzing a total of 14 archaeological sites during the survey, these settlement areas were documented using the methods of photography, drafting, and recording geographical coordinates.

Surveys in the Village of Güneyharman (Köteriç)

3The village of Güneyharman is located 39 km southeast of the district center of Mazgirt and 54 km southeast of the city of Tunceli. Known as Köteriç or Köderiç among the locals, the name of the village was changed to Güneyharman after the formation of the Turkish Republic (İçişleri Bakanlığı, 1968, p. 250). The fertile lands of the village are located near the area where the Lycus (Peri) Stream meets the Arsanias (Murat) Stream. With its sloping topography, the area where the Köteriç settlement was built runs from north to south, from the village down to the Peri Stream. This is the reason why the land had been covered with terraces, making it suitable for agricultural activities since antiquity.

4The Köteriç settlement was recorded as “Kotariç” in Armenian sources from the Middle Ages (Hewsen, 1986-1987, p. 571; Hewsen, 2001, map 42, map 48). Thus, the name Köteriç should be regarded as a local pronunciation of Kotariç. Many researchers share the opinion that the area recorded as Citharizon (Greek: Κιθαριξων) in Byzantine and Syriac sources must be localized to Kotariç (Adontz, 1970, p. 207; Calder & Bean, 1958; Korobeikinov, 2003, p. 212 fn. 80; Maksymiuk 2015, p. 65 Map I 11, p. 68 Map I 12, p. 79 Map I 14; Markwart, 1930, pp. 50*-51*; Hewsen, 1992, p. 155, fn. 31). On the other hand, some researchers suggest that Citharizon should be identified with the village of Keteriz near Diyarbakır/Silvan (Janin, 1953, p. 998; Marciak, 2017, pp. 40-41). The ancient historian Procopius described Citharizon as being three days away from Theodosiopolis (Erzurum) and when measured directly, Keteriz is about 200 km (or 350 km via highway) from Erzurum, making the location of Keteriz convincingly consistent with that of Citharizon (Procopius, Buildings, 3.3.9). On the other hand, the location of the Kotariç/Köteriç settlement is about 170 km southwest of Erzurum (or 270 km via highway). Considering the conditions under which one travelled in antiquity, it seems even more logical to link Citharizon with Köteriç. In addition, Citharizon was said to be located in the region of Asthianine in antiquity. Similarly, the region where Kotariç was located in the Middle Ages was called Hasteankh (Procopius, Buildings 3.3.7-9; Gelzer & Burckhardt, 1907, p. 61 20; Hübschmann, 1904, p. 292). In relation to the geographical area referred to by these aforementioned place names during the Early Middle Ages, the settlement of Kotariç is said to have been near the Chordzane Canton which encompassed the region around Göynük Suyu near Bingöl (Maksymiuk, 2015, p. 120). Concordant with Procopius’ description of Citharizon, the İndere Valley near Köteriç is home to hilly and protected terrain with nearby water sources like the İnderesi Stream (Procopius, Buildings 3.3.7-8).

5During the 6th century CE and onwards, Citharizon was recorded as a fortress in Byzantine and Syriac sources (Gregorius, o. Cyprus., 1890, pp. 48, 174; John of Ephesus, trans. 1860, VI.17; Procopius, Buildings 3.3.7-9; Procopius, History of the Wars II.24.13; Justinian, trans. 1963, XXXI.1.3; Zachariah, trans. 1899, VI. 229) and during the reign of the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian (527-565 CE), the area was redeveloped for military purposes (Procopius, Buildings 3.3.7-9; Howard-Johnston, 2006, pp. 203-205; Whitby, 2017, p. 2). The religious importance of Citharizon began when it became the head of its diocese in the 6th century (Hewsen, 2001, p. 77 map 64; Korobeinikinov, 2003, p. 212 fn. 80).

6Many spolia such as khachkars and elements of church buildings were used as construction material in village houses (Fig. 2). These spolia, generally consist of full and partial khachkars with medieval characteristics dating to the 12th and 13th centuries.

