Coordinates: 38°15′00″N 29°42′00″E / 38.25000°N 29.70000°E Beycesultan (pronounced [ˈbejdʒe sulˈtan]) is an archaeological site in western Anatolia, located about 5 km southwest of the modern-day city of Çivril in the Denizli Province of Turkey. It lies in a bend of an old tributary of Büyük Menderes River (Maeander River).

Beycesultan is located in Turkey
Location in Turkey
Coordinates: 38°15′00″N 29°42′00″E / 38.25000°N 29.70000°E


Hittite Empire
The Hittite Empire (red) at the height of its power ca. 1290 BC, also showing the Egyptian Empire (green)

Beycesultan was occupied beginning in the Late Chalcolithic period. This large mound is almost 1 km in diameter and 25 m high.

The settlement increased in size and prominence through the 3rd millennium, with notable religious and civil buildings.[1] Development peaked early in the 2nd millennium with the construction of a massive palace and associated structures. The palace was abandoned and then destroyed circa 1700 BC. To this point, the orientation of Beycesultan was strongly influenced from the west, mainly the Aegean and Crete.

After a few centuries of semi-abandonment, Beycesultan began to rise again, this time more influenced by the Hittite regions of Anatolia. Though smaller than the earlier city, the site was of impressive size. This second flowering of Beycesultan was completely destroyed circa 1200 BC as were many locations in Anatolia at that time. [2]

The site was also the occupied, to a lesser scale, in the Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman period. It has been hypothesized that it is the Byzantine town and bishopry "Ilouza" (Ιλούζα), and possibly the Hittite Wilusa.[3]


The site of Beycesultan consists of two mounds, divided by the old trading road. The maximum height of 25 meters is at the western mound and the entire site is around a kilometer in diameter.

In early 1950s James Mellaart discovered specimens of "champagne-glass" style pottery in a Late Bronze Age context near the site. A search identified the höyük (mound) of Beycesultan upstream of the Menderes river.[4]

Seton Lloyd, along with James Mellaart, excavated Beycesultan on behalf of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara for six seasons from 1954 to 1959 with each dig lasting around two months. [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

A renewed survey of the site and its region was conducted from 2002 to 2007 by Eşref Abay of the Ege University and new excavations at the site conducted under his direction beginning in 2007. Work continues to the present in conjunction with Adnan Menderes University.[11]

While no epigraphic material has been found as yet, a few seals have been recovered.

The early excavators reported "a row of small houses that had been destroyed by fire", with the champagne-glass pottery. There was also a palace "whose plan suggested ... Knossos", which was cleared out before its destruction:

At one entrance of the palace was a kind of bathroom, where visitors washed themselves before making their bows at court. One odd feature of the inner chambers: floors raised about a yard above the ground. Beneath the floors were small passages. They suggest air ducts of a heating system, but nothing of the sort is known to have existed until 1,000 years later.

Outside the palace,

Most interesting was a row of little shops. One was a Bronze Age pub with sunken vats for the wine supply and a lavish supply of glasses for serving the customers. It also had knucklebones, a gambling game that did the duty of a modern bar's chuck-a-luck.


  1. ^ Jak Yakar, The Twin Shrines of Beycesultan, Anatolian Studies, vol. 24, pp. 151-161, 1974
  2. ^ James Mellaart,The Second Millennium Chronology of Beycesultan, Anatolian Studies, vol. 20, pp. 55-67, 1970
  3. ^ Vangelis D. Pantazis (Nikaea), "Wilusa: Reconsidering the Evidence", KLIO, 91 (2009), σ. 305-307.
  4. ^ James Mellaart, Preliminary Report on a Survey of Pre-Classical Remains in Southern Turkey, Anatolian Studies, vol. 4, pp. 175-240, 1954
  5. ^ Seton Lloyd and James Mellaart, Beycesultan Excavations: First Preliminary Report, Anatolian Studies, vol. 5, pp. 39-92, 1955
  6. ^ Seton Lloyd and James Mellaart, Beycesultan Excavations: Second Preliminary Report 1955, Anatolian Studies, vol. 6, pp. 101-135, 1956
  7. ^ Seton Lloyd and James Mellaart, An Early Bronze Age Shrine at Beycesultan, Anatolian Studies, vol. 7, pp. 27-36, 1957
  8. ^ Seton Lloyd and James Mellaart, Beycesultan Excavations: Fourth Preliminary Report 1957, Anatolian Studies, vol. 8, pp. 93-125, 1958
  9. ^ Seton Lloyd and James Mellaart, Beycesultan Excavations: 1958, Anatolian Studies, vol. 9, pp. 35-50, 1959
  10. ^ Seton Lloyd and James Mellaart, Beycesultan Excavations 1959: Sixth Preliminary Report, Anatolian Studies, vol. 10, pp. 31-41, 1960
  11. ^ [1] F. Dedeoğlu-E. Abay, “Beycesultan Höyük Excavation Project: New Archaeological Evidence from Late Bronze Age Layers”, Arkeoloji Dergisi, vol. 17, pp. 1-39, 2014

