EXCAVATIONS OF 2010
IN BEYCESULTAN MOUND
excavations and surveys of 2010 in Beycesultan Mound were conducted between
August 9 and September 15, 2010, and faculty members and students from Ege
University and Adnan Menderes University worked during the studies concerned.
Kemal Cibuk, an archaeologist employed at Iznik Museum, was present as the
representative of the Ministry during the conducting of our surveys. Following
the field studies, grid-squares N27 and M27C were surrounded and closed by band.
The necessary warning signs were hung, and they were left to be protected by
four watchmen assigned by Denizli Museum.
excavations of 2010 performed in Beycesultan Mound were conducted in a total
area of 500 square meters in grid-squares N27 and M27C.
excavations we performed this year continued in grid-squares N27 and M27C,
wherein we detected different phases (3a, 3b1 and 3b2) of the Late Bronze Age in
2009. The main goal of the excavations carried out herein was to investigate the
phases, which we found in 2009, in the whole area and unearth possible new
phases. Thus, our studies were primarily performed to settle the problems of
stratigraphy of the Late Bronze Age. As a matter of fact, during our studies of
this year, it was found that the existing buildings after the fire that
terminated layer 3b2 had had two more phases of use (3b2a, 3b2b and 3b2c).
the same time, one more new phase was found beneath layer 3b2c, the earliest
layer excavated so far (phase 3c). Detailed information on the layers concerned
is presented below:
studies of 2010 were mostly carried on in the northeastern and southern sections
of grid-square N27. Architectural ruins of layers 3a, 3b1, 3b2 and 3c were
detected as a result of the studies:
white and plastered floor, some of which was found during the excavations in
2009, was unearthed at 837.72 m level of layer 3a representing the latest phase
of the Late Bronze Age in the northeastern section of grid-square N27. However,
the garbage pit of the Byzantine Period (layer 2a), 1.60x1.41m in dimension,
located in the north of the area had greatly destroyed this plastered floor.
During the excavations, two loom weights that might be related to the layer
concerned, which was unearthed in an extremely limited area, were found.
the removal of the floor of layer 3a also in the northeast of the grid-square,
layer 3b, wherein the best preserved architectural elements representing the
Late Bronze Age, and the sub-phases associated with this layer were unearthed
throughout grid-square N27.
3b1, which represents the layer of the Late Bronze Age identified with fire
within grid-square N27, was unearthed in the northeastern section and in front
of the southern section. Four new rooms of the layer concerned, namely 14, 16,
19 and 24, were detected. The rooms concerned also show similarity to Rooms 2, 7
and 8, which were unearthed in the north of grid-square N27 during the studies
of 2009, in terms of construction technique. It was observed that the walls of
the rooms had settled on stone foundations with dimensions ranging from 15 to 35
cm and that they had been constructed using a single row of mud bricks, with
their size being 50x32 cm. It should be stated that the plaster of the
completely very well-plastered walls could not be preserved in some areas due to
fire destruction representing layer 3b1. When compared with the rooms located on
the northern side, it might be stated that the severity of this fire was
observed less on the southern side.
information is provided below about the new rooms concerned that we detected
during the excavations of 2010:
Room 16: Room 16, found as a result of the excavations in the
west of Room 21 of phase 3b2b, was unearthed during the excavations of 2009 and
dated to layer 3b1. It was found that
the eastern wall of Room 11 located in the north of Room 16 and the eastern wall
of Room 16 concerned had been commonly used. The extension of this unearthed
wall was also plastered, like in Room 11. Our first findings of the wall were
possible through the plaster traces followed on this floor as a result of
reaching the floor of garbage pit 66 found in the northeast of Room 16.
we considered the room in general, it was found that the northern wall, the
plastered eastern wall and the southern wall were 2 m, 5.60 m and 1.95 m in
length as of 837.51 m level, respectively. As its western wall remained under
the section, no definite results could be obtained. The floor of the room was
reached at 836.36 m level, and the room was left in its final status.
find that might indicate with which function the room had been used was found
within the area. Furthermore, it was understood that the room had been narrowed
with a second wall with a stone foundation joined to the eastern and western
walls of the room. Therefore, it might be considered that the use of this room
was cancelled following the fire layer. The finding of a limited number of finds
in the room verifies this prediction.