Fig. 2: Samples of medieval spolia from the village of Güneyharman (Köteriç)

Fig. 2: Samples of medieval spolia from the village of Güneyharman (Köteriç)

Fig. 3: General appearance and artefacts of the Köteriç Mound

Fig. 3: General appearance and artefacts of the Köteriç Mound

7An archaeological settlement which can be classified as a mound was discovered within the village. Located inside the village itself, this mound has suffered extensive damage (Fig. 3). Potsherds dating from the Bronze to the Middle Ages were found scattered around the settlement. The most prominent group of wares among these, consists of gritty handmade sherds with concentrated amounts of chaff and red or black surfaces. A substantial portion of these amorphous wares appear to be tied to the Kura-Araxes culture. Thanks to the data these ceramics have provided, the beginning of this village settlement can be associated with the Late Bronze Age. Sherds dating to the Middle Ages and thereafter consist of common ware pottery with brick red, light brown, and grey slip and a low firing quality. The common ware sherds with green glaze dating to the Middle Ages or thereafter represent the mound’s latest period of artefacts. In addition to these potsherds, grinding stones, silex cores, chips, and stone tools possibly related to prehistoric food production were also recovered from the surface of the mound.

İndere Valley

8The İndere Valley is located 39 km southeast of Tunceli’s Mazgirt district center between the villages of Güneyharman (Köteriç), Karabulut (Sorek), and Obrukbaşı (Lemk). The valley is home to a geographic appearance measuring an average of 3.5 km in length and 0.8 km in width. Known as ‘İndere’, this valley can be accessed from the north via Obrukbaşı Village, the southeast via Karabulut Village, or the south via Güneyharman Village. Architectural and archaeological material dated to different periods were discovered along the edges and in the depths of this steep-sided, rocky valley.

9Until just recently, this valley was used as a stone quarry by an illegally operating company. In the southern entrance, damaged by machinery, architectural foundations are visible along the length of the hillside. With the help of ceramic sherds, this area was dated to the Middle Ages. The rocky area making up the valley’s southeast border is striking with its natural shelters (Fig. 4). A number of obsidian chips and blades worth recording were recovered from the hillside in front of these rock shelters. In addition to the aforementioned stone tools, a single, handmade bowl fragment with concentrated amounts of chuff, a black interior surface, and a speckled outer surface is noteworthy. Also seen in other nearby prehistoric settlements, this type of ware displays characteristics of the Early Bronze Age while the obsidian artefacts appear to be associated with the beginning of the Early Bronze Age.

Fig. 4: General appearance and rock shelters of the İndere Valley

Fig. 4: General appearance and rock shelters of the İndere Valley

Fig. 5: Iron Age settlement of the İndere Valley

Fig. 5: Iron Age settlement of the İndere Valley

10In the middle sections of the valley, many traces of architectural structures, the foundations of some are still partially visible, were discovered. The amount of sherds recovered from the area of these aforementioned structures shouldn’t be underestimated (Fig. 5). The most noteworthy and numerous groups of these ceramic fragments consists of grooved wares. This group of grooved wares generally displayed reddish-brown slip with surface color characteristics ranging in tones from red to brown, or gray to black. Depending on the firing technique, at times all these colors can be seen on the surface of the same ware. It is widely accepted that grooved wares arose in Eastern Anatolia during the Early Iron Age (Hauptmann, 1970, p. 105; Russell, 1980, pp. 35-36; Sevin, 1988, pp. 54-56). In addition, it seems that they persisted in the Urartian centers during the Middle Iron Age (Erdem, 2012, pp. 118-119). Both the large area over which its architecture is spread and the extensive presence of pottery point to the fact that this sheltered valley was home to a large settlement during the Iron Age.

11A small hilly area known as ‘Kilise Mevki’ is located near the stream bed at the base of the valley at the end of the southeast side where the rock shelters are located. The architectural ruins on this elevated area are indicative of a structure belonging to a monastery or a church, probably built during the Middle Ages. The herringbone shaped monolithic blocks discovered around the structure are probably pieces belonging to tombs. The most striking archaeological ruin here is the khachkar measuring 1.3 x 0.9 m and bearing a Maltese cross (Fig. 6).

Fig. 6: Kilise area, tombs, building blocks, and a large khachkar

Fig. 6: Kilise area, tombs, building blocks, and a large khachkar

Fig. 7: Location of Güneyharman (Köteriç) Village and the İndere Valley Settlement

Fig. 7: Location of Güneyharman (Köteriç) Village and the İndere Valley Settlement

12The İndere Valley appears to have been inhabited from the Prehistoric to the Middle Ages (Fig. 7). The fact that the valley is surrounded by high cliffs protecting it from external threats and, even more importantly, the presence of a stream flowing through the valley as its water source are among the most significant factors behind its long period of inhabitance.

