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Chroniques des travaux archéologiques en Turquie 2020

Elazığ Prehistoric Archaeological Survey (EPAS) 2020 – Uluova and Vicinity: A Preliminary Report

Abdulkadir Özdemir
p. 149-184

Résumés

Cette contribution présente les résultats préliminaires d’un projet de prospection archéologique menée dans les confins occidentaux de l’Anatolie orientale, plus précisément dans la province d’Elazığ. En 2020, le projet intitulé « Prospection préhistorique archéologique d’Elazığ » (Elazığ Prehistoric Archaeological Survey - EPAS), s’est concentré sur la documentation des sites archéologiques allant du Néolithique à la fin de l’âge de Bronze à Uluova et dans ses environs, dans les limites du district central d’Elazığ. Au cours de la première saison de prospection, au total 38 sites ont été étudiés dans cette zone. Parmi ceux-ci, 17 n’avaient jamais été enregistrés auparavant. Des procédures bureaucratiques ont été lancées par l’EPAS par le biais du Conseil régional de préservation du patrimoine culturel à Diyarbakır pour que ces 17 sites soient officiellement inscrits au registre du patrimoine culturel afin que des mesures urgentes puissent être mises en œuvre pour la préservation des sites. En outre, divers autres sites non documentés auparavant ont été identifiés et enregistrés par le projet EPAS. Bien qu’Elazığ ait été le pivot du projet de barrage du Keban (1968-1976), qui fut sans conteste l’initiative archéologique la plus importante de la région, aucune autre fouille n’a été menée dans la province au cours des décennies suivantes. Après une longue interruption, l’EPAS marque le début d’une nouvelle ère, revitalisant l’archéologie préhistorique à Elazığ. Malheureusement, l’observation la plus frappante de cette saison de prospection est la gravité de la destruction en cours, cela même sur les sites précédemment enregistrés. Certains höyük sont presque oblitérés par des bâtiments modernes, tandis que d’autres sont menacés par l’activité agricole. La province d’Elazığ et essentiellement ses districts qui abritent encore un riche patrimoine culturel allant de la préhistoire à l’époque contemporaine, attendent encore d’être explorés par les archéologues.

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Introduction

1Eastern Anatolia has been home to many cultures throughout the ages since early prehistory. The Upper Euphrates Basin, where Elazığ is located in the western reaches of Eastern Anatolia, was systematically investigated by archaeological surveys and excavations within the framework of the Keban Project initiated in 1968. Scientific findings of salvage excavations conducted in the Keban Dam Reservoir Area demonstrated that Eastern Anatolia was inhabited by complex societies since early prehistory, contrary to the commonly-held belief that this highland terrain was too hostile for early human settlements. Prior to the findings from Keban, Near Eastern archaeologists perceived the region as a secondary settlement zone and a periphery of the great Mesopotamian ‘core’ civilizations (Özdoğan, 2006, p. 14).

2The most significant result of the Keban Project (1968-1976) was the documentation of permanent settlements dating to the Neolithic and following periods in the Upper Euphrates Basin (Özdoğan, 2006, p. 15). This discovery was a major milestone for the history of archaeological research in the region. A particularly significant observation that emerged out of Keban was the understanding that the Anti-Taurus mountain range did not constitute a geographical barrier between Syria-Mesopotamia and Anatolia. Rather, and to the contrary, the Elazığ region was a lively hub of interactions between these cultural spheres, while a distinct local cultural tradition had also developed in the region (Özdoğan, 2019a, p. 45). In the following decades, reconnaissance surveys and salvage excavations in the Karakaya and Atatürk Dam Reservoirs continued to provide new archaeological evidence to support these observations, changing the way how the region is perceived in broader Near Eastern scholarship. As a whole, results of these regional projects demonstrated that communities inhabiting the settlement basins and plateaus lying north of the Anti-Taurus Range, including the modern provinces of Malatya, Elazığ, and Bingöl in Eastern Anatolia, had developed an independent, local cultural idiom, while integrating cultural traits from neighbouring communities in Syria-Mesopotamia (Özdoğan, 2019b, p. xvi).

3The earliest systematic surveys in the region encompassing Elazığ and environs were carried out in 1945 by K. Kökten, who conducted another field season in 1969 (Kökten, 1947, 1971). C. A. Burney’s regional survey in 1956 (Burney, 1958; Russell, 1980) and the surveys conducted by R. Whallon and S. Kantman in 1967 within the framework of the Keban Project (Whallon & Kantman, 1970) are also among early investigations in the region. In the following decades, a number of regional surveys were conducted in the Malatya, Elazığ, Tunceli, and Bingöl provinces: by V. Sevin in 1985-1987 (see Köroğlu, 1996; Sevin, 1987, 1988, 1989a), by H. Bahar in 1987 (Bahar, 1989), by M. B. Aşan also in 1987 (Aşan, 1989), and finally by E. Danık between 1995-2000 (Danık, 2001, 2002). As a whole, a great number of archaeological sites were documented during these surveys, which shed light on the culture-historical sequences and settlement patterns in various basins.

4As for Elazığ province in particular, a total of 52 archaeological sites (8 in Avşan and 38 in Altınova) were documented during preliminary surveys in the 1967 season of Keban Project (Whallon, 1979, p. 16). An additional 11 sites were discovered during the following seasons (1968-1976) of Keban Project, increasing the total number to 63 archaeological sites in the basin (Özdoğan, 2006, p. 16). The cumulative results of surveys demonstrated that Elazığ was densely settled during the Bronze and Iron Ages. Earlier prehistory of the region was documented at fewer sites such as Boytepe (Whallon, 1979) and Çınaz III (Bahar, 1989).

5Elazığ Prehistoric Archaeological Survey (EPAS) Project is a 3-year-long, regional archaeological survey initiative encompassing an area of 9383 km2 within the administrative boundaries of the Central District of Elazığ Province and its villages (Fig. 1). The chronological focus of the project spans the millennia from the Neolithic Period to the end of the Bronze Ages. The first field season in 2020 covered the Uluova District and its vicinity as planned.

Fig. 1 Map showing the boundaries of Elazığ Prehistoric Archaeological Survey (EPAS) research area encompassing the central district of Elazığ province

Fig. 1 Map showing the boundaries of Elazığ Prehistoric Archaeological Survey (EPAS) research area encompassing the central district of Elazığ province

Enes Karadeniz

Elazığ Prehistoric Archaeological Survey (EPAS) 2020: 1st Season – Uluova & Vicinity

  • 1 The author would like to thank the General Directorate of Cultural Assets and Museums, Ministry of (...)
  • 2 On behalf of EPAS team, the author would like to express deep-felt gratitude to Archaeologist Ergün (...)

6The first field season of the “Elazığ Prehistoric Archaeological Survey” (EPAS) Project was conducted in 2020 in Uluova and vicinity within the Central District of Elazığ Province with the permit issued by the General Directorate of Cultural Assets and Museums, Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey1. Field season lasted from September 1st to September 20th under the directorship of the author and with the participation of students and specialists2. 38 archaeological sites were investigated in Uluova (formerly known as Altınova) and vicinity, 26 of which yielded finds dating to prehistoric periods (Fig. 2, Table 1). Although the research focus of EPAS spans from the Neolithic to the end of the Bronze Ages, sites dating to later periods (Iron Age, Roman Period, Medieval) encountered during the survey were also documented and, when necessary, recommended to the Regional Board for site preservation. All sites identified during the 2020 field season are presented in this report to the interest of specialists.

