Scientific Mission in Turkey, 12-19/04/2015 (WP III: Historical Geography)
From 12 to 19 April 2015, a team of the Université catholique de Louvain (Jan Tavernier, René Lebrun, Agnès Degrève, Etienne Van Quickelberghe and Johanne Garny) has explored the ancient kingdom of Tarhuntassa, which corresponds nowadays with the region around the Turkish cities Silifke and Karaman. The aim of the mission was twofold. On the one hand, it aims at helping the researchers to find the exact localisation of the ancient capital Tarhuntassa. On the other hand, it sought to give the specialists a better understanding of the territorial extent of the ancient kingdom of Tarhuntassa.
Various 2nd Millennium sites were visited: Sirkeli (fig. 1), Gözlükule (ancient Tarsus), Yumuktepe (ancient Mersin; fig. 2), Kilisetepe, Kızıldağ (fig. 3-4), Karadağ and Meydancikkale (fig. 5-7). The focus was on their geographical environment and their possibility to “host” a large administrative centre. Next to that, some museums were also visited (Tarsus, Mersin, Silifke).
The various results that emanated from this mission will now be connected to the textual evidence of the kingdom of Tarhuntassa in order to extend our knowledge of this highly important 13th-century BC kingdom.
Unexpectedly, when visiting the beautiful site of Tatarlı Höyük (fig. 8-9), to the east of Adana, where excavations only started recently, the idea that this site could very well be the ancient town of Lawazantiya imposed itself. This will be further investigated as a sort of side-project.
Fig. 1: Relief at Sirkeli
Fig. 2: Yumuktepe
Fig. 3: Relief of Kartapu (Kızıldağ)
Fig. 4: Luwian inscription on the top of the Kızıldağ
Fig. 5: Monumental entrance of Meydancikkale
Fig. 6: Building at the site of Meydancikkale
Fig. 7: View on Meydanccikale
Fig. 8: Tatarlı Höyük
Fig. 9: Tatarlı Höyük