Obrukbaşı (Lemk) Fortress

Fig. 8: Obrukbaşı (Lemk) Village and the Obrukbaşı Fortress

Fig. 8: Obrukbaşı (Lemk) Village and the Obrukbaşı Fortress

13Positioned at the end of İndere Valley, this settlement is located 45 km southeast of Tunceli’s Mazgirt district center approximately 500 m west of the village of Obrukbaşı (Lemk). Resembling a fortress, this settlement was built on top of a hill at the northern end of the İndere Valley (Fig. 8). The irregular heaps of stone amassed along the fortress’ easily accessible southern side are quite noteworthy. Roughly carved monumental stones, which are characteristic for a city wall, are visible among these heaps. In addition, partially processed stones possibly belonging to a variety of structures were also discovered.

14With stone terracing creating suitable conditions for settlement, the hill resembles an Iron Age defensive structure. The area’s most striking architectural feature are the terraced stone platforms on the northern side of the fortress’ hill, or in other words, on the side facing the village. The aforementioned stone platforms of the fortress end by a cliff. The few amorphous ceramics that are recovered consist of common ware sherds lacking any important features. Without any clear archaeological material relating it to the Urartian Kingdom, this settlement was likely inhabited during the Early Iron Age.

Obrukbaşı (Lemk) Village Kilise Settlement

Fig. 9: Obrukbaşı (Lemk) and Kilise Settlement

Fig. 9: Obrukbaşı (Lemk) and Kilise Settlement

15Situated at the northernmost edge of the İndere Valley, the Obrukbaşı (Lemk) Village is home to a small ridge referred to as a “Kilise (church)” where numerous handmade pottery fragments were recovered (Fig. 9). The forms and structural features of these wares suggest that the area was an Early Bronze Age settlement. A significant amount of these fragments possesses reddish-brown or light brown slip and, except for three bowl fragments with flaring rims, are all formless, amorphous wares. Based on their appearance, these can be dated to the Early Bronze Age. Ceramic sherds with red slip on their interiors and exteriors represent a distinct group of wares. These glazed ceramics appear to be related to the Bronze Age.


Fig. 10: General appearance and ceramics of the Til – Kale Mound

Fig. 10: General appearance and ceramics of the Til – Kale Mound

16The Til-Kale settlement is located within the borders of the Kuşçu Village, 37 km (by road) southeast of the Mazgirt district of Tunceli. This mound, found on the bank of today’s Keban Dam, is just 1 km south of the main road between Tunceli and Elazığ (Fig. 10).

17This mound-shaped settlement is perched on the top of a 15 m high, oval shaped hill spread over an area of approximately one tenth of a hectare. It’s impossible to provide an exact measurement of the area over which the settlement is spread due to erosion on the mound’s south side caused by reservoir waters and the probable removal of its soil. Cross sections corresponding to the multiple levels of buildings are visible on the eroded southern slopes of the mound. The well-defined stone rows on the mound’s eastern side are indicative of a network of city walls.

18Nearly all of the potsherds, obsidian artefacts, and stone tools of the Til-Kale Mound were recovered from its southern slope, which is at the risk of being submerged by the water of the Keban Dam. A large portion of the ceramic repertoire of the mound is comprised of sherds belonging to the Kura-Araxes culture and the Elazığ-Malatya painted pottery reflecting the characteristics of Early Bronze Age II and III pottery. We should mention that ceramic materials displaying characteristics of the Iron Age were also present at the Til-Kale settlement (Kleiss & Hauptmann, 1976, p. 16). Small amounts of a light brown ware datable to the Middle Bronze Age and a red-brown ware possibly dating to the Late Bronze Age were also identified. The wares with cream-colored slip and clay are most probably related to the Late Iron Age in the Eastern Anatolian region. Characteristics of the Middle Ages are reflected in a small number of ceramic fragments. In addition, a noteworthy amount of obsidian chips and stone tools resembling or serving the function of chisels were recovered from the mound’s southern slope.

Göktepe / Konaktepe Mound

Fig. 11: Göktepe & Konaktepe Mound

Fig. 11: Göktepe & Konaktepe Mound

19Located on the bank of today’s Keban Dam, the Konaktepe Mound is 21 km south of Tunceli’s Mazgirt district. The mound is approximately 75 m in diameter and 20 m high (Fig. 11).

20A large portion of the mound’s ceramic repertoire consists of a variety of handmade ware with black slip indicative of the traditions of the Kura-Araxes culture. On the other hand, handmade brick-colored potsherds datable to the Early Bronze Age along with a small amount of samples belonging to the Elazığ-Malatya painted pottery group were also discovered. In addition, it is also worth mentioning the handmade local ceramics with organic/chuff temper cream slip, and thick walls which can be dated to the beginning of the Early Bronze Age as well as the single sherd with cream slip, a simple rim edge, and a red band topped with a zig zag motif that might belong to the Late Iron Age. A small amount of obsidian chips and blades were also identified on the mound.

