©The Archaeological Settlements of Turkey - TAY Project


Antandros

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Antandros
Type:
City
Altitude:
m
Region:
Marmara
Province:
Balikesir
District:
Altinoluk
Village:
Avcilar
Investigation Method:
Excavation
Period:
Classical Geometric Archaic

     


Location: Located in the Troad Region, Antandros rests on the summit and western slopes of the Kaletasi Hill, which is 215 m high above the sea level, extending steeply into the sea, 2.5 km east of the Altinoluk Subdistrict on the southern skirts of the Mount Ida, north of the Edremit Gulf [Polat 2003:21].
Geography and Environment:
History:
Research and Excavation: The ancient city of Antandros was found as a result of an inscription referring to Antandros noticed by H. Kipert in 1842 on the wall of the mosque in the Avcilar Village. In 1881, H. Schliemann discovered a city settlement on the Dervent Hill for which he suggested a dimension of 1000 m both in width and lenght. In 1888, Kipert found a second inscription referring to Antandros during his revisit with Fabricus. J. M. Cook who paid two visits to the city in 1959 and 1968 determined that the term Dervent was used for passages, and it indicates a passage here. The first excavations were initiated in 1991 under the direction of B. Yalman, and this salvage type of excavations continued intermittently until 1995. In 2000, it was visited again during the survey conducted by a team under the direction of G. Polat of the Aegean University, and new excavations were started in 2001 by the same scientists [Polat 2002:154-159].
Stratigraphy: The soundings revealed presence of an uninterrupted occupation from the late 8th century BC until the 6th century AD. Having witnessed a gradual abandonment during the 6th-7th century, the site housed a weak settlement in the 10th century. The excavations at necropolis also yielded data supporting the outcomes obtained from the settlement. The first occupation in the necropolis started in the late 8th century BC, and lasted until the 1st century BC without any interruption. The area of the necropolis was occupied as a settlement area during the 5th century AD.
Small Finds: Architecture: A settlement enclosed by a 2.7 m wide wall was identified on the Kaletasi Hill during a survey conducted in 2000. The earliest ceramic finds date back to the late 5th century BC. At the end of the 2001 campaign, significant data was obtained about the site which is located to the immediate north of the Edremit-«anakkale motorway. The excavations yielded ceramic finds from the 5th - 6th century AD back to the 8th century BC and walls associated with residential architecture. Presence of typical Aiolian grey ware suggested that Antandros might have been founded as a result of an Aiol colonization in the 8th century BC [Polat 2002:154-159]. During the 2001 campaign, also found is a floor underlying an approximately 15 cm thick burnt layer belonging to the second half of the 8th century BC. On the floor, many ceramics, mainly grey burnished ware, were found in situ as well as Protocorinthian ceramics and East Greek Late Geometric ceramics [Polat 2003:24]. The excavations conducted in 2002 at the public settlement, so called on-the-road trench, yielded a floor with in situ material at a depth of 6.32 m, which was compressed, and became a baked earth layer as a result of the fire it underwent. The floor was delimited by a wall of which a single row of stones was preserved. In the preserved southern section of the floor, 32 pieces of terracotta loom weights were unearthed in mass near the western section. Among the other ceramic finds found on the floor are oinochoe, two bowls, an oil lamp with double nozzles and nearly seven Khytrae. Based on these material, the atelier of the house which underwent a fire is dated to the 6th century BC [Polat-Polat 2004:456]. A 167 cm thick wall was unearthed below the floor of this house. With such a thickness, it appears that it doesn't belong to a normal building, and extending in parallel to the sea, it may have been part of a fortification. The wall will also provide important clues on the foundation phase of the city as it is just above the level which yielded ceramics from the late 8th century [Polat-Polat 2006: 93]. Grave: The main necropolis of the city is located on the western coast of the settlement. The excavations revealed that this area was continously and intensively occupied from the 8th century BC until the 2nd century BC. The necropolis area yielded various types of burials such as sarcophagi, cremation graves, pithos graves, amphora graves, tile graves, cist graves and inhumation burials [Yagiz 2003:56]. A sarcophagus unearthed in 2001 is very rich in finds. Enclosed by blocks of a good masonry, this grave yielded a total of 15 vessels, seemingly thirteen imported vessels from Attica, an alabaster alabastron, an iron strigil and a bronze fibula. It seems that the necropolis area was later on occupied as a Roman settlement during the 5th-6th centuries AD [Polat 2002:154-159]. Pottery: In