Fig. 2 Map showing the location of archaeological sites investigated during the 2020 season of EPAS Project in Uluova and vicinity

Fig. 2 Map showing the location of archaeological sites investigated during the 2020 season of EPAS Project in Uluova and vicinity

Enes Karadeniz

Table 1. List of archaeological sites investigated by Elazığ Prehistoric Archaeological Survey (EPAS) Project in 2020 field season

EPAS
Site No.

Site Name

Site Type

Chronological Periods
Documented at Site

Nearest Modern Village,
Locality / Neighbourhood

1

Yalnız Höyüğü

Mound

Neolithic (?)

Yalnız village

2

Sarıyakup

Slope
settlement

Iron Age,
Middle Ages (?)

Sarıyakup village,
Değirmentaşı locality

3

Tadım Kalesi &
Höyüğü

Fortress &
Mound

Early Bronze Age,
Iron Age, Middle Ages

Tadım village

4

Ürünveren

Slope
settlement

Iron Age

Ürünveren village,
Zümenk locality

5

Sarılı Höyüğü

Mound

Neolithic (?),
Early Bronze Age

Sarılı village

6

Sarılı Tarihi Yerleşim
Alanı

Historical
ruins

Iron Age,
Roman Period

Sarılı village

7

Badempınarı
(Malatçık) Höyüğü

Mound

Early Bronze Age,
Iron Age, Middle Ages

Badempınarı (Malatçık) village,
Köyönü locality

8

Gökçe Höyüğü

Mound

Roman Period,
Middle Ages

Gökçe village

9

Killik Tepe Höyüğü

Mound

Early Bronze Age

Gökçe village, Çay locality

10

Tilenzit Höyüğü

Mound

Early Bronze Age,
Iron Age, Middle Ages

Doğankuş (Tilenzit) village,
Tepealtı locality

11

Ufaktepe

Mound

Neolithic (?),
Early Bronze Age

Bahçekapı (Şintil) village

12

Yedigöze Höyüğü

Mound

Iron Age, Middle Ages

Yedigöze village, Köy İçi

13

Dedepınarı (Çulçapur)
Höyüğü

Mound

Early Bronze Age,
Middle Ages

Dedepınarı (Çulçapur) village,
Kayışlıpınar locality

14

Körkuyu Höyük

Mound

Early Bronze Age,
Iron Age, Middle Ages

Akçakiraz township,
Körkuyu locality

15

Vertetil Höyüğü

Mound

Early Bronze Age,
Iron Age, Middle Ages

Yazıkonak (Vertetil) township,
Tepe neighbourhood

16

Kamber Deresi

Flat
settlement

Iron Age, Middle Ages

Doğankuş (Tilenzit) village,
Kamber Stream locality

17

Karşıbağ Höyük

Mound

Early Bronze Age,
Iron Age

Mollakendi township,
Karşıbağ locality

18

Yurtbaşı Höyüğü

Mound

Early Bronze Age,
Middle Ages

Yurtbaşı (Hoğu) township,
Tepe neighbourhood, Köy İçi

19

Gurbet Mezrası
Tepesi

Highland
site

Middle Ages

Yurtbaşı (Hoğu) township, Gurbet
hamlet

20

Yünlüce Höyük 1

Mound

Early Bronze Age,
Iron Age, Middle Ages

Yünlüce (Mürü) village,
Kırkgöz locality

21

Yünlüce Höyük 2

Mound

Early Bronze Age,
Iron Age, Middle Ages

Yünlüce (Mürü) village, Mezarlık
(village cemetery)

22

Könk (Yenikapı)
Höyüğü

Mound

Early Bronze Age,
Middle Bronze Age,
Iron Age, Middle Ages

Yenikapı (Könk) village

23

Kövenk Höyüğü

Mound

Early Bronze Age,
Iron Age, Middle Ages

Mollakendi (Kövenk) township,
Güntaşı village, Köy İçi

24

Tepe Höyüğü

Mound

Early Bronze Age,
Middle Ages

Mollakendi (Kövenk) township,
Tepe neighbourhood, Köy İçi

25

Yıldıztepe (Könk)
Höyüğü & Kalesi

Mound &
Fortress

Iron Age, Middle Ages

Elmapınarı (Yukarı Ağınsı) village,
Eyüp Bağları locality

26

Çağlar Höyük 1

Mound

Early Bronze Age

Çağlar (Sarpulu) village,
Karapınar locality

27

Çağlar Höyük 2

Mound

Early Bronze Age,
Iron Age

Çağlar (Sarpulu) village,
Kentaltı locality

28

Kuşhane Höyüğü

Mound

Early Bronze Age,
Middle Ages

Kuşhane village

29

Sarıkamış Höyüğü

Mound

Middle Ages

Sarıkamış village

30

Tahpur Tepesi

Hilltop site

Iron Age

Elmapınarı (Yukarı Ağınsı) village,
Haruni locality

31

Tilkitepe

Mound

Early Bronze Age,
Iron Age

Yurtbaşı township, Sanayi
neighborhood, Posunlar locality

32

Değirmenderesi
Tepesi

Hilltop site

Iron Age

Konakalmaz village,
Değirmenderesi Merası (pasture)

33

Konakalmaz Höyüğü

Mound

Early Bronze Age,
Middle Ages

Konakalmaz village

34

Altıntepe (Zenteriç)
Höyüğü

Mound

Early Bronze Age

Değirmenönü (Zenteriç) village

35

Boytepe

Mound

Aceramic Neolithic,
Chalcolithic, Early Bronze
Age, Iron Age

Değirmenönü (Zenteriç) village,
Sepet Tarla locality

36

Körtepe

Mound

Early Bronze, Middle
Bronze, Iron Age, Roman,
Middle Ages

Değirmenönü (Zenteriç) village,
Körtepe locality

37

Değirmenönü Kalesi

Fortress

Roman Period

Değirmenönü (Zenteriç) village

38

Değirmenönü
Tümülüsü

Mound

Roman Period

Değirmenönü (Zenteriç) village

1. Yalnız Höyüğü

7Yalnız Höyüğü is a previously undocumented mound, located at Güzelağa Mevkii, west of Sarıyakup village and 1.30 km southwest of Yalnız (Yalavuz) village. It is a low, circular mound, measuring 100 m in diameter across both N-S and E-W axes (Fig. 3). A perennial stream bed runs south of the mound. The mound has lost its original height over time as a result of agricultural activity. Remains of stone foundations were observed on the southern skirts of the mound during investigations. Surface finds include ceramic sherds datable possibly to the Neolithic, as well as obsidian blades, ground-stone tools, and marble bowl fragments.

Fig. 3 Yalnız Höyüğü, general view and examples of ceramic sherds, obsidian tools, and marble bowl fragments from the site

Fig. 3 Yalnız Höyüğü, general view and examples of ceramic sherds, obsidian tools, and marble bowl fragments from the site

2. Sarıyakup Slope Settlement

8A previously unregistered archaeological site was identified by our team on a slope at Değirmentaşı Mevkii, ca. 1 km north of Sarıyakup village. Değirmentaşı Stream runs north of the site. A broken millstone was found nearby and the quarry, where the millstone was cut out of the bedrock, was discovered close to the site. A few, side-by-side, regularly cut, circular pits trenched into the natural bedrock, bearing toolmarks, were discovered ca. 500 m north of the slope settlement. Surface finds at the site consisted of a few ceramic sherds datable to the Iron Age.