21A network of half-finished walls whose visible portions measure 2 x 3 m was identified on the mound’s eroded southern side and made even more recognizable after illegal excavations.

Mazgirt / Kaleköy Fortress

22The Kaleköy Fortress is located directly 5 km northeast, or 15 km by road from Tunceli’s Mazgirt district center (Fig. 12). With its double roomed rock tomb complete with an Urartian epitaph belonging to Argišti’s son Rusa, a tunnel with stairs, a stone room with a well, two open-air temples, and rock-cut platforms possibly belonging to a variety of structures, the Kaleköy Fortress displays many Urartian characteristics (Işık, 1995, p. 5, Fig. 3, abb. 4-9; Schäfer, 1977, pp. 249-268).

Fig. 12: View of the Mazgirt / Kaleköy Fortress from the east and north

Fig. 12: View of the Mazgirt / Kaleköy Fortress from the east and north

Fig. 13: Different aspects of the Mazgirt / Kaleköy Fortress Rock-cut Tomb

Fig. 13: Different aspects of the Mazgirt / Kaleköy Fortress Rock-cut Tomb

23The Kaleköy Fortress’ rock-cut tomb has two chambers and covers a total area of 31 m2 (Fig. 13). With an irregular rectangular shape, the main chamber measures 5.95 - 5.65 x 3.60 - 3.10 m and 2.50 m from floor to ceiling. Previously unnoticed traces of red paint accompanying the festooned molding were among the new findings acquired during the 2018 Tunceli survey. Traces of decorative semicircles painted with red wall paint accompanying each festooned-decorated cornice element were discovered above the inner and outer door frames of the rock tomb’s side chamber. These traces create the impression that the entire internal and external door frames were decorated with a similar pattern of wall paint. The traces of wall paint reveal that another red motif was painted within the red semicircle form. Although the significant amount of damage on the wall paint makes it impossible to form an opinion about what these motifs could be, its present state indicates that this may be a circular motif. The faint traces of paint on the circumambient cornices of the main room’s upper walls suggest that the aforementioned red wall paint was implemented on the entire arrangement of festooned cornices. Without a doubt, all of these motifs would have been combined with another dominating color of wall paint that has now faded. We are forced to evaluate these wall paintings based only on the faint traces of these rich interior decorations that remain today.

24The round, applique mortises built at 0.40 m intervals inside the tomb’s main room are among the newly identified archaeological discoveries related to the Kaleköy rock-cut tomb. In addition to the applique mortises on the main room’s niched northern wall, these are also visible on the other three walls. This type of applique mortises is used to hang a variety of items and it is claimed that they were made for the mushroom-headed nails called siqqatu in Akkadian. It has been suggested that concave square wall plaques were hung with these mushroom-headed nails from the applique mortises in the Horhor (Argišti) rock-cut tombs in the Van Fortress for decorative or ritualistic purposes (Dan, 2012, pp. 304-305, LVIII Fig. 7). The best evidence we have to support this theory is the presence of traces of square shapes with concave corners on the walls of the Horhor rock-cut chamber were the applique mounts were found. However, the area where objects are thought to have been hung in the Kaleköy rock-cut tomb is void of any type of marks, probably due to wear.

25With its monumental dromos, the Urartian epitaph, the large niche it houses, the festooned molding, and its careful craftsmanship, the Kaleköy rock-cut tomb is a prime example of Urartian rock-cut tomb architecture. This rock tomb’s decorative architectural elements, wall paintings, and traces of interior decor, are grand enough to be compared to those of the royal tombs in the Urartian capital of Tušpa. Despite the unknown identities of those buried in these rock tombs, we can assume that they were high-ranking members of the Urartian dynasty. For this reason, the Kaleköy Fortress rock-cut tomb should be assessed within the “royal tomb” category of Urartian rock-cut tombs.

26Grooved wares and a small number of thin-walled Urartian ceramics with red slip were discovered among the characteristically Iron Age period sherds found around the fortress.