Antandros, grey ceramics account for eighty percent of the sherds unearthed in the levels dating to the second half of the 8th century [Polat 2002:210]. The excavations conducted in the Melis Necropolis and the settlement sector of Antandros reveal that various type of Ionian bowls, kind of a glaze-decorated wine jug frequently found in the ancient East Greek centers were in use nearly from the mid-7th century BC until the third quarter of the 6th century [Zunal 2005:98]. The excavations carried out in 2009 in Antandros Melis Nekropolis continued in three fields, "Southeast I - II" and "North Expansion". Fifty graves in total are identified in 2009 excavations of which thirty nine have opened. Adding the three graves identified in previous years but opened in 2009 excavation to this, the number of graves opened increased to forty two. Twenty nine of these graves are unearthed in North Expansion field, and twenty one unearthed in Trench Southeast I. An alabastron, a semi-preserved female figurine, 38 knucklebones, 11 limpets, an amphora, mortars ve dinos are among the findings of amphora grave 285 which is from 6th Century BC. The Amphora Grave 308 is from Late 7th Century BC and an amphora is among its findings. A hydria exists among the findings of Hydria Grave 310 which belongs to 6th Century BC. A chytra exists among the findings of Chytra Grave 311 which belongs to 6th Century BC. A bowl with rosette, an aryballos, a Corinth aryballos, and a Lesbos amphora are among the findings of Amphora Grave 312 from 7th Century BC. The age of Cremation Grave 313 is determined as 7th – 6th Century BC. Urn Grave 315 is from 6th Century BC and it presented a bowl and an amphora among its findings. Pithos Grave 316 is from 6th century BC and among its findings are a lekythos, pieces from the base and body of a restricted vessel, knucklebones, sea shells, a Corinth aryballos, and a pithoid amphora. Pithos Grave 319 is from 7th – 6th Century BC and among its findings are a pithos, three bronze earrings, a miniature phial, and three sea shells. The Cremation Grave 321 is from 7th – 6th Century BC. The Urn Grave 323 is from 7th Century BC and presents a hydria among its findings. The Amphora Grave 324 is from 7th Century BC and it presented a cotyle and an amphora. The Amphora Grave 325 is from 7th Century BC and among its findings are a proto-corinth aryballos, an Ionian bowl, and an amphora. The age of the Cremation Grave 326 is determined as 7th Century BC. The Amphora Grave 327 is from 7th – 6th Century BC and among its findings is an amphora. The age of Cremation Graves 328 and 329 are determined as 7th – 6th Century BC [Polat et al. 2011: 104-110]. The richest findings are the pithoses among these graves encountered in Trench Southeast I. Especially the Pithos Grave 278 from 600-575 BC is important. Among its findings are five aryballoses, four amphoriskoses, a sitting female figurine, an alabastron, and a small sketch, an iron necklace ornament, a bronze ring, three beads, four skarabeuses, two lion-shaped ring stones/stamps, a dolmen pyksis, a miniature crater, a miniature skyphos, two bowls, knucklebones, six sea shells and a pithos. And many graves from 7th – 6th Century BC are also found [Polar et al. 2011: 114]. 36 graves were discovered in Melis Necropolis in 2010. 33 of them were excavated. The total number of the graves increased to 36 when discovering the ones in previous years and 3 graves found in this year.15 graves in total which include five secondary cremation graves which four of them are amphorae, two infant graves inhumed in kythra and amphora, three primary cremation graves, one pithos grave, one pithos-amphora grave, two sarcophagi and one inhumation burial have been exposed in "North Expansion". The cremation grave 338 is the first encountered burial practice here. After the bones of the individual were burnt in a different area, they were collected and placed in a pit. The pit was circled with stones and it was covered with a fruit platter in orientalizing style belonging to the second quarter of 6th century BC. In the trench of "Southeast I", 23 graves in total which consist of two pithoi, one tile grave, five inhumation burials, six urn graves, two primary cremation graves and one sarcophagus have been exposed [Polar et al. 2012:282-285]. Figurine: The figurines uncovered in the necropolis and settlement sectors of Antandros represent a distribution ranging from the 5th century BC to the 1st century BC. The Aphrodite and Cybele figurines suggest the presence of a cult dedicated to these heroines [Basak 2005:80-81; «okogullu 2004:78-79].
Remains:
Interpretation and Dating: The graves which were uncovered during the salvage excavations conducted between 1991 and 1995 revealed that the area was occupied from the 7th century BC until the 2nd century BC. However, a survey conducted in 2000 yielded the presence of a settlement which was initiated at least during the 6th century BC and lasted until the 5th - 6th centuries AD on the Kaletasi Hill.


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