©The Archaeological Settlements of Turkey - TAY Project


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Flat Settlement
10 m
Investigation Method:


Location: It is close to the village of Balat; in the area where the Menderes River joins the Aegean Sea; to the west of the province of Aydin. The importance of the settlement during Antiquity is not debatable. It is very easy to access. Miletos is one of the few sites in Turkey which has a museum to display only the finds of its own.
Geography and Environment: The EBA settlement; like the antique city; is on a cape on the shore of the gulf. It is not clear how the inhabitants of this site supplied their drinking water.
Research and Excavation: J. Mellaart was the first to introduce the pre-historic settlements at Miletos. The Bronze Age excavations in the ancient city of Miletos were conducted by V. von Graeve in 1996 and 1997. Seven small trenches were opened on the south of the Athena temple; however the water table interrupted these efforts; yet a 2 m deep was reached below the water table. The sounding opened on the west of the Bulevterion revealed prehistoric layers as well [Mellink 1984:446]. During the excavations conducted between 2001-2003; to the south of the Athena Temple; in an area where the walls were not very dense; the Bronze Age layers were tried to be reached. However; it was seen that these layers were damaged by a large pit belonging to the Hellenistic Period. The Bronze Age layers have also been damaged by a Roman foundation wall in the east-west direction.
Stratigraphy: Although the foundation of Miletos was in the Ancient Age; it was revealed that there were pioneer settlements before the Hellenistic-Roman Periods starting from the Chalcolithic Age. The LBA settlement remains dating to the 14-12th century BC were totally destroyed by the settlement of the Roman Empire period. The excavations around the temple of Athena revealed well preserved MBA buildings underneath the LBA level. The EBA level of Miletos is identified as Miletos II and the Chalcolithic Age level as Miletos I.
Small Finds: Architecture: The discovery of the EBA architectural remains is very hard because of the water table. Although the EBA remains can be reached only in higher areas; it is difficult to excavation into this settlement without any harm to the ancient city. Pottery: Limited number of EBA pottery was found inside the water table of the plain. Although no detailed information is provided about these finds; they are reported to be samples of Cycladic type of pottery industry. Ground stone: A Cycladic idol dating to the third millennium BC was found during the excavations of 1996-97. This idol proves the trade relationship between the Cyclades and Miletos [Graeve 1999:586; pic.11].
Interpretation and Dating: The finds reveal that the sailors of Cyclades visited the settlement which was on the shore of the Aegean Sea during the third millennium BC in order to import copper and gold from Anatolia. It is certain that Miletos is the city of Millawanda mentioned in the Hittitian documents. The suitability of the settlement for the sea trade suggests that the city was also big during the third millennium BC. The presence of imported Cyclades and Crete EBA ceramics; has shown that Milet had a significant role in the trade relations of he Aegean mainly based on metals; which was also characterized by C. Renfrew as "the international spirit of the Aegean early Bronze Age 2 period".

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