A Traditional Example of Civil Architecture from the Yaşaroğlu (Koman) Village

Fig. 14: Traditional house architecture in the village of Yaşaroğlu (Koman)

Fig. 14: Traditional house architecture in the village of Yaşaroğlu (Koman)

27The house no. 23 in the Yaşaroğlu (Koman) village, located 22 km east of the district center of Mazgirt, is a great example of traditional architecture that has managed to survive to our day in Tunceli (Fig. 14). Based on oral accounts, we can date the construction of this house to the last quarter of the 19th century. The name of the first owner of the house was Bekir (? - 1916), one of the founders of the village. In 1916, during World War I, a fire started in the house and burned through the entire ground floor. The basement however remained largely intact. The house’s ground level was rebuilt in 1916.

28The house was two-storied including a ground floor and a basement. Stretching from southwest to northeast, the house was built with adobe bricks atop a stone base and has a flat roof. Built at the highest point of a valley, the house was built in regard to the slope of the land. Thusly, the house’s northern side facing the valley exhibits a two-storied appearance, while its south side seems to be a single storied building.

29Falling under the category of “Inner Sofa Type (iç sofalı)” in Anatolian residential architecture typology, the house possesses a rectangular plan. The house has two entrances with a set of stairs providing access between the ground floor and the basement. The floor of each level has been compressed and is made of plastered earth. The presence of a square arrangement of overlapping beams resembling a Kırlangıç (Tüteklikli) covering the southeastern side of the basement is the most noteworthy factor in the house’s construction technique. This pattern of kırlangıç covering overlapping beams seen on the basement ceiling is connected to the floor in front of the house’s entrance. This pattern was built above the square area using four oak beams measuring 0.25 m in diameter. By placing caps interpreted as battering rams atop these beams, they were turned into T-shaped column capitals. These capitals are visible on many wooden beams throughout the house. The practical, daily functions of this kırlangıç covering arrangement are to allow the smoke from the stove below it to escape and to let enough sunlight in to illuminate the room. With hallmarks of an area playing a large role in social life, this was also where all food was cooked and stored. According to oral accounts, this type of kırlangıç covering arrangement is related to the “Twelve Imams” tenet of the beliefs of the Alevi sect, attesting to its symbolic importance in the region.

30This house deviates from the Harput houses in its distinct architectural features of the kitchen. In this sense, it rather resembles the traditional kitchens of Erzurum. Our discovery of the fact that the eastern Turkish range of structures featuring this kırlangıç covering pattern spreads all the way to the southern border of the Tunceli region is another distinguishing result brought to light during these surveys (Şen & Erdoğan, 2019, p. 50).

31Structures with these kırlangıç covering arrangements possess a long historical past. It is generally accepted (Akın, 1991, p. 325; Marutyan, 2001, p. 82) that the type of house described by Xenophon in the Muş Plain during the 5th century BCE consisted of this kırlangıç covering arrangement (Xenophon, Anabasis IV.5.25). Its use is widespread in multifunctional architectural structures from Anatolia and Caucasia to the Pamir region (Akın, 1991, p. 329; Marutyan, 2001, p. 82; Köşklü, 2005, pp. 155-178). Found over a wide geographical area, this kırlangıç covering arrangement is known as Hazaraşen in the Southern Caucasus, meaning built from a thousand pieces in Armenian (Marutyan, 2001, pp. 82-83), Dar bazi in Georgian, Darvāze in Farsi, and Karadam in Azerbaijani (Tschubinaschwii, 1959, pp. 138-140; Choi, 2017, p. 200). During the Ottoman Period, this type of structure was known as Qulva in regional Dersim languages like Kurmanji or Zazaki.

Yılanlı Fortress

Fig. 15: Karaca / Yılanlı Fortress

Fig. 15: Karaca / Yılanlı Fortress

32Positioned 3 km northeast of the Hozat district center, Yılanlı Fortress is located within the borders of the village of Karaca just 1 km southeast of the village (Fig. 15). Fortification-like walls that reach up to 2 m in width in places, were discovered within this settlement. The remains of a structure, possibly a church, were identified on the south side of the fortress.

33Although this small-sized fortress structure possessed some indications that it could belong to the Middle Ages, the lack of mortar on the walls and the rough craftsmanship point to the Iron Age. The small amount of the recovered common ware ceramic sherds was unhelpful in dating the fortress.

Assessment and Conclusion

Fig. 16: Overview of settlements recorded during the Tunceli 2018 Survey

Fig. 16: Overview of settlements recorded during the Tunceli 2018 Survey

34As a supplement to the two previous research seasons, the 2018 Tunceli survey was concentrated around the area near flowing water in the relatively even topography to the south of Tunceli (Fig. 16). The best examples of the aforementioned assignment are presented in the settlements of Til-Kale, the Konaktepe Mound, the Köteriç Mound, and the İndere Settlement, which carry definite traces of the Early Bronze Age. The relationship between Tunceli’s geographical state and its prehistory, previously known through the rescue excavations of the Keban Dam, was confirmed in Sakyol (Pulur), located south of Çemisgezek, and the mound settlements of Yeniköy (Koşay, 1971, p. 103; Koşay, 1976a, pp. 155, 121; Koşay, 1976b, pp. 185-187).