3. Tadım Kalesi & Höyüğü (Fortress & Mound)

9Tadım Höyüğü is a mound that hosts the standing ruins of Tadım Fortress. The site is located at the centre of Tadım village and was previously visited by C. A. Burney in 1956 and published as “Tadım” in his survey report (Burney, 1958, p. 194, Map.III.290). Archaeological deposits on the slopes and the skirts of the mound are severely disturbed by intensive modern settlement and road construction (Fig. 4). Surface finds consist of a small assemblage of ceramic sherds dating to the Early Bronze Age I, Iron Age, and the Middle Ages.

Fig. 4 Tadım fortress and mound, aerial view by drone, and ceramic sherds from the mound

Fig. 4 Tadım fortress and mound, aerial view by drone, and ceramic sherds from the mound

4. Ürünveren Slope Settlement

10Our team discovered a previously unknown site located on a slope at Zümenk Mevkii that lies northeast of Ürünveren village (Fig. 5). Yukarıdere Stream runs E-W along the southern limit of the site, where archaeological deposits are disturbed due to natural erosion. A large group of Iron Age ceramic sherds were collected by walking surveys on the slope.

Fig. 5 Ürünveren slope settlement, general view and ceramic sherds from the site

Fig. 5 Ürünveren slope settlement, general view and ceramic sherds from the site

5. Sarılı Höyüğü

11Sarılı mound is located at Çayırlı Mevkii, ca. 1.5 km northwest of Sarılı village (Fig. 6). The site was first discovered and investigated by EPAS in 2020. The mound has lost its original height as a result of agricultural activity. Surface survey collections from the mound include many ceramic sherds, a smaller number of obsidian blades, and a stone axe (Fig. 34:15). The majority of the finds date to the Early Bronze Age, while some of the sherds may preliminarily be dated to the Neolithic Period.

Fig. 6 Sarılı Höyüğü, aerial view by drone and ceramic sherds from the mound

Fig. 6 Sarılı Höyüğü, aerial view by drone and ceramic sherds from the mound

6. Sarılı Tarihi Yerleşim Alanı

12Historical period ruins, located 2 km east of Sarılı village and 2 km south of Tohumlu village, were visited by EPAS in 2020 (Fig. 7). This site has not been registered or published prior to the investigations carried out by EPAS, which revealed prehistoric finds on the mound, where the ruins are located. To the west of the site, a creek can be seen flowing N-S. Small accumulations of stones are observable in the vicinity, which may be identified as scattered architectural elements. Surface collection includes ceramic sherds datable to the Early Bronze Age, Roman Period, and the Middle Ages.

Fig. 7 Sarılı historical ruins, general view and ceramic sherds from the site

Fig. 7 Sarılı historical ruins, general view and ceramic sherds from the site

7. Badempınarı (Malatçık) Höyüğü

13This mound, which has been identified for the first time by EPAS lies 200 m north of Badempınarı (Malatçık) village (Fig. 8). Ceramic sherds collected from the surface are few in number and datable to the Early Bronze Age and the Roman Period. Additionally, a stone axe of the EBA was found during surface surveys on the mound (Fig. 34:13).

Fig. 8 Badempınarı Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

Fig. 8 Badempınarı Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

8. Gökçe Höyüğü

14The site is located 1 km southeast of Gökçe village and is flanked by Latoğlu (Gökçe) and Karaoğlu (Baki) streams. In certain sections of this low mound, the bedrock is exposed at a depth of ca. 25 cm from the surface. Surface collection is small but consists of fine wares of the Roman and Byzantine Periods.

9. Killik Tepe Höyüğü

15The site is located at Çay Mevkii, ca. 1.5 km west of Gökçe village (Fig. 9). This mound was discovered by EPAS in 2020. Large boulders and burnt mudbrick detritus are observable in the eastern part of the mound. The site yielded an abundance of surface materials including ceramic sherds, obsidian, and ground-stone tools dating to the Early Bronze Age (Fig. 34: 26, 28). Additionally, burnt mudbrick debris and human skeletal remains were encountered during walking surveys at the site.

Fig. 9 Killik Tepe Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

Fig. 9 Killik Tepe Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

10. Tilenzit Höyüğü

16The mound is located at Tepealtı Mevkii that lies 1.25 km southwest of Doğankuş (Tilenzit) village (Fig. 10). The site was first discovered by C. A. Burney in 1956 and published as “Tinazit” in survey reports (Burney, 1958, Map.III.274; Russell, 1980, p. 135). Covering an area of ca. 3.2 hectares, Tilenzit is one of the largest mounds in Uluova. The top of the mound measures about 100-150 m across the N-S axis, while it is 250 m wide at its base. Burnt mudbricks were found on the northern and eastern slopes of the mound. Because the surface of the mound was covered with thick vegetation during the field season, surface collection is small. Ceramic sherds found at the site date to the Early Bronze Age, Iron Age, and the Middle Ages.

Fig. 10 Tilenzit Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

Fig. 10 Tilenzit Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

11. Ufaktepe

17Ufaktepe mound was discovered and documented for the first time by EPAS in 2020. The site is located at Bahçeyolu Mevkii, which lies 1.5 km east of Bahçekapı (Şintil) village and 1 km southwest of another mound known as Doğankuş Höyüğü (Fig. 11). Ufaktepe has lost its original height due to intensive cultivation in the area and continues to be threatened by ongoing agricultural activity. Walking surveys on the mound have yielded a sizeable assemblage of Early Bronze Age ceramics, obsidian blade tools, lithics and a grinding stone fragment. Additionally, a stone bead (Fig. 34:24) and various sherds from the site may possibly date to the Neolithic Period.

Fig. 11 Ufaktepe, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

Fig. 11 Ufaktepe, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

Fig. 32 Değirmenönü Kalesi, general view and ceramic sherds from the fortress site

Fig. 32 Değirmenönü Kalesi, general view and ceramic sherds from the fortress site

Fig. 34 A selection of registered artefacts from archaeological sites in Uluova and vicinity surveyed during the 2020 field season of EPAS Project

Fig. 34 A selection of registered artefacts from archaeological sites in Uluova and vicinity surveyed during the 2020 field season of EPAS Project

Könk (1–3, 5–6, 8, 14, 16–17, 27, 31); Çağlar Höyük 2 (4, 7, 9–10, 20, 25, 32); Körtepe (11–12, 29–30); Badempınarı (13); Sarılı Höyüğü (15); Boytepe (18, 21); Altıntepe (19); Yünlüce Höyük 2 (22); Yünlüce Höyük 1 (23); Ufaktepe (24); Killik Tepe Höyüğü (26, 28)

12. Yedigöze Höyüğü

18The mound is located in the settlement centre (Köyiçi Mevkii) of Yedigöze village and it was identified as an archaeological site for the first time by EPAS. The sprawl of residential buildings has covered the mound so intensively that the original contours of the mound cannot be defined. Modern buildings have severely disturbed archaeological deposits. Surface collection consists of only a few ceramic sherds datable to the Iron Age and the Middle Ages.

13. Dedepınarı (Çulçapur) Höyüğü

19The site is located at Kayışlıpınar Mevkii, ca. 2.5 km northeast of Dedepınarı (Çulçapur) village (Fig. 12). This previously undocumented mound was investigated for the first time by EPAS in 2020. Surface collection includes ceramics, obsidian, lithics, and ground-stone tools dating to the Early Bronze Age, as well as ceramic sherds from the Middle Ages.

Fig. 12 Dedepınarı Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

Fig. 12 Dedepınarı Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

14. Körkuyu Höyük

20The mound is located at Körkuyu Mevkii, which lies 3.7 km southwest of the centre of Akçakiraz (Perçenc) township, ca. 1 km east of Zafer neighbourhood (Fig. 13). This is yet another important settlement site that was undocumented prior to the investigations carried out by EPAS in 2020. Walking surveys at the site documented a concentration of Early Bronze Age ceramics, including Karaz Ware and Malatya-Elazığ Painted Ware sherds in the western sector of the mound, while Iron Age ceramics were concentrated in the northern sector of the mound. Additionally, obsidian and ground-stone tools were found at the site.

