Kerkenes (or Kerkenes Dağ; both names are modern) is the largest pre-Hellenistic site from the Anatolian Plateau (Turkey) – 7 km (4 mi) of strong stone defenses, pierced by seven gates, that enclose 2.5 km² (1.0 sq mi). It is located about 200 km (120 mi) east from Ankara (35.06E, 39.75N), between the towns of Yozgat (W) and Sorgun (E).


It has been suggested that this was a Hittite site in the Bronze Age, with the underlying hill being the sacred mountain Daha and the developed area being the town of Zipallanda. [1] The huge overlaying Iron Age construction makes this very difficult to verify.

The Iron Age city, apparently a planned urban space, was only briefly occupied and is extremely large. This has suggested to some that the city was an imperial foundation of non-local peoples. [2] Although its historical context remains unclear, Phrygian remains have been found. The archaeological survey shows that the city was burned, destroyed, and abandoned.

The site also contains a Byzantine castle.


The site was first examined in 1903 by J. G. C. Anderson. [3] In 1926 and 1927 H. H. von der Osten and F. H. Blackburn conducted a preliminary survey of the site and made a map of the city defences. [4] Also in 1926, the site was visited by Emil Forrer [5] In 1929 Erich Schmidt excavated at Kerkenes Dagh for around a week for the Oriental Institute of Chicago. [6]

The international Kerkenes Project, which started in 1993 and ran until 2012, was directed by the British archaeologist Geoffrey Summers and Françoise Summers, both from Middle East Technical University (Ankara). [7] [8] [9] [10][11] Current fieldwork is ongoing directed by Scott Branting at the University of Central Florida.

Geoffrey Summers initially identified the site with the city of Pteria of the Medes, mentioned by Herodotus, who describes the place as being captured by the Lydian king Croesus around the year 547 B.C. The Median identification has been rejected by various scholars, including Summers himself; instead the site is being regarded as a local Phrygian dynastic center, very possibly Pteria.

See also


  1. ^ O. R. Gurney, The Hittite Names of Kerkenes Dag and Kusakli Höyük, Anatolian Studies, vol. 45 pp. 69-71, 1995
  2. ^ Geoffrey Summers, The identification of the Iron Age City on Kerkenes Dag in Central Anatolia, The Journal of Near Eastern Studies, vol. 56, iss. 2, pp. 81–94, 1997
  3. ^ J. G. C. Anderson, A Journey of Exploration in Pontus, Studia Pontica 1, pp. 1-29, H. Lamertin, 1903
  4. ^ H.H. von der Osten, An Unnoticed Ancient Metropolis of Asia Monor, Geographical Review, vol. 18, pp. 83-92, 1928
  5. ^ Emil Forrer, Ergebnisse einer archäologischen Reise in Kleinasien 1926, MDOG, vol. 65, pp. 27-44, 1927
  6. ^ Erich F. Schmidt, Test Excavations in the City on Kerkenes Dagh, The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 221-274, 1928
  7. ^ G. D. Summers, Kerkenes Dag 1993, Arastirma Sonuclari Toplantisi, vol. 12, pp. 567-582, 1995
  8. ^ M. E. F. Summers and G. D. Summers, Kerkenes Dag 1994. Arastirma Sonuclari Toplantisi, vol. 13, pp. 99-122, 1996
  9. ^ M. E. F. Summers and G. D. Summers, Kerkenes Dag 1995, Arastirma Sonuclari Toplantisi, vol. 14, pp. 331-357, 1997
  10. ^ G. and Summers, F., Kerkenes 2007, 31, Kazı Sonuçları Toplantısı, 25-29 Mayıs 2009, Denizli, Ankara, pp. 37-49, 2010
  11. ^ G. Summers, F. and Branting S., Kerkenes 2008, 31, Kazı Sonuçları Toplantısı, 25-29 Mayıs 2009, Denizli, Ankara, pp. 51-64, 2010


  • K.Bittel, Legenden vom Kerkenes-Dag (Kappadokien), Orien, vol. 22-24, pp. 29–34, 1960
  • M. E. F. Summers, K. Ahmet and G. D. Summers, The Regional Survey at Kerkenes Dag: An Interim Report on the Seasons of 1993 and 1994, Anatolian Studies, vol. 45, pp. 43–68, 1995
  • Draycott, Catherine; Geoffrey Summers (2008). Kerkenes Special Studies 1: Sculpture and Inscriptions from the Monumental Entrance to the Palatial Complex at Kerkenes Dag. Oriental Institute Publications 135. University of Chicago Oriental Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-885923-57-8.