See also


  • Seton Lloyd and James Mellaart, Beycesultan I. The Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Levels, Occasional Publication of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, no. 6, 1962
  • Seton Lloyd, Beycesultan II. Middle Bronze Age Architecture and Pottery, Occasional Publication of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, no. 8, 1962
  • James Mellaart and Ann Murray, Beycesultan III pt. 1. Late Bronze Age architecture, Occasional Publication of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, 1995, ISBN 1-898249-06-7
  • James Mellaart and Ann Murray, Beycesultan III pt. 2. Late Bronze Age and Phrygian Pottery and Middle and Late Bronze Age Small Objects, Occasional Publication of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, 1995, ISBN 1-898249-06-7

External links

1954 in archaeology

The year 1954 in archaeology involved some significant events.


Ariassus or Ariassos (Ancient Greek: Άριασσός) was a town in Pisidia, Asia Minor built on a steep hillside about 50 kilometres inland from Attaleia (modern Antalya).


Arzawa was the name of a region and a political entity (a "kingdom" or a federation of local powers) in Western Anatolia in the second half of the 2nd millennium BC (roughly from late 15th century BC until the beginning of the 12th century BC). The core of Arzawa is believed to be along the Kestros River (Küçük Menderes), with its capital at Apasa, later known as Ephesus. When the Hittites conquered Arzawa it was divided into three Hittite provinces: a southern province called Mira along the Maeander River, which would later become known as Caria; a northern province called the Seha River Land, along the Gediz River, which would later become known as Lydia; and an eastern province called Hapalla.It succeeded the Assuwa league, which also included parts of western Anatolia, but was conquered by the Hittites in c. 1400 BC. Arzawa was the western neighbour and rival of the Middle and New Hittite Kingdoms. On the other hand, it was in close contact with the Ahhiyawa of the Hittite texts, which corresponds to the Achaeans of Mycenaean Greece. Moreover, Achaeans and Arzawa formed a coalition against the Hittites, in various periods.


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Cestrus was a city in the Roman province of Isauria, in Asia Minor. Its placing within Isauria is given by Hierocles, Georgius Cyprius, and Parthey's (Notitiae episcopatuum). While recognizing what the ancient sources said, Lequien supposed that the town, whose site has not been identified, took its name from the River Cestros and was thus in Pamphylia. Following Lequien's hypothesis, the 19th-century annual publication Gerarchia cattolica identified the town with "Ak-Sou", which Sophrone Pétridès called an odd mistake, since this is the name of the River Cestros, not of a city.


Cotenna was a city in the Roman province of Pamphylia I in Asia Minor. It corresponds to modern Gödene, near Konya, Turkey.


Cyaneae (Ancient Greek: Κυανέαι; also spelt Kyaneai or Cyanae) was a town of ancient Lycia, or perhaps three towns known collectively by the name, on what is now the southern coast of Turkey. William Martin Leake says that its remains were discovered west of Andriaca. The place, which is at the head of Port Tristomo, was determined by an inscription. Leake observes that in some copies of Pliny it is written Cyane; in Hierocles and the Notitiae Episcopatuum it is Cyaneae. To Spratt and Forbes, Cyaneae appeared to be a city ranking in importance with Phellus and Candyba, but in a better state of preservation. No longer a residential bishopric, Cyanae is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.


Docimium, Docimia or Docimeium (Greek: Δοκίμια and Δοκίμειον) was an ancient city of Phrygia, Asia Minor where there were famous marble quarries.


Drizipara (or Druzipara, Drousipara. Drusipara) now Karıştıran (Büyükkarıştıran) in Lüleburgaz district was a city and a residential episcopal see in the Roman province of Europa in the civil diocese of Thrace. It is now a titular see of the Catholic Church.


Hisarlik (Turkish: Hisarlık, "Place of Fortresses"), often spelled Hissarlik, is the modern name for an ancient city in modern day located in what is now Turkey (historically Anatolia) near to the modern city of Çanakkale. The unoccupied archaeological site lies approximately 6.5 km from the Aegean Sea and about the same distance from the Dardanelles. The archaeological site of Hisarlik is known in archaeological circles as a tell. A tell is an artificial hill, built up over centuries and millennia of occupation from its original site on a bedrock knob.

