New Findings from Tire and Mount Kartal

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Ozkan A.

ANADOLU ARASTIRMALARI-ANATOLIAN RESEARCH, no.27, pp.151-173, 2022 (ESCI) identifier identifier


This study focuses on some of the new findings obtained during the surveys carried out in Tire, one of the cities in the Kucuk Menderes ((Little Meander, called Kaystros in ancient Greek) Valley of which relatively little information exists, and its mountainous regions. In addition to the agricultural advantages from the fertile plains in this east-west running valley, it also has road networks beneficial for trade that connect the Lydia and Ionia regions, ending at the Aegean Sea. Previous studies on the region show castles and tower structures to have been built at strategic points since the Late Bronze Age to ensure the safety of these road networks. Because these defensive structures built were on the transportation networks connecting the cities of Ephesos and Sardis, they also took on an important mission against possible attacks that might threaten the cities. This study introduces a Hellenistic castle that was identified during the surveys as having been built at a very strategic point between Kucukkale village in the Tire District and Dampinar village in the Germencik district. In addition to this castle found on Mount Kartal, two churches dating to the Late Antiquity (6th century CE)-Byzantine Empire in were identified on the northern and southern slopes of Mount Kartal. Bonitai has been documented through inscriptions to be located in the countryside of Ephesos somewhere near Kucukkale and Buyukkale villages in Tire and was an important rural settlement located near Mount Kartal. The newly identified architectural sites have provided an opportunity to evaluate the immediate surroundings of the rural settlement of Bonitai with archaeological data. The settlement stands out in terms of its strategic location during the Hellenistic Period. During the Roman Empire, it became one of the most important rural settlements of Ephesos through its suitable agricultural conditions and network of roads passing through the region. The vitality stemming from agricultural production continued into Late Antiquity, with the church structures that had been built confirming this.