Fig. 13 Körkuyu Höyük, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

Fig. 13 Körkuyu Höyük, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

15. Vertetil Höyüğü

21Vertetil mound is located in Yazıkonak (Vertetil) township, within the settlement centre (Köyiçi Mevkii) and covering the area known as Tepebaşı Mevkii (Fig. 14). The site was first discovered by K. Kökten in 1945 and published as “Vertetil” in survey reports (Kökten, 1947, Pl. LXXVIII.65). The surface of the mound is entirely covered by modern residential buildings and severe destruction is observable on all its slopes. Surface collection consists of finds dating to the Early Bronze Age, Iron Age, and the Middle Ages.

Fig. 14 Vertetil Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

Fig. 14 Vertetil Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

16. Kamber Deresi

22EPAS team identified an archaeological site located about 1.3 km north of Doğankuş village, at a locality known as Kamber Deresi Mevkii (Fig. 15). The 10-meter-wide riverbed of a perennial stream (Kamber Deresi) runs north of the site. Currently, the site appears as a flat settlement area; however, it is not possible to glean the original height and profile of the site (perhaps a low mound) due to destruction by agricultural activity. Groove-decorated wares datable to the Iron Age and diagnostic sherds of the Middle Ages were found on the surface and several mortars and grinding stones were encountered in the dry riverbed.

Fig. 15 Kamber Deresi flat settlement, general view and ceramic sherds from the site

Fig. 15 Kamber Deresi flat settlement, general view and ceramic sherds from the site

17. Karşıbağ Höyüğü

23The mound is located at Çayarası Mevkii, which lies ca. 1.1 km southwest of Karşıbağ neighbourhood of Mollakendi (Kövenk) township. It was first discovered by K. Kökten in 1945 and published as “Kehli” (Kökten, 1947, p. 461, Pl. LXXVIII.66), and revisited by C. A. Burney in 1956 and published under the same name (Burney, 1958, Map.III.275; Russell, 1980, p. 135). A rehabilitated stream (Kehli) runs north of the mound, where archaeological strata are very disturbed by soil removal. Walking surveys on the mound, which was covered by vegetation, documented a small number of body sherds of the Bronze Age and Iron Age.

18. Yurtbaşı Höyüğü

24The site is located in the residential centre (Köyiçi Mevkii) of Tepe neighbourhood in Yurtbaşı (Hoğu) township (Fig. 16). The mound was first discovered by K. Kökten in 1945 and published as “Hogu” in the survey report (Kökten, 1947, Pl. LXXVIII.73). Later, it was revisited by C. A. Burney in 1956 and results were published under the name “Hoğu” (Burney, 1958, Map.III.277). Today, Yurtbaşı Central Mosque rises on top of the mound and residential neighbourhoods cover its surface. A large number of Early Bronze Age ceramics and glazed wares of the Middle Ages were found on the surface and in vertical sections exposed by soil removal and modern constructions.

Fig. 16 Yurtbaşı Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

Fig. 16 Yurtbaşı Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

19. Gurbet Mezrası Tepesi

25This hilltop site is located at Gurbet Mezrası (hamlet) of Yurtbaşı township. The site appears as a single-period settlement founded on bedrock. Surface collection is small and consists of ceramics from the Middle Ages.

20. Yünlüce Höyük 1

26The mound is located at Kırkgöz Mevkii, ca. 1.8 km southeast of Yünlüce Köyü (Mürü). It is a low and widespread mound, about 2 m higher than the plain. The mound and its skirts have been levelled by agricultural activity. Apart from Early Bronze Age and Middle Iron Age ceramics, surface finds include a stone spindle-whorl / bead (Fig. 34:23), and green-glazed wares of the Middle Ages.

21. Yünlüce Höyük 2

27The site lies at Kırkgöz Mevkii, ca. 2.3 km southeast of Yünlüce (Mürü) village and 500 m southeast of Yünlüce Höyük 1 (Fig. 17). It is a small and low mound, about 3 m higher than the plain. Surface collection includes a large assemblage of ceramics from the Early Bronze Age, Iron Age, and the Middle Ages; obsidian, lithics, and fragments of mortars and grinding stones (Fig. 34:22).

Fig. 17 Yünlüce Höyük 2, general view, and ceramic sherds and obsidian tools from the mound

Fig. 17 Yünlüce Höyük 2, general view, and ceramic sherds and obsidian tools from the mound

22. Könk (Yenikapı Höyüğü)

28The site is located ca. 900 m north of Yenikapı (Könk) village (Fig. 18). First discovered by K. Kökten in 1945 and published as “Könk” (Kökten, 1947, Lev. LXXVIII.70), the site was revisited in 1956 by C. A. Burney and findings reported under the same name (Burney, 1958, p. 195, Map.III.271). During the Keban Project surveys, the site was revisited again and registered as Könk “054/7” (Whallon, 1979, pp. 198-199; Whallon & Kantman, 1970, p. 2). Having remained within the dam reservoir lake as an island, the mound is accessible by a land-bridge that forms in dry seasons when the water level is low. As a result of low rainfall in 2020 and intense water erosion on the mound, walking surveys revealed a particularly rich inventory of finds (Fig. 34): baked clay ‘çeç’-type stamp-seal, figurine, idol, miniature vessel and lid; stone axe and mace-head fragments. Ceramic assemblage is also large and diverse, consisting of Early Bronze Age, Middle Bronze Age, and Iron Age ceramics, as well as glazed wares of the Middle Ages.

Fig. 18 Könk (Yenikapı) Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

Fig. 18 Könk (Yenikapı) Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

23. Kövenk Höyüğü

29The site is located in Güntaşı village of Mollakendi (Kövenk) township (Fig. 19). It was first discovered in 1945 by K. Kökten and published as “Kuvank/Kövenk” in survey reports (Kökten, 1947, p. 461, Pl. LXXVIII.68). The site was revisited by C. A. Burney in 1956 and findings were reported under the name “Kövenk” (Burney, 1958, Map.III.273). Although Kövenk is one of the most prominent mounds in the region, it is severely disturbed by dense modern settlement on the top and southern skirts. Burnt mudbrick debris is visible in a vertical section caused by soil removal on the northern slope, and simple inhumation burials with scattered human skeletal remains are exposed in another area cut by a road on the northwestern slope. The surface of the mound was covered with dense vegetation during the field season resulting in a small surface collection consisting of Early Bronze Age and Iron Age ceramics, as well as yellow-glazed sherds dating to the Middle Ages.

Fig. 19 Kövenk Höyüğü, general view, and ceramic sherds and lithics from the mound

Fig. 19 Kövenk Höyüğü, general view, and ceramic sherds and lithics from the mound

24. Tepe Höyüğü

30The site is located in Tepe neighbourhood of Mollakendi (Kövenk) township. Discovered by EPAS in 2020, the mound was found in severe condition. The surface was covered by dense vegetation during the field season and as such the surface collection is modest, consisting of Early Bronze Age ceramics and green-glazed wares of the Middle Ages.