External links

Coordinates: 39°45′00″N 35°03′56″E / 39.75000°N 35.06556°E

Alişar, Sorgun

Alişar is a village in the district of Sorgun, Yozgat Province, Turkey. Near the village is the archaeological site of Alişar Hüyük.


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).


Caloe was a town in the Roman province of Asia. It is mentioned as Kaloe or Keloue in 3rd-century inscriptions, as Kalose in Hierocles's Synecdemos (660), and as Kalloe, Kaloe, and Kolone in Parthey's Notitiæ episcopatuum, in which it figures from the 6th to the 12fth or 13th century.


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.

List of ancient settlements in Turkey

Below is the list of ancient settlements in Turkey. There are innumerable ruins of ancient settlements spread all over the country. While some ruins date back to Neolithic times, most of them were settlements of Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians, Ionians, Urartians, and so on.


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.


Phellus (Ancient Greek: Φέλλος, Turkish: Phellos) is an town of ancient Lycia, now situated on the mountainous outskirts of the small town of Kaş in the Antalya Province of Turkey. The city was first referenced as early as 7 BC by Greek geographer and philosopher Strabo in Book XII of his Geographica (which detailed settlements in the Anatolia region), alongside the port town of Antiphellus; which served as the settlement's main trade front.

Its exact location, particularly in regard to Antiphellus, was misinterpreted for many years. Strabo incorrectly designates both settlements as inland towns, closer to each other than is actually evident today. Additionally, upon its rediscovery in 1840 by Sir Charles Fellows, the settlement was located near the village of Saaret, west-northwest of Antiphellus. Verifying research into its location in ancient text proved difficult for Fellows, with illegible Greek inscriptions providing the sole written source at the site. However, Thomas Abel Brimage Spratt details in his 1847 work Travels in Lycia that validation is provided in the words of Pliny the Elder, who places Phellus north of Habessus (Antiphellus' pre-Hellenic name).

Pteria (Cappadocia)

Pteria (Ancient Greek: Πτερία) was the capital of the Assyrians in northern Cappadocia. They were said by Herodotus to have been taken and ruined by Croesus in 547 BC. It also was the place of an undecided battle between Cyrus the Great and Croesus.

Although some have identified Pteria with Hattusa (Boğazkale), and with the near site of Kerkenes, this is uncertain; Herodotus mentions Pteria as near Sinop on the Black Sea, which is not at all close to Hattusa.


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.

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.


Yozgat is a city and the capital district of Yozgat province in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey. According to 2009 census, population of the district is 645,266 of which 75,853 live in the city of Yozgat.


Zippalanda was a Hattic administrative and religious center of the Hittite Old Kingdom. Although its name was known from inscriptions, it was not until the latter 20th century that scholars placed it in Sorgan District of Yozgat Province, Turkey, near Kerkenes Dağ (Kerkenes Mountain often identified with Mount Daha (Mount Taha)), about one day's journey north of Ankuwa (present-day Alışar Höyük). The plausible sites are the settlement mounds known as Çadır Mound (Çadır Höyük) and Uşaklı Mound (Uşaklı Höyük).Zippalanda was one of the ancient Hattic religious centers that retained privileges in the Old Kingdom. These included Arinna and Nerik, and toward the end of the Hittite Empire Hattusa and Tarhuntassa. The Hittite king participated in official religious ceremonies such as the purulli-festival, spring and autumn Imperial festivals, the festival of the month, and possibly the hunting festival (the Ki-Lam). Much of the information about Zippalanda comes from tablets found at Hattusa, which record the existence of the temple of the Storm God and a palace or royal residence (halentu) and refer indirectly to daily religious life and festivals. The light defenses of the city wall suggest that it was a religious perimeter like that of Alaca Höyük. A number of cultic sites are found within the city and ranging outside it toward Mount Daha.In addition to religious functions, people at Zippalanda are recorded as engaging in military affairs, crafts, hunting and stock breeding.

Üçayaklı ruins

The Üçayaklı ruins are in Mersin Province, Turkey.

Black Sea
Central Anatolia
Eastern Anatolia


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