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Ankara Kabartmalari

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Ankara Kabartmaları
Artifact Scatter
Central Anatolia
Investigation Method:


Location: They were unearthed independently at different times within the municipality borders and vicinity of Ankara.
Geography and Environment:
Research and Excavation:
Small Finds: Ten orthostats with depictions of lion, bull, sphinx and griffon and two reliefs of the Mother of the Gods, Magna Mater (Cybele) were unearthed: 1. Kalaba Lion [Buluç 1986:pic.1]: Width: 146 cm, Height: 93.5 cm, Depth: 35 cm. The upper and lateral sections retouched. First noticed by G. Perrot in 1860, the relief was found on the fountain of the Kalaba Village, 3 km north of Ankara. 2. Etimesgut Lion [Buluç 1986:pic. 2]: Width: 195 cm, Height: 90 cm, Depth: 31 cm. There are four tie holes in the upper part. It was found integrated on a wall by J.W. Crowfoot and J.G. Anderson in 1898. The findspot was called the Emeksiz Farm at that time, 14 km west of Ankara. 3. Yalincak Lion [Buluç 1986:pic. 3]: Width: 120 cm, Height: 83 cm, Depth: 35 cm. There are three tie holes in the upper part. It was found in the fountain of a village in 1898 by J. W. Crowfoot and J.G. Anderson. The Yalincak village lies 10 km southwest of the city, within the borders of the Middle East Technical University. 4. Haci Bayram Sphinx Relief [Buluç 1986:pic. 4]: Width: 157 cm, Height: 100 cm, Thickness: 50 cm. There are two large tie holes in the upper part. It was unearthed during the installation of curb stones in the Ahiyakup Street, 200 m east of the Augustus Temple in 1931. 5. Fidanlik Griffon [Buluç 1986:pic. 5]: Width: 150 cm, Height: 100 cm, Depth: 35 cm. There are two tie holes in the upper part, and another one in the upper right side. It was unearthed at a depth of 1.5 m during the removal of stones for a water channel to the northeast of the Directorate of Plantation then in the Atatürk Nursery Ground in 1933. 6. Fidanlik Bull Relief [Buluç 1986:pic. 6]: Width: 160 cm, Height: 103 cm, Thickness: 42 cm. One of the three tie holes in the upper part served to be attached to the left side. It was unearthed almost at the same place with the Griffon relief in 1934. 7. Horse Relief [Buluç 1986:pic. 7]: Width: 159 cm, Height: 102 cm, Depth: 28 cm. There are two tie holes in the upper part. The back part was flattened during re-use. A Byzantine grave was uncovered during the foundation excavations of a house in the neighbourghood of Küçükevler-Anittepe. The relief was used as a cover lid of this grave. 8. Half Griffon or Sphinx [Buluç 1986:pic. 8]: Present width: 76 cm, Height: 102 cm, Depth: 35 cm. There are a full and a half tie holes in the upper part. It was unearthed while levelling the slope of bailey next to the Necatibey Primary School on the western slope of the Ankara Castle in 1941. This half-block bears the relief of a griffon's or a sphinx's back. 9. Cybele Relief at Bahçelievler[Temizer 1959:pl. 32a-b]: Lower width: 97 cm, Upper width: 88 cm, Height: 175 cm. It was unearthed in 1959 in a land next to the corner at where the Avenue 3 and Street 17 intersects in Anitevler. The relief was used as side wall of a Roman grave. It appears from the pictures taken when it was found that the other walls of the grave consisted of second-use ashlar blocks. 10. Half Lion Relief: Height: 96 cm, Depth: varies between 25 cm and 40 cm. In the middle section half of a long tie hole is observed in the upper part. It has been preserved at the Anatolian Civilizations Museum of Ankara. The findspot is reported as Ankara only. 11. Cybele Relief with Lion-Demon [Prayon 1987:pl.: 9-b]. It was accidentally found in 1968. To the left of Cybele standing inside the naiskos stands the Lion-Demon. A sun disk is seen over her head. With a truncated right side due to re-use, the relief was unearthed during the demolishment activities of the buildings belonging to the Motor Transport Battalion 471 of the Land Forces. 12. Griffon Relief at the Atatürk Forest Farm: Width: 157 cm, Height: 103 cm, Depth: 46 cm. It was unearthed during the construction of the traffic test area on the Istanbul road in 1969. The area lies approximately 500-600 m west of the tumulus at the intersection of the road to the Atatürk Forest Farm with the road to Istanbul. 13. Ziraat Bank's Lion Relief [Buluç 1988:pic.1]: Width: 87 cm, Height: 55 cm, Depth: 33 cm. It was unearthed during the construction of the Ziraat Bank at Ulus. It is smaller than the other reliefs in size.
Interpretation and Dating: Their stylistic similarities, identical type of stones (red Ankara stone) used and similar dimensions suggested that the reliefs may have been orthostats of the same building. As no remains of such a building was found in Ankara, several suggestions were made for the location of that potential building including the area between the Ankara castle and its vicinity, the Plantation of the Atatürk Forest Farm, Çankiri Kapi mound and the Augustus Temple [Buluç 1986: 427- 433]. As a result of analyses of the findspots by 25.000 and 5.000 scale maps and earlier air photographs, it was found out that majority of the reliefs were uncovered very close to the tumuli lying between the Atatürk Forest Farm and Anitkabir [Buluç 1986: 429-430]. According to Buluç, these reliefs should have belonged to similar structures such as monument, altar, gate, stele and column related with religion and dead cult associated with the tumuli instead of a building. The reliefs are dated to 7th - 6th century BC by different scientists using the style critics method [Prayon 1987]. These finds are most valuable specimens of the Phrygian architecture and sculpture.

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