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112 m
Investigation Method:
Early Late


Location: The site lies northeast of Bursa; approximately 1.5 - 2 km south of Orhangazi District; 4 km northeast of Gedelek Village.
Geography and Environment: The approximately 5 m high; broad mound; covering an area of 2-2.5 hectares; is located approximately 1.5 km away from the western shore of Iznik Lake. There is a strong fresh water source near the mound.
Research and Excavation: The site was researched for the first time by I. Kökten in 1948; by J. Mellaart in 1960; by Cullberg in 1964 and by D.H. French in 1965. Excavations between 1987 and 1995 have been conducted under the leadership of J. Roodenberg of the Istanbul Dutch Archaeology Institute. Approximately 1200 square meters were excavated. The excavations mainly took part in the central; eastern and southwestern parts of the mound. The profile exposed by the highway has been cleaned to help in understanding the stratigraphy of the site. It takes place in the registered archaeological sites list prepared by Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Stratigraphy: 10 levels; which are temporarily numbered from I to X; were found. Levels IX-VII are dated to the Early Chalcolithic Age in the Anatolian chronology due to the pottery characteristics. Although a change in the pottery making tradition is observed after the Level VI; it is thought to be also dating to the Early Chalcolithic Age; the 5th Millennium BC. Level V is dated to the second half of the 5th Millennium BC because of resembling finds with Vinca Culture of Southeastern Europe.
Small Finds: Architecture: Levels IX-VII: Remains; belonging to these levels; were revealed at the trenches; named as "The Big Square"; approximately at an area of 400 square meters. Local techniques; appropriate for the Thracian and Marmara Region material; in which wood is dominant; were used. Wood; pise; mud; wattle-and-daub are observed to be used together. The village at the first level is thought to be consisting of approximately 50 households according to the relations between the revealed structures. The structures are independent from each other; rectangular planned; and contain one room. Their dimensions are 4-5x6 m. The construction of the walls vary: Some of them are made of loam mortar strengthened with horizontal beams and supported with small wooden pillars at both sides. Some of them contain foundations made of horizontal timbers probably preventing the walls sink into earth; while others are made with wattle and daub technique. A very little amount of these walls; only 40-50 cm in height; could be preserved. According to Roodenberg and his team; a structure made of such material could only last for 20 years [Roodenberg 1992:128]. Some of the negative traces of thin pillars show that they were erected almost at the same spot in different phases. Level VI: The 1.5 m thick debris level on the floor of this level was leveled as to form a low wall for the next level (VA). Beneath that were burnt mud blocks with reed traces; plastered floor fragments with wood and beam traces; and ceramics. The floor; which consists of thin beams and wood; was supported with three or four larger beams placed in the axis. Over this is a thick layer of mud plaster.On the northwestern of the floor; generally a large square oven; parallel mudbrick silos; baskets with plaster traces andpot sherds were observed. Beetween the floor and the main ground a space was left in order to protect the food and the inhabitants from humidity. It is believed that the entrance was through a kind of shed on the outer wall. This new discovery has caused the previous suggstions about the defense system to be reconsidered. The adjacent houses of Ilipinar VI; must be the part of an open settlement. The border system must be used for the protection of the stocks in the village square. The mudbrick platforms with beam traces on one side and generally found in situ in couples yield evidence about the roofs. These beams; which were placed on the vertical axis of the adjacent houses; probably supported the second floor and the roof. The plan of the in situ found platforms has shown that the sides of the gabled roof probably covered whole of the houses [Roodenberg 2003:461;462]. Pottery: All the settlements from Level IV to IX are dated to the Chalcolithic Age. A cemetery; consisting of approximately 40 graves; was found at the Level IV. Carinated bowls; jugs; single or double-handled vessels of dark gray pasted; gray-black-faced; burnished; hardly fired; ware are observed to be put as a grave good beside the dead. Every three of four burials contain grave goods. This ware group is unknown around the region; because it was not observed at the surface surveys around Marmara Region. Some of the vessels are incised or fluted decorated. Decorations were made very clear by incrustation with white fill. Tulip-shaped vessels aare especially interesting. The cemetery; and the vessels too; are dated to the end of the 4th Millennium BC by 14C results. The dark-faced pottery at the Level V is thought to be identical to the Early Vinca Culture. According to the excavator; this ware group is dated to the second half of the 5th Millennium BC due to the resemblances. Carinated and rectangular vessels are existent at the Level VI. A little change is observed at the finds after the Level VII. Underfiring; dark colors; burnishing on the exterior; incised decoration on some of the sherds are the general characteristics of the Levels VII-IX; dating to the Transition Period of LNA and Early Chalcolithic Age. Fikirtepe pottery is observed to be still made at Level IX. These levels are approximately dated to the middle of the 5th Millennium BC. Clay: Human and animal figurines were recovered that may display the interrelation between Marmara Region and Balkans. Chipped Stone: Blades; knives; and scrapers made of flintstone and obsidian are observed to be dominant. Ilipinar does not have a unique chipped stone industry. Bone / Antler: Bone spoons with long rod-handles; carved and cut by hand with great care; were found at Level IX. Fishing rod pins; awls; and tool rod-handles made of antler are also existent. Human Remains: More than 40 graves; belonging to the Late Chalcolithic Age; were found within the Byzantine graves near the surface. They are approximately dated to the end of the 4th Millennium BC. Deads were buried in hocker position inside simple earth graves. The grave; belonging to this age; with two skeletons that lie face to face; is typical for the burials of this period. Flat axe made of arsenic bronze; copper knives; an awl; and 9 whole vessels were recovered as grave goods. Fauna: Ox; sheep; goat; and pig are observed to be raised by the inhabitants. Flora: Traces of grain and vegetable agriculture were found.
Interpretation and Dating: A very important period of Marmara and Thracian Archaeology was uncovered with the excavations in Ilipinar. It made the dating of Fikirtepe Culture definite; and also explained the Chalcolithic Age cultures around the region. Black burnished pottery; left as a grave good in the Late Chalcolithic Age cemetery at Level IV; is a ware that is very unique at the region. Agriculture is observed to be very important for the inhabitants due to the recovered flora and animal bones. Hunting is thought to have a very little share in food production [Roodenberg 1992:128]. The aim of Ilipinar excavations is to reveal the lives of the first agricultural communities of Northwestern Anatolia; and the interrelations with the surrounding regions. It also plays an important role in finding out about the migrations from Anatolia to Southeastern Europe over the Balkans. The settlement is observed to be 600 years old by 14C examples: Level IX (uncalibrated) 6900 BP Level VIII (uncalibrated) 6900 Ğ 6750 BP Level VII (uncalibrated) 6750 BP Level VI (uncalibrated) 6750 Ğ 6550 BP

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