35The question of which archaeological finds represent the Late Bronze Age in the Tunceli region remains unclear. According to our research, although it is hard to make an analogy among the Late Bronze Age ceramics, it is possible to state that these ceramics present regional characteristics.

36It is apparent that the dominant group of the Early and Middle Iron Age ceramics in the region is comprised of grooved wares. Across the province of Tunceli, Urartian ceramics with red, thin-walled qualities were not found except in the Mazgirt/Kaleköy Fortress. In addition, the work aimed at the identification and categorization of potsherds, which are thought to possibly belong to the Late Iron Age, continues.

37The majority of the Urartian/Middle Iron Age habitation detectable in Tunceli, which sits on the western border of the Urartian Kingdom, is located on top of Early Iron Age settlements. Til-Kale and the Mazgirt/Kaleköy Fortress can serve as examples of this type of continuous settlement. In spite of the presence of the inscription belonging to Rusa, son of Argišti, outlining some public works projects in the Mazgirt/Kaleköy Fortress, it is unlikely to suggest that Kaleköy was constructed by the king. This is because, when compared to planned cities reflecting characteristics of the public works of Rusa, son of Argišti, such as Ayanis, Kefkalesi, Bastam, and Karmir Blur, the Mazgirt/Kaleköy Fortress presents significant differences in both its size and settlement concept.

38It appears that Hellenistic and Roman settlements with geographical advantages such as Til-Kale and Köteriç, continued at the sites of mound settlements. In addition, certain traces from the antiquity were observed in the fieldwork conducted in Iron Age fortress settlements such as Bağin, Anbar, Rabat, Mazgirt, and Pertek in the previous years. Rock-cut tombs constitute the majority of the tomb types representing Hellenistic and Roman Period characteristics in Tunceli. Archaeological data related to the presence of these rock-cut tombs in the region was collected during the 2016 and 2017 surveys (Erdoğan, 2017, p. 452; Erdoğan, 2018, pp. 353, 356; Erdoğan & Şen 2019, pp. 287-306).

Haut de page


Adontz, N. (1970). Armenia in the Period of Justinian. The Political Conditions Based on the Naxarar System (Translated by Nina G. Garsoïan). Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Calder, W. M., & Bean, G. E. (1958). A Classical Map of Asia Minor. London: The British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara.

Choi, S. (2017). Bindirme Tavan: Bir Adlandırma Sorunsalı. Ankara Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi, VIII(2), 195-202.

Dan, R. (2012). Nails in the Wall: The sikkatu in Urartian Toreutic Production. In G. P. Basello, & A. V. Rossi (Eds.), Dariosh Studies II, Persepolis and its Settlements: Territorial System and Ideology in the Achaemenid State (pp. 301-311, Plates LV - LX, Fig. 1-11). Napoli: Universitá degli Studi di Napoli L’Orientale.

Erdem, A. (2012). Regional Variations in Iron Age Grooved Pottery in Eastern Anatolia. In A. Çilingiroğlu, & A. Sagona (Eds.), Anatolian Iron Ages 7 (pp. 113-130). Leuven - Paris - Walpole: Peeters.

Erdoğan, S. (2017). Demir Çağ ve Helenistik Dönem Tunceli Yüzey Araştırması - 2016. Araştırma Sonuçları Toplantısı, 35(2), 447-468.

Erdoğan, S. 2018: Demir Çağ ve Helenistik Dönem Tunceli Yüzey Araştırması - 2017. Araştırma Sonuçları Toplantısı, 36(3), 349-363.

Erdoğan, S., & Şen, K. (2019). Yeşil Segedik Gökçe Kaya Mezarları ve Surp Kevork (Kahraman Segedik) Kilisesi. Pamukkale University Journal of Social Sciences Institute 34, 287-306.

Gelzer, H., & Burckhardt, A. (1907). Des Stephanos von Taron Armenische Geschichte. Leipzig: Druck und Verlag von B. G. Teubner.

Gregorius, o. Cyprus., Leo VI, E. of the East., Gelzer, H. (1890). Georgii Cyprii Descriptio orbis romani. Lipsiae: B. G. Teubneri.

