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Keslik Yaylasi

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Keşlik Yaylası
Single Findspot
Central Anatolia
Yesilyurt Kale
Investigation Method:


Keslik is a plateau in the Yesilyurt Kale Quarter of the Altunhisar SubDistrict in the Bor District of Nigde. It is a region where the inhabitants of Kale Quarter spend their summer even until it snows on the plateau. It is not accessible by motorized vehicles, it is partly steep; and although it is scattered around the rocks, water is available throughout the year. Two Iron Age stone stelae with reliefs were removed from Keslik Plateau to the Archaeological Museum of Nevsehir in 1962 and 1980. Aykut Çınaroğlu conducted a survey in the Keslik Plateau to identify findspot of the stelae. The site was visited during the survey together with Abdullah Tanik who found the artifact known as Keslik Stele in his own land and delivered it to the museum authorities in 1962. According to A. Tanik's testimony, the stele fell and rolled down the rock on which it was supposedly erected, which is known as Tepe Agili Mevkii, with a height of 25 m above the level of the field. The pedestal is missing, but a housing was carved into the bedrock, allowing installation of the pedestal. The artifact and the pedestal were made of andesite. The second Keslik Stele defined as the Goddess relief and found in 1980 was revealed near the Çiftlik Sub-District, approximately 5 km from Keslik as the crow flies. It was found on a path between Kurt Sivrisi Mevkii and Mount Boz at so called Tavsan Hill, and was moved to the museum in two pieces. This site is not topographically appropriate for erecting a stele. It cannot be easily spotted or noticed from a distance. A. Çınaroglu identified two pedestals, which were 2.75 m apart from each other at Tavsan Hill Mevkii. Both pedestals have a depth of 50 cm. Both were carved and fixed into the bedrock. The lower dimensions of the stele with a Goddess relief matches the larger pedestal (no.1). A stele-like stone was identified approximately 50 m from the two pedestals on the Tavsan Hill, bearing only the outline of a figure to be engraved. This incomplete stele was also carried to the Museum of Nigde. According to A. Çinaroglu, the site was an open-air workshop rather than a sacred place based on both the incomplete monumental stele with a goddess relief and the outline. Following the Tavsan Hill, surveys focused on Dikili Tas Mevkii, which is a rock hill overlooking the Kale Quarter. On the hilltop is a stepped platform and a stele on the road. The stele is 1.50 m long, the widest part being 0.75 m. No inscriptions or reliefs are observed on either side. The stone which was prepared for a stele was brought from either the quarry or the place where it was shaped as well as the round votive part of it oriented to the northwest of the pedestal (facing the road) and the stepped pedestal. It appears that the artists engraved the main figure, but never had the chance to place it on the pedestal over the rock. According to A. Çinaroglu, Keslik Plateau was both a quarry and a workshop during the first half of the 1st Millennium BC in the Tuvanuva of Tabal Land. It may also have been a cult center. It was found out that Keslik also maintained its status as a sacred place during the Byzantine Period. The Keslik Stele: There is a Sky God relief on it. The god holds a stem of wheat in his left hand and grapes in his right hand. Since the relief was made of local andesite and very prone to be affected by weather conditions, the original form gradually disappears [Çinaroglu 1986: pl. 130]. The Goddess Stele: It is the largest of the stelea unearthed in the Tabal Land as well as being the richest one in terms of the themes it depicts. There is a throne with a reclining lion as a support. In front of the goddess there is another figure facing the goddess at head level [Çinaroglu 1986: pl. 131].
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