25. Yıldıztepe (Könk) Höyüğü & Kalesi (Mound & Fortress)

31Yıldıztepe is located at Eyüpbağları Mevkii, ca. 300 m south of Elazığ-Bingöl highway, west of Elmapınarı (Yukarı Ağınsı) village (Fig. 20). The site is registered in the official site inventory of the Regional Cultural Assets Preservation Board as “Könk Höyüğü ve Kalesi” (Könk Mound and Fortress), although it was investigated and published by V. Sevin as “Yıldıztepe” in survey reports (Sevin, 1989, pp. 460-461). Partially standing remains of Medieval Period walls with grog (Khorasan mortar) masonry are visible south of the mound, and traces of stone foundations are found in the western sector of the mound. Surface collection is modest and consists of ceramics datable to the Iron Age and the Middle Ages.

Fig. 20 Yıldıztepe (Könk) Höyüğü & Kalesi, general view of mound and fortress site, and ceramic sherds from the site

Fig. 20 Yıldıztepe (Könk) Höyüğü & Kalesi, general view of mound and fortress site, and ceramic sherds from the site

26. Çağlar Höyük 1

32The site is located at Karapınar Mevkii, ca. 700 m east of Çağlar (Sarpulu) village, on nationalized land surrounding the Keban Dam, but outside the dam reservoir lake (Fig. 21). It is a low and widespread mound, ca. 2 m higher than the plain, and lies in intensively cultivated crop fields. Surface collection includes Early Bronze Age ceramics, grinding stones, and stone weights.

Fig. 21 Çağlar Höyük 1, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

Fig. 21 Çağlar Höyük 1, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

33The site was not registered in the site inventory of the Regional Board prior to our survey in 2020. However, a small mound by the name of “Maşatlık (054/5)” is reported in Keban Project reports (Whallon, 1979, p. 194; Whallon & Kantman, 1970, p. 2), which we were not able to locate during our investigations in the region. It is possible therefore that the mound registered as “Çağlar Höyük 1” by EPAS is the same site as “Maşatlık (054/5)” in the Keban Project reports.

27. Çağlar Höyük 2

34Çağlar Höyük 2 is located at Kentaltı Mevkii, ca. 900 m northeast of Çağlar (Sarpulu) village and ca. 350 m north of Çağlar Höyük 1 (Fig. 22). Çağlar Höyük 2 is about the same size and form as Çağlar Höyük 1 and also located on nationalized land on the southern shore of Keban Reservoir Lake. Surface finds include a large assemblage of Early Bronze Age ceramics, obsidian, and a rich inventory of small finds (Fig. 34), as well as Iron Age ceramics.

Fig. 22 Çağlar Höyük 2, general view, and ceramic sherds and obsidian tools from the mound

Fig. 22 Çağlar Höyük 2, general view, and ceramic sherds and obsidian tools from the mound

35In the published report of K. Kökten’s 1945 survey, this small mound is mentioned as “Sarpulu and four small hills around it” (Kökten, 1947, p. 461, Pl. LXXVIII.69). In C. A. Burney’s 1956 survey report, the archaeological site at this location is simply marked as “Sarpulu” on the map and multiple hills/mounds are not mentioned (Burney, 1958, Map.III.272). The Sarpulu mound in both reports refers to the larger, central mound, where the modern village settlement was founded. Currently, the Sarpulu mound is entirely covered by abandoned mudbrick houses and ruins of the village. There are no sections, where archaeological deposits are exposed, and surface conditions do not allow walking surveys to be conducted. As such, no archaeological finds were attested at Sarpulu during our visit, while the smaller sites of Çağlar 1 and 2, which are two of the four hills mentioned by Kökten, provided fruitful survey results, as detailed above. Additionally, as is the case with Çağlar 1, Çağlar Höyük 2 was not registered in the site inventory of the Regional Board prior to our survey in 2020. However, a small mound by the name of “Kazancı (054/6)” that appears in the Keban Project reports (Whallon, 1979, pp. 195-198; Whallon & Kantman, 1970, p. 2) may possibly be the same mound registered as “Çağlar Höyük 2” by EPAS.

28. Kuşhane Höyüğü

36The mound is located on the riverbank, northwest of Kuşhane (Vartinik) village, away from the residential neighbourhoods of the village (Fig. 23). Discovered by EPAS in 2020 for the first time, the mound was unfortunately found in a severely destroyed state, having lost a large portion of its archaeological deposits due to terracing by dozers and mechanized agriculture. Due to dense vegetation coverage, surface surveys yielded only a small assemblage of Early Bronze Age ceramics.

Fig. 23 Kuşhane Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

Fig. 23 Kuşhane Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

29. Sarıkamış Höyüğü

37The site is located just southwest of Sarıkamış village. It is a low mound with a single settlement phase dating to the Middle Ages founded directly on bedrock. Due to dense vegetation coverage, no small finds were encountered during our brief visit.

30. Tahpur Tepesi

38Tahpur Tepesi is a previously undocumented site discovered by EPAS in 2020. It is located on a natural hill at Haruni Mevkii, northwest of Elmapınarı (Yukarı Ağınsı) village (Fig. 24). This hilltop site appears as a single-period settlement dating to the Iron Age. Rocky outcrops on the northern slope of the hill have been trenched in for wall foundations, where scattered remains of rubble stones and a 1-meter-thick mudbrick detritus are also visible in the section. Surface assemblages are dense in these areas along the northern slope, where groove-decorated and fine examples of Iron Age ceramics were found by our team.

Fig. 24 Tahpur Tepesi, general view and ceramic sherds from the hilltop site

Fig. 24 Tahpur Tepesi, general view and ceramic sherds from the hilltop site

31. Tilkitepe

39The site is located at Posunlar Mevkii within the industrial district (Sanayi Mahallesi) of Yurtbaşı (Hoğu) township (Fig. 25). The mound lies on nationalized land along the shore of Keban Dam Reservoir Lake. Although it was not inundated by the dam, the site has been subject to intense agricultural activity. Only a small number of finds were encountered during walking surveys due to dense vegetation. Ceramics date to the Early Bronze and Iron Ages.

Fig. 25 Tilkitepe, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

Fig. 25 Tilkitepe, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

32. Değirmenderesi Tepesi

40This hilltop site at Değirmenderesi Merası Mevkii is documented for the first time by EPAS. It lies north of Konakalmaz village, ca. 1 km north of Elazığ-Bingöl highway and 150 m south of Keban Reservoir Lake (Fig. 26). The site is levelled by agricultural activity. Surface finds consist of Iron Age ceramics.

Fig. 26 Değirmenderesi Tepesi, general view and ceramic sherds from the hilltop settlement

Fig. 26 Değirmenderesi Tepesi, general view and ceramic sherds from the hilltop settlement

33. Konakalmaz Höyüğü

41This previously undocumented mound is located at Ulus Mezarı Mevkii, ca. 200 m east of Elazığ-Bingöl highway and 850 m northeast of Konakalmaz village (Fig. 27). Agricultural activity has disturbed the skirts of the mound, which lies on the banks of a SE-NW-running stream. Surface collection includes ceramics dating to the Early Bronze Age and the Middle Ages.

Fig. 27 Konakalmaz Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

Fig. 27 Konakalmaz Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

34. Altıntepe (Zenteriç Höyüğü)

42Altıntepe lies 300 m southeast of Elazığ-Bingöl highway, ca. 2 km northwest of Değirmenönü (Zenteriç) village (Fig. 28). The site was investigated during the Keban Project surveys and published as “055/2 (Altıntepe)” (Whallon, 1979, pp. 244-246). It is a circular mound with a current height of about 2-3 m above the plain, lying in intensively cultivated crop fields. Surface collection consists of a meagre amount of Early Bronze Age ceramics, obsidian, and a stone axe (Fig. 34:19).