Günkut, A. (1991). Tüteklikli Örtü Geleneği: Anadolu Cami ve Tarikat Yapılarında Tüteklikli Örtü. Vakıflar Dergisi XXII, 323-354.

Hauptmann, H. (1970). Norsun-Tepe 1968 Kazıları Ön Raporu. In Keban Projesi 1968 Yaz Çalışmaları I/1 (pp. 103-130). Ankara: ODTÜ Keban Projesi Yayınları.

Hewsen, R. H. (1986-1987). A Geographical Note on the Encyclical of Catholicos Aristakēs II (1475). Revue des Études Arméniennes, XX, 569-576.

Hewsen, R. H. (1992). The Geography of Ananias of Širak [Ašxarhac’oyc’], the Long and the Short Recension. Introduction, Translation and Commentary (R. H. Hewsen, Trans.). Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag.

Hewsen, R. H. (2001). Armenia: A Historical Atlas. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Hübschmann, H. (1904). Die altarmenischen Ortsnamen – Mit Beiträgen zur historischen Topographie Armeniens und einer Karte. Straßburg: Verlag von Karl J. Trübner.

Howard–Johnston, J. D. (1985). Byzantine Anzitene, Armies and Frontiers in Roman and Byzantine Anatolia. In S. Mitchell (Ed.), BAR International Series 156 (pp. 239-290). Oxford: B.A.R.

Howard-Johnston, J. (2006). East Rome, Sasanian Persia and the End of Antiquity: Historiographical and Historical Studies. Hampshire - Burlington: Ashgate Variorum.

Işık, F. (1995). Die Offenen Felsheiligtümer Urartus und Ihre Beziehungen zu denen der Hethiter und Phryger. Roma: Gruppo Editoriale Internazionale.

İçişleri Bakanlığı, (1968). Köylerimiz - 1 Mart 1968 Gününe Kadar. Ankara: Başbakanlık Basımevi D. S. İ.

Janin, R. (1953). Citharizum. Dictionnaire d’Histoire et de Géographie Ecclésiastiques XII (Catulinus-Clinchamp) (pp. 998). Paris: Librairie Letouzey et Ané.

John of Ephesus. (1860). The Third Part of Ecclesiastial History of John Bishop of Ephesus (R. Payne Smith, Trans.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Justinian. (1963). Corpus iuris civilis: Vol.3 Novellae Recognovit Rudolfus Schoell Opus Schoellii Morte Interceptum Absolvit Guilelmus Kroll (R. Schöll & G. Kroll, Trans.). Berlin: Apud Weidmannos.

Kleiss, W., & Hauptmann, H. (1976). Topographische Karte von Urarṭu, Verzeichnis der Fundorte und Bibliographie, Archäologische Mitteilungen aus Iran Ergänzungsband 3. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag.

Korobeinikinov, D. 2003: Orthodox Communities in Eastern Anatolia in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries. 1 Part 1: The Two Patriarchates: Constantinople and Antioch. Al-Masāq 15(2), 197-214.

Koşay, H. Z. (1971). Pulur (Sakyol) Excavations 1969. Keban Project 1969 Activities. In Keban Project Publications I/4 (103-106, Pl. 73-79). Ankara: Middle East Technical University.

Koşay, H. Z. (1976a). Keban Project Pulur Excavations 1968-1970. In Keban Project Publications III/1. Ankara: Middle East Technical University.

Koşay H. Z. (1976b). Yeniköy Mound Excavations. In Keban Project 1972 Activities. Keban Project Publications I/5 (pp. 185-192, Pl. 100-119). Ankara: Middle East Technical University.

Köşklü, Z. (2005). Eski Erzurum Mutfağında Tandır: Yapılışı, Kullanımı ve Doğu Anadolu’daki Yeri Üzerine. Anadolu Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi 5(2), 155-178.

Maksymiuk, K. (2015). Geography of Roman – Iran wars. Military of operations of Rome and Sasanian Iran. Siedlce: Uniwersytet Przyrodniczo-Humanistyczny w Siedlcach.

Marciak, M. (2017). Sophene, Gordyene and Adiabene: Three Regna Minora of Northern Mesopotamia between East and West. Leiden/Boston: Brill.

Markwart, J. (1930). Südarmenien und die Tigrisquellen nach griechischen und arabischen Geographen. Wien: Mechitharisten-Buchdruckerei.