Room 14: This room is located in the east of Room 7 found
during the excavations of 2009. Room 14 is 4.40 m in the north-south direction
and approximately 4.00 m in the east-west direction, and it was designed to have
a quadrangular plan. The preserved height of the walls from the floor ranged
from 55 cm to 1 meter, and it was understood that the walls had been constructed
using a single row of large-size mud bricks (50x32x7 cm). The room was found to have had
two 90-cm-wide entrances, one in the east and one in the west, and it was
observed that it had connected to Room 7 on the western side. Moreover, no data
about the place, to which the entrance opened, could be obtained because some of
its eastern wall remained outside the grid-square. Extremely limited information
was obtained as regards the room. For instance, a large stone that might be
related to the mast carrying the roof was detected on the floor. At the same
time, mud brick fragments were found. These mud brick fragments might have
belonged to the roof construction and traces of wooden slots were detected on
The floor of the room detected at 836.71 m level was determined to have been constructed with compact soil and covered with fine plaster. Several layers of plaster found on the floor, some places of which were found to have collapsed, demonstrate that the floor concerned had had more than one plastering phase.
Within Room 14 are 3
garbage pits dated to layer 2a of the Byzantine Period, with one of them being
at the southeastern corner, one in front of the southern wall and one on the
northern wall. These pits were 2 m in depth and 1.50 m in diameter on average
and led to intensive destruction in the room.
pithos fragments, predicted to have been located next to the entrance but found
to have been turned upside down on the floor, were found in the room. A
considerable amount of grain was detected inside the pithos fragments concerned.
At the same time, a large-size grindstone, which we considered to be likely to
have been connected to the grain specimens obtained from different places inside
the room, was found in situ. Other finds detected inside Room 14 were 18
potteries (837.07m), 8 whole crescent-shaped weights (837.07m), 2 spindle whorls
(836.95m and 836.70m), a grindstone (837.01m), a stone mortar (837.08m),
processed bone (837.07m) and a horn (837.04m).
When generally evaluated,
it might be thought that Room 14 had formed a building complex together with
Rooms 7 and 8 found to have had connected with the entrances. During the studies
of 2009, it was determined that the main living area of the building complex
concerned had been Room 7 with the immovable belongings, such as fireplace and
bench it involved, and that Room 8 had been a storage area with the large-size
pithos and clay containers. On the other hand, when the finds and interior
design of Room 14, which we unearthed this year, are taken into consideration,
it is considered that it might have been an area, wherein short-term storage and
routine activities had been performed. The traces of fire, which caused the
destruction of layer 3b1, are also intensively observed in Room 14.
Room 19: Located in the north of Room 14, Room 19 is 1.05m in
width in the north-south direction. It is observed that the room, only the
northern, southern and eastern walls of which have been found so far, continues
westwards. The Southern wall of the room concerned had been commonly used with
Room 14. The garbage pit of the Byzantine Period (layer 2a) had considerably
destroyed the wall concerned. The floor of the room was reached at 836.75 m
level. Except for a pottery in front of the southern wall, no find could be
found on the floor. Therefore, it is difficult to put forward any ideas about
the function of the room concerned. Because the room with a narrow width extends
westwards, it might be considered that the room concerned might have been a
corridor that had provided a transition among other rooms. Traces of fire were
encountered in Room 19, like in other rooms.
Room 23: Room 23 is located in the south of Room 14 and in the
east of Room 8. The eastern wall of the room that has a rectangular plan with
dimensions of 5.50 x 2.70 m had been commonly used with the southern wall of
Room 14 and its western wall had been commonly used with the eastern wall of
Room 8. The floor of the room had been destroyed by two garbage pits of the
is seen that following the layer of fire that terminated 3b1, the architectural
buildings of this phase were repaired and reused during phase 3b2, the next
phase. It is understood that the reusing concerned was repeated for several
phases (3b2c-a). These phases of use we estimated during our excavations of 2009
were put forward more clearly with the new data we obtained during our
excavations in 2010.
Phase 3b2c, the earliest phase of layer 3b2, was just
detected in Rooms 15 and 21 located in front of the southern section of
Room 15: A fireplace with plastered edges, 80cm x 85cm in size, was unearthed at
837.67 m level at the eastern corner of this room with dimensions of 1.56 x 3.50
m that appeared immediately after the removal of the floor of phase 3b2b.
Terracotta fireplace fragments were found in the north of the fireplace, while a
fireplace fragment with a circular impressed decoration was found in its west.
