©The Archaeological Settlements of Turkey - TAY Project


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300 m
Investigation Method:


Location: It stands on a slope near the village of Dorak; south of Uluabat Village; former name Apolyont; northeast of the Mustafakemalpasa District; west-southwest of the Bursa Province.
Geography and Environment: Finds cited as Dorak in the archaeological literature are exhibited neither in any museum nor any private collection. All the information given herein below is based on the limited data about the graves and figures drawn by J. Mellaart at Anna Papa's house in Karsiyaka; Izmir. The graves are claimed to be located on an outcrop extending to the lake.
Research and Excavation: Recovery of some graves by coincidence in an area near the village of Dorak (?) during the occupation of Western and Northwestern Anatolia by Greeks following the World War I resulted in a small illicit excavation. J. Mellaart published only the drawings of those finds; he believed to come from the Dorak graves and saw at a collector in Izmir; in the "Illustrated London News" in 1959.
Small Finds: Human Remains: Two cist graves belonging to two kings and two pithos graves belonging to servants (?) were uncovered. The first grave of 180x83 cm was claimed to house a male (king); and the second one with 310x200 cm a male and a female (king and queen) buried side by side. The single burial was laid on his back; head oriented toward the east. In the double buried cist grave; the burials were interred leaning on their right side in hocker position; head oriented toward the east (?) [Lloyd 1967:fig.24]. Near the male's foot lie a stone bowl and skeleton of a dog. Traces of matt were discovered in the floor. Even tough no further information is provided about the pithos graves; they are said to resemble the ones uncovered in Western Anatolia. There are even no photographs of the finds introduced as grave goods. They are richer than all the other EBA graves in Anatolia. Those magnificent grave goods were left near the burials (?). Other than metals like gold; silver and electron; ornaments in precious stones like amber; turquoise; rock-crystal; bracelets; pins; spouted pitchers; depas; silver mirror; ivory comb; silver tweezers; spatula; painting tubes; bronze sculptures; plate and tray in green stone; marble bowl; obsidian beakers; gold coated batons in stone; shaft-holed ceremonial axes; pots in clay; zoomorphic vessels; bronze daggers; bronze swords; silver spearheads are claimed to be recovered. Most of the finds are decorated with precious metals. The graves were carefully (?) excavated by means of high archaeological standards of its day; and each findspot was marked on the plan. Even finds like kilim and cloth were claimed to be found. A sword with ivory butt bears boat depictions. Also said is the presence of wooden furnitures. It is claimed that the second grave housed a wooden throne encrusted with gold; and the name of Sahure; the second king of the 5th dynasty of the Egyptian Kingdom is visible on the wooden part.
Interpretation and Dating: It is difficult verify if finds and graves of Dorak are an imagination or a mixed collection combining pieces of Anatolian; Iranian and Egyptian origins. As they are still not brought to light up to date; the former approach is more strengthened. When the pieces identified as grave goods are reviewed; not only regional; but also a confusion about the dating is observed. J. Mellaart dates the finds to 2300 BC and compares them to Troy II. The sculptures are not specific to Anatolia. It is also amazing to have the name of the second king (Sagure) of the 5th dynasty of Egypt on a wooden throne encrusted with gold [Lloyd 1967:32; fig.23]. The wool kilim of which the patterns were still not faded recovered from the floor of the king's tomb [Lloyd 1967:fig.22] proves that this hoard does not include 4-5 thousand years old finds. It is more rational to believe that no such graves and finds exits; for now. Those finds referred to as Dorak finds even in the encyclopaedias like Britannica and Larousse; unfortunately; brought about the cancellation of all excavation and survey permissions for J. Mellaart in Anatolia. Aside J. Mellaart who published the finds; several scientists like S. Lloyd believes in the existence of the graves and compares finds of some other excavations with Dorak finds. On the other hand; many scientists have doubts about the finds and state that all of these finds can not come from those graves. Some others trust that the finds do not come from one source (Dorak); but from several graves in Anatolia and the Near East; and the pieces were smuggled. Two journalists; Pearson and Conner came to Turkey to investigate the Dorak case and published a book about it. According to them; there is no such collector in Izmir mentioned by J. Mellaart and even; the address provided by J. Mellaart is totally wrong. Furthermore; there is neither any military source proving the excavation did not carry out in the vicinity of the Lake Ulubat during the Greek occupation nor the local people are aware of such an excavation. The surveys conducted in the vicinity of the Ulubat Lake didn't yield such a big settlement that the burials of those graves could have resided.

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