Marutyan, H. (2001). Home as the World. In L. Abrahamian, & N. Sweezy (Eds.), Armenian Folk Arts, Culture, and Identity (pp. 73 -100). Bloomington - Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

Procopius. (1940). On Buildings (H. B. Dewing & G. Downey, Trans.). Loeb Classical Library 343. Cambridge: MA: Harvard University Press.

Procopius. (1914). History of the Wars. (H. B. Dewing, Trans.) Loeb Classical Library 48. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Russell, H. F. (1980). Pre-Classical Pottery of Eastern Anatolia: based on a survey by Charles Burney of sites along the Euphrates and around Lake Van. Oxford: British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara.

Schäfer, H. P. (1977). Die Inschrift Rusa II. Argišteḫinis in Mazgirt - Kaleköy (UKN 279 = HChI 127). Studi Micenei ed Egeo – Anatolici, 18, 249-268.

Sevin, V. (1988). Elazığ Yöresi Erken Demir Çağı ve Muşkiler Sorunu. Höyük, 1, 51-64.

Şen, K., & Erdoğan, S. (2019). Geleneksel Tunceli Evlerinde Kırlangıç (Tüteklikli) Örtülü Bir Konut Örneği. Fırat Üniversitesi Harput Araştırmaları Dergisi, 6(12), 35-52.

Tschubinaschwii, G. (1959). Georgia, Art of. Encyclopedia of World Art 6 (pp. 138-140). New York: Mc Graw - Hill.

Whitby, M. (2017). Justinian and Persia, 527-562. The Encyclopedia of Ancient Battles Part X, (pp. 1-15).  New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

Xenophon. (1998). Anabasis. (C. L. Brownson & Rev. J. Dillery, Trans.). Loeb Classical Library 90. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Zachariah. (1899). The Syriac Chronicle Known as that of Zachariah of Mitylene. (F. J. Hamilton & E. W. Brooks, Trans.). London: Methuen & Co.

Haut de page

Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1: Tunceli Iron Age and Hellenistic Period Survey – 2018
Fichier image/jpeg, 314k
Titre Fig. 2: Samples of medieval spolia from the village of Güneyharman (Köteriç)
Fichier image/jpeg, 705k
Titre Fig. 3: General appearance and artefacts of the Köteriç Mound
Fichier image/jpeg, 320k
Titre Fig. 4: General appearance and rock shelters of the İndere Valley
Fichier image/jpeg, 430k
Titre Fig. 5: Iron Age settlement of the İndere Valley
Fichier image/jpeg, 359k
Titre Fig. 6: Kilise area, tombs, building blocks, and a large khachkar
Fichier image/jpeg, 685k
Titre Fig. 7: Location of Güneyharman (Köteriç) Village and the İndere Valley Settlement
Fichier image/jpeg, 585k
Titre Fig. 8: Obrukbaşı (Lemk) Village and the Obrukbaşı Fortress
Fichier image/jpeg, 407k
Titre Fig. 9: Obrukbaşı (Lemk) and Kilise Settlement
Fichier image/jpeg, 915k
Titre Fig. 10: General appearance and ceramics of the Til – Kale Mound
Fichier image/jpeg, 197k
Titre Fig. 11: Göktepe & Konaktepe Mound
Fichier image/jpeg, 215k
Titre Fig. 12: View of the Mazgirt / Kaleköy Fortress from the east and north
Fichier image/jpeg, 755k
Titre Fig. 13: Different aspects of the Mazgirt / Kaleköy Fortress Rock-cut Tomb
Fichier image/jpeg, 512k
Titre Fig. 14: Traditional house architecture in the village of Yaşaroğlu (Koman)
Fichier image/jpeg, 189k
Titre Fig. 15: Karaca / Yılanlı Fortress
Fichier image/jpeg, 543k
Titre Fig. 16: Overview of settlements recorded during the Tunceli 2018 Survey
Fichier image/png, 97k
Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Serkan Erdoğan et Kudret Sezgin, « Tunceli Iron Age and Hellenistic Survey - 2018 »Anatolia Antiqua, XXVIII | 2020, 201-217.

Référence électronique

Serkan Erdoğan et Kudret Sezgin, « Tunceli Iron Age and Hellenistic Survey - 2018 »Anatolia Antiqua [En ligne], XXVIII | 2020, mis en ligne le 01 décembre 2022, consulté le 06 février 2023. URL : ; DOI :

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur

Tous droits réservés

Haut de page
  • Logo Institut français d'études anatoliennes
  • Logo CNRS - Institut des sciences humaines et sociales
  • Logo Ministère de l’Europe et des affaires étrangères
  • Logo IPLI Foundation
  • OpenEdition Journals
Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search