Fig. 28 Altıntepe (Zenteriç Höyüğü), general view, and ceramic sherds and lithics from the mound

Fig. 28 Altıntepe (Zenteriç Höyüğü), general view, and ceramic sherds and lithics from the mound

43Provenance analysis was conducted on a selection of obsidian finds using a portable XRF on site. Preliminary results indicate that obsidian for tools at Altıntepe was mainly procured from sources at Bingöl-Yukarıçavuşlar and Solhan-Sarıbaşak (Bingöl A group), while fewer were made of obsidian from sources at Bingöl-Alatepe and Karlıova-Göynük (Bingöl B group).

35. Boytepe

44The site lies at Sepet Tarla Mevkii, 1.45 km southeast of Elazığ-Bingöl highway and 910 m northwest of Değirmenönü (Zenteriç) village centre (Fig. 29). Boytepe was investigated during the Keban Project surveys and published as “055/3 (Boy Tepe)” (Whallon, 1979, pp. 246-249). Unfortunately, like many sites in the region, this significant archaeological site with its earliest finds dating to the Aceramic Neolithic is threatened by intensive agriculture. EPAS surveys identified ceramics dating to the Early Bronze and Iron Ages on the top of the mound, while an intense accumulation of obsidian cores, knapping debris, and microlithic tools (Fig. 30), as well as lithics and ground-stone tools (Fig. 34: 18, 21) were found on the skirts.

Fig. 29 Boytepe, general view of the mound

Fig. 29 Boytepe, general view of the mound

Fig. 30 Boytepe, ceramic sherds and obsidian tools from the mound

Fig. 30 Boytepe, ceramic sherds and obsidian tools from the mound
  • 3 Field research on obsidian sources in Bingöl was conducted by Asst. Prof. Dr. Abdulkadir Özdemir an (...)

45Instrumental Analysis of Obsidian Finds from Boytepe. Preliminary studies on the technological aspects of Boytepe obsidian finds from the Keban Project surveys have revealed important observations about the earliest settled communities of the Upper Euphrates in PPNB (Balkan-Atlı, 1989). Renewed investigations at the site by EPAS in 2020 has necessitated further analyses of obsidian assemblages. Besides ongoing technological assessment, a select number of cores and tools were analysed for provenance identification by a portable XRF on site. In 2019, within the framework of the Murat Höyük Excavations Project in Solhan, Bingöl, all major obsidian sources in the Bingöl province were surveyed and portable XRF readings were conducted on site for the creation of a regional database of compositional data from obsidian sources. This database of geographical reference data serves as a baseline for provenance analysis of Boytepe obsidians, which allows for distance-to-source analysis to identify procurement patterns at Boytepe.3 Preliminary results indicate that communities inhabiting Boytepe procured obsidian mainly from Bingöl-Yukarıçavuşlar and Solhan-Sarıbaşak (Bingöl A), while a smaller number of samples indicate that Boytepe also had access to obsidian from Bingöl-Alatepe and Karlıova-Göynük (Bingöl B).

36. Körtepe

46The site is located at Körtepe Mevkii, on nationalized land south of Keban Dam Reservoir Lake, about 5 km northwest of Değirmenönü (Zenteriç) village (Fig. 31). This mound was investigated during the Keban Project 1967 surveys, but it was not inundated by the dam lake. It was first published as “Körtepe (054/4)” in the preliminary report (Whallon & Kantman, 1970, p. 2), but it is referred to with a different site number, “055/4” (Körtepe), in later reports (Whallon, 1979, pp. 249–250). The site lies just north of Elazığ-Bingöl highway and the train tracks. There is severe destruction at the site, especially on the northern sector, where architectural elements and rubble are scattered on the surface and a 150-cm-wide, E-W-orientated wall segment is exposed to elements. Surface surveys yielded Early Bronze Age, Iron Age, and Roman Period ceramics, as well as green-glazed wares of the Middle Ages. Notable finds include a stone mould, a shaft-hole axe, and two nearly intact ceramic bowls (Fig. 34: 11–12, 29–30).

Fig. 31 Körtepe, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

Fig. 31 Körtepe, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound

37. Değirmenönü Fortress

47This fortress site lies ca. 1.25 km east of Değirmenönü (Zenteriç) village and it is known as “Değirmenönü Kalesi” by local inhabitants (Fig. 32). In previous survey reports, the fortress is variably referred to as Kafir, Kafir Kale, Gavur Kale (Aşan, 1989, p. 534) and Şitar Kale (Danık, 2001, p. 20). The fortress is located at an altitude of 1350 m with a commanding view of İçme village to the north and Değirmenönü village to the west. It is situated just above a cave on the mountainside, which lies at the centre of a National Natural Reserve; however, the fortress itself lies outside the nationalized area. EPAS initiated bureaucratic procedures with the Regional Board for it to be registered as “Değirmenönü Kalesi” in the national register of archaeological sites. Architectural remains of the fortress were documented, and the relative locations of major architectural features on the landscape were recorded. The fortress is surrounded by a fortification wall with bastions, constructed with grog (Khorasan mortar) masonry. Only the foundations are preserved, but they are intact enough to delineate the architectural layout of the structure. Three bastions with oval ground plans and well-preserved foundations were identified in the east. In the south, although the slope is steep, stone foundations of the wall and the bastions are visible on lower outcrops along the cliff. The rubble of the collapsed fortifications has tumbled down the cliff in the south, where Değirmenönü (Venk) Stream runs SE-NW. Inside the fortress walls, Roman Period ceramics and roof tiles are found scattered between remains of stone foundations.

38. Değirmenönü Tumulus

48The site is registered as “Değirmenönü Tümülüsü” in the official site inventory of the Regional Board of Cultural Assets. This conical tumulus lies on a ridge north of Mt. Mastar, southwest of the E-W-running Değirmenönü Stream, ca. 850 m southeast of Değirmenönü (Zenteriç) village (Fig. 33). Located on a limestone outcrop on the skirts of the mountain, the tumulus has a commanding view of the now-inundated Altınova Plain and the modern settlement basin of Uluova. The tumulus is most probably related with the fortress structure that is located at a higher elevation, east of the village. It is formed by piled up rubble stones, procured locally from the surrounding limestone terrain, and is known as “Çakıltepe” (Rubble-hill) by local inhabitants. No ceramics or other finds were encountered on the surface, but based on its proximity to the fortress, it may be suggested that the tumulus probably dates to the Roman Period.

Fig. 33 Değirmenönü Tumulus, general view

Fig. 33 Değirmenönü Tumulus, general view

Discussion and Conclusions

49Despite its rugged terrain and harsh climate, the mountainous region of Eastern Anatolia was inhabited by human communities of diverse cultural affiliations since early prehistory. Contrary to earlier perceptions of this region as a peripheral, secondary habitation zone, the Keban Project results demonstrated that permanent settlements were well-established in the region during the Neolithic (Özdoğan, 2006, 15). The discovery of Boytepe (Whallon, 1979) and Çınaz III (Bahar, 1989) provided evidence for the earliest communities inhabiting the region in PPNB. Particularly significant observations have emerged from obsidian studies at Boytepe (Balkan-Atlı, 1989), where similarities with assemblages from Cafer Höyük to the west and Çayönü to the south demonstrate inter-regional connections between neighbouring PPNB communities (Balkan-Atlı, 1989, 90). Excavations within the dam reservoir area have documented settlements dating to the Aceramic Neolithic at Cafer Höyük, and Chalcolithic at Değirmentepe and Hassek Höyük (Özdoğan, 2006, p. 17); however, we have nearly no evidence for early prehistory of the areas lying outside the reservoir lake.