Some 2 whole potteries were unearthed in the room, the floor of which was
reached at 837.47 m level. The southern wall of the room had been destroyed by a
pit. Because this pit appeared after the removal of the floor of phase 3b2b, it
is considered to have belonged to phase 3b2c.
Room 21: Room 21, unearthed at 837.03 m level following the excavations in the
south of Room 1 detected during the excavations of 2009, is located in a narrow
area immediately on the fire layer 3b1.
is seen that the eastern wall of the room had been smoothly plastered and that
it was approximately 2.12 m in length but that this plaster was partially
destroyed. The western wall of the room was of similar size to its eastern wall.
Its northern and southern walls could not be fully detected as they remained
within the section.
is observed that the plaster of the plastered wall joined the floor of the room
and that this plaster was distributed throughout the floor of the room. It is
seen that the floor plaster concerned was not well preserved in some areas due
result of the excavations in trench N27, phase 3b2b that had been constructed on
phase 3b2a belonging to the cultural layer of the Late Bronze Age was detected.
This phase is represented with a white floor and wall plaster of the same color
throughout the trench.
Room 17: The studies of 2010 were initiated in layer 3b2c of the
Late Bronze Age and continued in this direction. As a result of the studies,
Room 17 was unearthed in the western section of the southeastern corner of N27
area. The northern, western and eastern walls of the room were partially
revealed, while its southern wall was unearthed in grid-square M27 during the
studies of 2009. The room has a 90-cm-wide entrance section in the southern
section remaining within grid-square M27. A fireplace and a platform with
dimensions of 30x40 cm are located near the northern wall of the room with
plastered northern, western and eastern walls. Despite the absence of clear data
about the function of the room concerned, the fireplace found in it and the
connection of this room with Room 18 further causes one think that the place
concerned might have been a courtyard. The northern wall of Room 17 had been
commonly used with Room 9. As a result of the examinations, Room 17 and Room 9
were found to have belonged to the same phase.
There are decorations on the fireplace found in the room, and inside the fireplace is a clay base consisting of two pillars called fireplace base.
round-form clay object and few ceramic sherds were found in the fireplace.
northern and eastern walls of the room are 50 cm in thickness, whereas the
western wall of the room is a double wall and 1.00 m in thickness as it is
adjacent to another room wall located in the west. As a result of the studies
performed in Room 17, the white-plastered floor was found at 837.44 m level, and
the studies were terminated at this level.
Room 18: Room 18 is located in the southeast of trench N27. The eastern wall of the room, estimated to have been 4.40 m x 1.85 m in dimension, could not be detected as it was located at a point outside the trench. The western and southern walls of the room are independent and its northern wall had been commonly used with Room 20. Furthermore, this wall also forms the northern wall of Room 17. Thats why Room 20 had belonged to the same phase. All existing walls of the room are white-plastered. As a result of the excavations, two clay silos with diameters of 25 cm and 31 cm were found at the northwestern corner of the room. In the northern section of the western wall of Room 18 is a 90-cm-wide door opening to Room 17. As a result of the studies in the room, some plaster remains that might have been a floor were encountered at 837.49 m level.
Room 9: The first excavations in Room 9 were launched in 2009.
During these studies, only the northern and western walls of the room were
unearthed and its eastern wall could not be fully unearthed as it remained under
the stone wall foundations of layer 3a. As a result of the excavations of 2010,
it was found that there was a door which opened to Room 20 on the eastern wall
of the room concerned. The southern wall of Room 9 was also partially revealed
during the studies performed in 2010. The southwestern corner of the room with
four plastered walls had been destroyed by a pit of the Byzantine Period.
Following the studies, Room 9 was found to have been 5.50 meters in the
north-south direction and 2.70 meters in the east-west direction.