It is believed by many scholars to be the site of ancient Troy, also known as Ilion.

James Mellaart

James Mellaart FBA (14 November 1925 – 29 July 2012) was an English archaeologist and author who is noted for his discovery of the Neolithic settlement of Çatalhöyük in Turkey. He was expelled from Turkey when he was suspected of involvement with the antiquities black market. He was also involved in a string of controversies, including the so-called mother goddess controversy in Anatolia, which eventually led to his being banned from excavations in Turkey in the 1960s.Mellaart was born in 1925 in London. He lectured at the University of Istanbul and was an assistant director of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara (BIAA). In 1951 Mellaart began to direct excavations on the sites in Turkey with the assistance of his Turkish-born wife Arlette, who was the secretary of BIAA. He helped to identify the "champagne-glass" pottery of western Anatolia in the Late Bronze Age, which in 1954 led to the discovery of Beycesultan. After that expedition's completion in 1959, he helped to publish its results. In 1964 he began to lecture in Anatolian archaeology in Ankara. After his death it was discovered that he had forged many of his "finds", including murals and inscriptions used to discover the Çatalhöyük site.

List of ancient settlements in Turkey

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Lyrbe (spelled Lyrba in the 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia; Ancient Greek: Λύρβη) was a city and episcopal see in the Roman province of Pamphylia Prima and is now a titular see.


Rhodiapolis (Ancient Greek: Ῥοδιάπολις), also known as Rhodia (Ῥοδία) and Rhodiopolis (Ῥοδιόπολις), was a city in ancient Lycia. Today it is located on a hill northwest of the modern town Kumluca in Antalya Province, Turkey.

Seton Lloyd

Seton Howard Frederick Lloyd, CBE (30 May 1902, Birmingham, England – 7 January 1996, Faringdon, England), was an English archaeologist. He was President of the British School of Archaeology in Iraq, Director of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara (President, 1948–1961), Professor of Western Asiatic Archaeology in the Institute of Archaeology, University of London (1962–1969).

Stratonicea (Lydia)

Stratonicea – (Greek: Στρατoνικεια, or Στρατονίκεια) also transliterated as Stratoniceia and Stratonikeia, earlier Indi, and later for a time Hadrianapolis – was an ancient city in the valley of the Caicus river, between Germe and Acrasus, in Lydia, Anatolia; its site is currently near the village of Siledik, in the district of Kırkağaç, Manisa Province, in the Aegean Region of Turkey.


Tyana (Ancient Greek: Τύανα; Hittite Tuwanuwa) was an ancient city in the Anatolian region of Cappadocia, in modern Kemerhisar, Niğde Province, Central Anatolia, Turkey. It was the capital of a Luwian-speaking Neo-Hittite kingdom in the 1st millennium BC.


Wilusa, (Hittite: 𒌷𒃾𒇻𒊭 URUwi5-lu-ša) or Wilusiya, was a major city of the late Bronze Age in western Anatolia. It was described in 13th century BC Hittite sources as being part of a confederation named Assuwa.

The city is often identified with the Troy of the Ancient Greek Epic Cycle. Many modern archaeologists have suggested that Wilusa corresponds to an archaeological site in Turkey known as Troy VIIa, which was destroyed circa 1190 BC. Ilios and Ilion (Ἴλιος, Ἴλιον), which are alternate names for Troy in the Ancient Greek language, are linked etymologically to Wilusa. This identification by modern scholars has been influenced by the Chronicon (a chronology of mythical and Ancient Greece) written circa 380 AD by Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus (also known as Saint Jerome). In addition, the modern Biga Peninsula, on which Troy VIIa is located, is now generally believed to correspond to both the Hittite placename Taruiša and the Troas or Troad of late antiquity.

Not all scholars have accepted the identification of Wilusa with Troy. There is an alternative hypothesis, for example, that Wilusa was located near Beycesultan, which was known in the Byzantine era as "Iluza" (Ἴλουζα).Wilusa per se is known from six references in Hittite sources, including:

the Manapa-Tarhunta letter (c. 1310–1280 BC); which places it beyond the Seha river;

the Alaksandu treaty (c. 1280 BC), between Alaksandu of Wilusa and Muwatalli II of Hatti;

the Tawagalawa letter (c. 1250 BC), addressed to the king of the Ahhiyawa by Hattusili III, mentioning a military conflict over Wilusa, and;

the Milawata letter (C. 1240 BC), believed to be written by Tudhaliya IV of Hatti, discussing the reinstallation of Walmu as king of Wilusa.

Üçayaklı ruins

The Üçayaklı ruins are in Mersin Province, Turkey.

Black Sea
Central Anatolia
Eastern Anatolia


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