50The beginning of the Early Bronze Age in Eastern Anatolia is marked by the appearance of archaeological assemblages associated with the Early Transcaucasian Culture Complex. Also known as Kura-Araxes Culture in neighbouring regions and as Karaz Culture in Eastern Anatolia, the Red-Black-Burnished Ware assemblages remain predominant in the region throughout the EBA (Işıklı, 2007, pp. 328–332; Işıklı, 2018, p. 14; Işıklı & Altunkaynak, 2014), during which parallel trends with North Syria and Mesopotamia also begin to emerge. The Early Bronze Age, with its characteristic “Karaz Culture” assemblages dating from mid-4th millennium to early 3rd millennium BC (ca. 3250–2000 BC), is the most well-investigated prehistoric period in the region (Conti & Persiani, 1993, Table 2; Palumbi, 2008, Table 1.1; Işıklı, 2007, p. 328; Işıklı, 2019, Tablo 1).

  • 4 For a detailed analysis of Malatya-Elazığ Painted Wars, see Marro, 1997.
  • 5 For a detailed account of research history on Karaz culture complex, see Işıklı, 2005. For an overv (...)

51Systematic surveys conducted in the Keban and Karakaya dam reservoir basins have revealed a dense settlement pattern in the western portion of Eastern Anatolia throughout the Bronze and Iron Ages. Settlement density is particularly high during the Early Bronze Age and excavations at EBA sites have yielded fruitful results. In late EBA, a distinctive local painted ware emerges in Malatya (Karakaya) and Elazığ (Keban) known as Malatya-Elazığ Painted Ware,4 documented at Norşuntepe, Tepecik, Tülintepe, and Han İbrahim Şah excavations. Additionally, Karaz (Kura-Araxes) Ware and plain, buff, wheel-made Mesopotamian wares are attested simultaneously in these basins, while Kura-Araxes Wares of Transcaucasian origin are predominant in Erzincan, Erzurum, Muş plains and highlands of Erzurum – Kars (Işıklı, 2015).5 North Syrian and Mesopotamian style ceramics are not attested in the northern and eastern reaches of Eastern Anatolia.

52The EBA I phase is well-known at excavated sites such are Karaz, Erzurum Pulur, Güzelova, and Sos Höyük in the eastern highlands, and Elazığ Pulur-Sakyol, Tepecik, Norşuntepe, Korucutepe, Tülintepe, Taşkun Mevkii, Malatya Arslantepe, and Pirot Höyük in the western basins. The key sites of the EBA II are Malatya Gelinciktepe, Lidar Höyük, and Norşuntepe. In EBA III, while Karaz ceramics remain widespread in Eastern Anatolia (Işıklı, 2005), groove-decorated Central Anatolian wares also come into use (Bertram, 2008). Arslantepe, Tepecik, Korucutepe, and Norşuntepe can be named among significant EBA III sites. Subsequently, Korucutepe rises to prominence among other regional centres as the political centre of Isuwa during the Old Hittite Period and continues to be a prominent Hittite centre with inter-regional connections in the Empire Period (Özdoğan, 2006, p. 15).

53Typological and comparative analyses of ceramic assemblages and small finds from sites investigated in 2020 by EPAS are ongoing. So far, the preliminary study of ceramics has focused on the chronological assessment of surveyed sites based on comparative analyses with published diagnostic assemblages from excavated centres. Continued work on ware types of amorphous pottery will undoubtedly bring more nuance to these preliminary observations. Accordingly, comparative dating of sites can be summarized as follows:

54The most characteristic assemblages of the EBA I, Karaz / Kura-Araxes ceramics, are found at Tadım, Sarılı Höyüğü, Killik Tepe, Dedepınarı, Körkuyu, Vertetil, Yurtbaşı, Könk, Kövenk, and Boytepe. The closest parallels of EBA I ceramics from EPAS sites are found in Altınova at excavated Keban Project sites: Norşuntepe (Hauptmann, 1982, pp. 20–21, Pl. 23); Tülintepe (Esin & Arsebük, 1974, Pl. 117); Tepecik (Esin, 1979, pp. 61–64, Pl. 58.1); Korucutepe (Kelly-Buccellati, 1974, pp. 46–48); and Pulur-Sakyol (Koşay, 1976).

55Diagnostic ceramic forms of the EBA III were found at Dedepınarı, Körkuyu, Yünlüce 2, Könk, Çağlar 2, Kuşhane, and Altıntepe surveyed by EPAS. Malatya-Elazığ Painted Wares, distinctive of the EBA III in the region, were found in large numbers at Körkuyu, Könk, and Çağlar 2. Closest parallels of painted wares from EPAS sites are known from excavated sites in Keban (Altınova) and Karakaya basins: Norşuntepe (Hauptmann, 1976, pp. 48–49, Pl. 44.5–6, Pl. 51.1, 6, 10, Pl. 53.3–8), Tepecik (Esin, 1970, Lev. 20–24), and Tülintepe (Esin, 2000, p. 88) in Keban; and Han İbrahim Şah (Ertem, 1974, p. 61), Köşkerbaba (Darga, 1987, Pl. 185–187), and Şemsiyetepe (Bilgi, 1987a, Pl. 125, 131; 1987b, Lev. 140, 150) in Karakaya (for an overview, see Marro, 1997).

56Surface collections from the 2020 survey have yielded very few diagnostic examples of Middle Bronze Age pottery, limited to a handful of sherds from Könk (22) and Körtepe (36). This curious absence of Middle and Late Bronze Age ceramics in our survey region may partially be due to dense vegetation coverage on a number of large mounds that has reduced visibility during walking surveys. It is also possible that further analysis of amorphous body sherds in surface assemblages may allow us to identify wares and specific traits of the later Bronze Ages. Nevertheless, in terms of temporal settlement patterns, it is interesting to note that many EBA sites that lack later Bronze Age material have been resettled during the Iron Age. In 2020, EPAS project identified characteristic ceramics of the Iron Age at Sarıyakup, Tadım, Ürünveren, Badempınarı, Tilenzit, Körkuyu, Vertetil, Kamber Deresi, Könk, Yıldıztepe, Tahpur Tepesi, Boytepe, and Körtepe. Comparative Iron Age assemblages in the region have previously been documented at Haroğlu, Tanrıvermiş, Genefik, Yıldıztepe, Norşuntepe, Bahçecik, Harput, and Palu. Closest parallels of Iron Age ceramics from EPAS surveys in Uluova are known from Yıldıztepe, Genefik, Bahçecik, and Norşuntepe (Hauptmann, 1976, Pl. 54-56; Köroğlu, 1995, p. 365; 1996; Sevin, 1988, 1889a). Additionally, we may mention that a number of sites visited during surveys (e.g., Tadım, Sarılı Tarihi Yerleşim Alanı, Könk) yielded diagnostic ceramics of the Roman Period, the Middle Ages, and the Ottoman Period.

57While prehistoric periods of Altınova basin, now inundated by the Keban Dam, were systematically investigated as part of the Keban Project, Uluova Plain and the highlands to the west of Keban Reservoir Lake had remained outside the area of investigations. After an interruption of about half a century since Keban, EPAS Project marks the re-initiation of systematic archaeological investigations in Elazığ. Although the region was systematically surveyed during the Keban Project, 17 previously unrecognized sites were identified by EPAS in 2020 in the region and new observations were recorded at 21 previously recorded sites. As such, material culture assemblages were collected from the surface of a total of 38 sites visited by EPAS.

