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Aphrodisias - Pekmez

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Aphrodisias - Pekmez
500 m
Investigation Method:


Location: It lies about 13 km east of the Karasu District; east-southeast of the Aydin Province. The ancient city of Aphrodisias includes both Acropolis Tepesi (Höyük) and Pekmez Höyük and the settlement of Kuskalesi Mevkii dating from the EBA [Joukowsky 1986:19;482-483].
Geography and Environment: The prehistoric settlements located in the ancient city date the history of this city back to the fifth and fourth millennia BC. The Geyre Stream; a branch of the Menderes River (the Meandros); irrigates the Geyre plains. The alluvium soil brought by this stream formed a fertile land around the settlements. The area is rich in water. Pekmez Höyük /Tepe; located on the south of Acropolis Tepe; measures 13 m in height and 125 m in diameter [Joukowsky 1986:19; 1989:225]. It was named by K. Erim.
Research and Excavation: It was visited by Laborde in 1826; Texier in 1835; Fellows in 1840; Seiff in 1871-72; Davis in 1872; Deschamps in 1894 and Gaudin in 1904 [Madran 1989: 229-233]. During the excavations of the ancient city of Aphrodisias under K. Erim since years 1960; the excavations and surveys were conducted both at Pekmez Höyük and Acropolis Höyük in order to find out the pre-Hellenistic remains of the city under the leadership of the same scientist by J. Bordaz in 1962; S. Page in 1966; B. Kadish between 1967-72; R. Marchese between 1973-74 and finally by M.S. Joukowski between 1975-83. The studies of M.S. Joukowski were mainly concerned with the evaluation of materials rather than the excavation. Two small trenches were opened at Pekmez Höyük while seven at Acropolis. In the meantime; EBA materials were found at Kuskalesi Mevkii located within the territory of the ancient city. The excavations both at Pekmez and Acropolis were realized through soundings due to the remains of the following Classical Period. Besides the studies carried out by M.S. Joukowski; the information is obtained only through the preliminary reports of the previous excavations. Following 1992; the excavation has been directed by R.R. Smith; and mainly concerned with the illumination of the Roman Period of the city.
Stratigraphy: The Chalcolithic Period in Aphrodisias; at Pekmez Höyük; begins after the LNA and is represented by Late Chalcolithic Age 1-4. The Late Chalcolithic Age 4 is reported to be in the same period with the EBA in the traditional chronology of Anatolia. EBA and MBA follows this period. The earliest settlements in the Acropolis and Kuskalesi date between EBA and MBA. LBA and IA settlements are only observed in the Acropolis. It was impossible to reach virgin soil at any of the sites because of the water table [Kadish 1971:123; Joukowsky 1989:226-227; Harmankaya et al. 1997:Afrodisias-Pekmez].
Small Finds: Architecture: The finds are not enough to understand and explain the architecture of the Chalcolithic Age in Aphrodisias. Wall segments are the only remains that are known. The mud-brick walls have no stone foundations [Kadish 1971:127; Alkım (H.) 1973:41; Joukowsky 1986:167]. Pottery: The black slipped burnished; white painted ware of the Late Chalcolithic Age 1-2 is decorated with simple; coarse lines and chevrons. The forms are bowls with opening mouths. In Late Chalcolithic Age 3; white painted vessels lessen in number; different forms are observed in the black slipped vessels; and vessels with inverted rims appear. White painted vessels vanish in the Late Chalcolithic Age 4. However; old forms like those with flaring rims show up again in this period [Alkım (H.) 1973:41; Joukowsky 1986; 1989:227-228]. Clay: Spindle-whorls; pendents; and conical clay objects; which are thought to be used in the hearths; were recovered [Kadish 1971:128]. Chipped Stone: The raw material of the chipped stone industry comprises flintstone; quartz; and obsidian. Blades are common. The tools are the end scrapers; sickles; retouched and backed blades. %57 of the obsidian was imported from Melos; an island in the Aegean Sea; %43 from the Central Anatolia in the Late Chalcolithic Age Phases 1-2. The rest; used in the later periods (Late Chalcolithic Age 3) was imported from only Melos [Kadish 1971:127; 128; Alkım (H.) 1973:41; Blackman 1986:279-285; Leurquin 1986:242-247; Joukowsky 1989:227]. Ground Stone: Figurine remains; in Kilya type; made of limestone and marble; disc-shaped pierced stone objects; flat beads; burnishing tools; hammers; and chisels; which are thought to be used in cutting and working timber; were recovered [Kadish 1971:127-129; Joukowsky 1986:201-238]. Bone / Antler: Spindle-whorls made of bone; spatulas; polished horns; and bone finds for cutting and splitting; were recovered [Joukowsky 1986:286]. Metal: Metal finds are a piece of pin made of arsenic copper; a bead out of bronze or copper; an awl probably made of copper; and an object; which is thought to be a pendent [Joukowsky 1986:288; Kadish 1971:127]. Fauna: Sheep; goat; and fallow deer are the most common animals due to the intensity of bone in the Chalcolithic Age. Pigs; cattles; red deers; and dogs were also found. In addition; bones of turtles and various birds were recovered [Crabtree-Monge 1986:181; 188]. Other: Although rare; sea and fresh water shells were found in the Chalcolithic Age levels [Reese 1986:191].
Interpretation and Dating: The earliest settlement in Aphrodisias; LNA; dates to the 6th Millennium BC. Late Chalcolithic Age; beginning in 4360 BC by the C-14 dates; follows this period. The suggested dates for the Late Chalcolithic Age settlements with 4 main periods are as follows: Late Chalcolithic 1: 4360-3500 BC; Late Chalcolithic 2: 3500-3300 BC; Late Chalcolithic 3: 3300-3100 BC; Late Chalcolithic 4: 3100-2915 BC. The Late Chalcolithic Age 1-2 of Aphrodisias are compared with Beycesultan (especially for the resemblances observed in the development of tools); while the Late Chalcolithic Age 3-4 are compared with Bagbasi culture in Elmali Plain and Kumtepe [Joukowsky 1986:161;163; 1989:226-228; 1993:310; 313].

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