Two mud-brick silos were revealed during the studies performed in the southern section of Room 9.
silo located in the west is
Room 20 is reached via a door located on the eastern wall of Room 9, and some of
Room 20 remains in the unexcavated area outside grid-square N27. Therefore, it
has not been completely unearthed yet. A considerably destroyed fireplace was
found close to the southern wall of the room. Apart from the fireplace
concerned, no other architectural element was encountered inside the room. A pit
of the Byzantine Period, which had been opened to correspond to the center of
the room and which was revealed in 2009 and called pit 24, had caused the floor
of the room to be greatly destroyed. The dimension of the room cannot be fully
known as the southern and northern walls of the room were included in the
eastern section and its eastern wall could not be detected. Bones and ceramic
sherds as well as a stone bead and an ivory bead are the finds detected inside
the excavations of 2010, this phase was investigated with the studies in Room
12, some of which was found during the excavations of 2009. Room 12 that
appeared in the east of Rooms 1 and 4 and at the southeastern corner of
grid-square N27 during the excavations of 2009 was represented by its northern
wall, a fireplace fragment and a single row of stones. No further architectural
elements of Room 12 were encountered during the excavations of 2010. During the
studies of 2009, the southern wall of the room was considered to have been
inside grid-square M27. Nevertheless, as a result of the excavations of 2010,
the wall concerned was found to have belonged to Room 17. It was understood that
Room 12 had used the walls of Rooms 18 and 17 and that the wall, which was found
to have been the eastern wall, had extended southwards. The majority of the wall
concerned had been destroyed as a result of the constructions in the Byzantine
period. The eastern wall of the room and the pit and stones in the south of this
wall were removed as a result of the excavations of 2010 in order to better
understand the architectural elements remaining under them.
layer 3c, which was first detected during the excavations of 2010, is
represented with a stone wall foundation, some of which was unearthed beneath
the floor of Room 23 in grid-square N 27. The stone foundation concerned is
located in the north-south direction, and only 3.60 meters of it have been
unearthed so far. A jar embedded in the stone foundation was detected. It could
not be clearly understood whether the jar concerned had been buried in the stone
foundation in a later phase or the stone foundation had been constructed over
the jar that had belonged to the sub-phase. A significant detail indicating that
the jar had destroyed the stone foundation is the absence of stones of the
foundation around the jar, which causes one think that the jar had belonged to a
later period than the foundation. Some of the mud-brick wall of the stone
foundation was preserved in the size of 53x56 immediately on the foundation. No
further architectural element of the cultural layer concerned has been unearthed
In 2009, excavations were carried out in an area of 10x10m in grid-square
M27C, and the studies were re-launched on 21.08.2010 in order to determine the
southern borders of Room 17 that is located in the southeastern section of N27
and that had belonged to phase 3b2b.
result of the studies performed this year within the grid-square, it was
understood that the stones in the north-south direction in the central western
section of the area, detected in 2009 and having a problematic stratigraphy, had
belonged to layer 3a of the Late Bronze Age. The floor, which was detected some
60 cm beneath these stones again in 2009, and the fireplace settled on this
floor were dated to layer 3b2a.
the excavations of 2010, layers 3b2b and 3b2c were also detected within this
During the excavations of 2010, two stone foundations
in the north-south direction, parallel to each other and representing this
cultural phase were detected in grid-square M27C. The stone foundation located
in the eastern section is 42 cm in width, and only 2.10 meters of it have been
unearthed so far. The detected length of the stone foundation located in the
west is 3.50 meters and its width is 40 cm. It is observed that the wall
foundations concerned had turned westwards in the directions of both north and
south. However, due to the destruction of phase 3b2b, which is one upper phase,
it cannot be clearly understood what kind of a room these walls had belonged to.
The continuation of the north-south-directed eastern wall of Room 17
located in the southeast of grid-square N27 was detected in front of the
northern section of the area. It was understood that this wall had turned
eastwards and constituted the southern wall of Room 17. It is seen that these
walls are also white-plastered, like the walls of the room remaining in
grid-square N27. A 90-cm-wide entrance is available on the wall. In addition, a
stone wall in the north-south direction was found. This stone wall was included
in the eastern section of the area, and its 40 cm width was unearthed. It is
very likely that this wall had been linked to the southern wall of Room 17.
Nevertheless, this possible connection could not be detected owing to the
destruction by the garbage pits dated to layer 2a1 of the Byzantine Period. A
limited number of finds were detected in the room, the floor of which was
reached at 837.40 meters.
In conclusion, the excavations of 2010 performed in Beycesultan Mound
enabled us to reach extremely significant data on the stratigraphy of the Late
Bronze Age of the settlement. Some eight new radiocarbon specimens as regards
the definite dating of the layers concerned were sent for analysis. We are of
the opinion that the possible results of the radiocarbon specimens concerned
will contribute significantly to the dating of the Late Bronze Age of the
Western Anatolia, which is quite debatable.