58In conclusion, we may summarize the results by stating that 26 of the 38 sites visited by the Elazığ Prehistoric Archaeological Survey (EPAS) Project in 2020 yielded finds dating to the prehistoric periods (Fig. 2, Table 1). 32 archaeological finds were registered in the EPAS Project Inventory and submitted to the Elazığ Museum for conservation. Sites recorded in 2020 are located in Uluova (former Altınova) and vicinity within the boundaries of the Elazığ Central District, while highlands of Uluova and southern skirts of Mt. Mastar have not yet been surveyed by our team. EPAS Project will continue for two more field seasons. One of the most striking observations during surveys was the severe level of destruction at archaeological sites, particularly due to agricultural activity and modern buildings. Duly, one of the most important outcomes of our initial season of work was the initiation of bureaucratic procedures with the Regional Board of Cultural Assets for previously unregistered and threatened sites to be included in the national register of archaeological sites. These sites include later period settlements (Iron Age, Roman Period, Medieval), which have been presented in this report to the interest of specialists.

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Notes

1 The author would like to thank the General Directorate of Cultural Assets and Museums, Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey for granting official permission to conduct fieldwork in 2020.

2 On behalf of EPAS team, the author would like to express deep-felt gratitude to Archaeologist Ergün Demir of Elazığ Museum for his valuable support and guidance throughout the season, as the Ministry Representative of the first field season of EPAS. As director of EPAS Project, the author would like to thank the 2020 EPAS Project team: Asst. Prof. Dr. Meral Başaran Mutlu (Archaeology), Asst. Prof. Dr. A. Onur Bamyacı (Archaeology), Ayşe Özdemir (Archaeology), Serhan Mutlu (Archaeology), Asst. Prof. Dr. Ümit Güder (Archaeometry), Asst. Prof. Dr. Korkmaz Şen (Art History), Prof. Dr. Mustafa Taner Şengün (Geography), Res. Asst. Enes Karadeniz (Geography), and Res. Asst. Yavuz Deniz (Ceramic specialist – Illustrator). The EPAS Project is financially supported by the Governorship of Elazığ Province and Fırat University. We cordially thank Mr. Erkaya Yırık, Governor of Elazığ, and Prof. Dr. Fahrettin Göktaş for their support. I thank Dr. G. Bike Yazıcıoğlu-Santamaria for her assistance with the English translation and proofreading of this contribution.

3 Field research on obsidian sources in Bingöl was conducted by Asst. Prof. Dr. Abdulkadir Özdemir and Research Assistant Tolga Özak (PhD Candidate) under the permit issued for salvage excavations at Murat Höyük (Bingöl). Analytical results were evaluated by Asst. Prof. Dr. Ümit GÜDER.

4 For a detailed analysis of Malatya-Elazığ Painted Wars, see Marro, 1997.

5 For a detailed account of research history on Karaz culture complex, see Işıklı, 2005. For an overview of Kura-Araxes culture complex in a broader geography, see Sagona, 1984; Palumbi, 2008; Işıklı, 2011.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1 Map showing the boundaries of Elazığ Prehistoric Archaeological Survey (EPAS) research area encompassing the central district of Elazığ province
Crédits Enes Karadeniz
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-1.jpg
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Titre Fig. 2 Map showing the location of archaeological sites investigated during the 2020 season of EPAS Project in Uluova and vicinity
Crédits Enes Karadeniz
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-2.jpg
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Titre Fig. 3 Yalnız Höyüğü, general view and examples of ceramic sherds, obsidian tools, and marble bowl fragments from the site
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-3.png
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Titre Fig. 4 Tadım fortress and mound, aerial view by drone, and ceramic sherds from the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-4.png
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Titre Fig. 5 Ürünveren slope settlement, general view and ceramic sherds from the site
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-5.png
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Titre Fig. 6 Sarılı Höyüğü, aerial view by drone and ceramic sherds from the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-6.jpg
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Titre Fig. 7 Sarılı historical ruins, general view and ceramic sherds from the site
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-7.jpg
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Titre Fig. 8 Badempınarı Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-8.jpg
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Titre Fig. 9 Killik Tepe Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-9.jpg
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Titre Fig. 10 Tilenzit Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-10.jpg
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Titre Fig. 11 Ufaktepe, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-11.png
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Titre Fig. 32 Değirmenönü Kalesi, general view and ceramic sherds from the fortress site
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-12.png
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Titre Fig. 34 A selection of registered artefacts from archaeological sites in Uluova and vicinity surveyed during the 2020 field season of EPAS Project
Légende Könk (1–3, 5–6, 8, 14, 16–17, 27, 31); Çağlar Höyük 2 (4, 7, 9–10, 20, 25, 32); Körtepe (11–12, 29–30); Badempınarı (13); Sarılı Höyüğü (15); Boytepe (18, 21); Altıntepe (19); Yünlüce Höyük 2 (22); Yünlüce Höyük 1 (23); Ufaktepe (24); Killik Tepe Höyüğü (26, 28)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-13.jpg
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Titre Fig. 12 Dedepınarı Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-14.png
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Titre Fig. 13 Körkuyu Höyük, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-15.jpg
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Titre Fig. 14 Vertetil Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-16.png
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Titre Fig. 15 Kamber Deresi flat settlement, general view and ceramic sherds from the site
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-17.png
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Titre Fig. 16 Yurtbaşı Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-18.jpg
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Titre Fig. 17 Yünlüce Höyük 2, general view, and ceramic sherds and obsidian tools from the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-19.png
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Titre Fig. 18 Könk (Yenikapı) Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-20.png
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Titre Fig. 19 Kövenk Höyüğü, general view, and ceramic sherds and lithics from the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-21.png
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Titre Fig. 20 Yıldıztepe (Könk) Höyüğü & Kalesi, general view of mound and fortress site, and ceramic sherds from the site
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-22.jpg
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Titre Fig. 21 Çağlar Höyük 1, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-23.jpg
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Titre Fig. 22 Çağlar Höyük 2, general view, and ceramic sherds and obsidian tools from the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-24.png
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Titre Fig. 23 Kuşhane Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-25.png
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Titre Fig. 24 Tahpur Tepesi, general view and ceramic sherds from the hilltop site
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-26.png
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Titre Fig. 25 Tilkitepe, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-27.jpg
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Titre Fig. 26 Değirmenderesi Tepesi, general view and ceramic sherds from the hilltop settlement
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-28.jpg
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Titre Fig. 27 Konakalmaz Höyüğü, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-29.jpg
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Titre Fig. 28 Altıntepe (Zenteriç Höyüğü), general view, and ceramic sherds and lithics from the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-30.jpg
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Titre Fig. 29 Boytepe, general view of the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-31.jpg
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Titre Fig. 30 Boytepe, ceramic sherds and obsidian tools from the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-32.png
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Titre Fig. 31 Körtepe, general view and ceramic sherds from the mound
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-33.png
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Titre Fig. 33 Değirmenönü Tumulus, general view
URL http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/docannexe/image/2023/img-34.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 432k
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Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Abdulkadir Özdemir, « Elazığ Prehistoric Archaeological Survey (EPAS) 2020 – Uluova and Vicinity: A Preliminary Report »Anatolia Antiqua, XXIX | 2021, 149-184.

Référence électronique

Abdulkadir Özdemir, « Elazığ Prehistoric Archaeological Survey (EPAS) 2020 – Uluova and Vicinity: A Preliminary Report »Anatolia Antiqua [En ligne], XXIX | 2021, mis en ligne le 15 mars 2022, consulté le 24 juin 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/2023 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/anatoliaantiqua.2023

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Auteur

Abdulkadir Özdemir

Asst. Prof., Fırat University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Archaeology Department,
aozdemir@firat.edu.tr

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