Survey of the Year 2015

Syedra 2015 (Season One)

Surveys Surveys at Syedra (First Season) 2015

Birol CAN

The ancient city of Syedra is approximately 20 km from the Alanya district of Antalya. southeast of the small coastal plain fed by the Sedre Stream, just west of the rising mountainous area. The city developed in two different areas. The first is about 400 m above sea level. It is the summit of the hill called Asar Tepe and its high slopes (upper city), and the other is the sloping area extending from the south-southwest slopes of the hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea to the coastline (Lower City). Due to its location on one of the most critical points of the transition route on the coastline; The big cities of the fertile Pamphylia Plain in the west must have had close relations and interactions with the strategic cities of the Rough Cilicia (Cilicia Tracheia) Region in the east. Since the Mountainous Cilicia Region is in an important position in terms of the coastal connection between the Eastern Mediterranean and Anatolia, Syedra, which is located on an important isthmus on the coastline and has a wide harbor area, has also been a part of Egypt and Egypt, especially Cyprus, since much earlier dates. It is inevitable that he established relations with other eastern Mediterranean civilizations by sea. As a matter of fact, this coastline was on an important maritime trade route in the Bronze Age, and as in other nearby cities of the region, findings dating to the Bronze Age were found off the Syedra Harbor. However, neither archaeological nor historical information about the history of Syedra and its surrounding settlements until the Hellenistic Period is yet sufficient. Because the city is located on the border of Pamphylia and Kilikia regions, it is sometimes referred to as the city of both regions and even the Isauria Region. However, if we look at the settlement model, epigraphic data and the information of ancient sources, the city of Syedra more reflects the character of the Rough Cilicia (Cilicia Tracheia) Region. Although its administrative position is open to discussion, when examined technically and culturally, it is understood that it is in close relationship and similarity with the coastal cities in the east (Western Rough Cilicia), such as Iotape, Selinus, Antiochia ad Cragum and Anemurium, rather than its west. During the reign of Emperor Tiberius, the city began to mint its own coin with the name "Syedreon". It is seen that the minting of coins continued until the reign of Emperor Gallienus (253-268 AD). The plan and technical features of the structures that can be observed today, M.S. It shows that Syedra lived its heyday between the 2nd and 4th centuries. Apart from the architectural remains, the epigraphic findings of these periods also confirm this. According to the studies on the capacity of the cisterns, it has been suggested that approximately 4,000-5,000 people may have lived in Syedra during this period. Syedra, Roman emperor Septimius Severus A.D. It is understood from the inscriptions that he sided with the Emperor in his struggle against Pescennius Niger in 194. Considering the character of structures such as baths and tombs, especially M.S. It is understood that there was an intense construction in the second half of the 3rd century. The military activity in the eastern provinces of Rome during this period must also have an impact on this situation. It is understood from the tomb inscriptions found in some cities of Western Rough Cilicia that retired soldiers settled in the region. Obviously, these people also influenced the development of cities. Numerous honorary inscriptions found in Syedra Colonnaded Street (Fig. 1) are also from A.D. 2nd century It is among the indicators of wealth at the end of the 3rd century. Kent, MS. It is among the cities of Isauria in the state lists between the years 314-324. M.S. With the narrowing of the borders of the Province of Isauria with the regulations in 370, the city was included in the Province of Pamphylia and was named as an episcopal center affiliated to the metropolitan Pamphylia during the Byzantine Period. It is understood that religious structures had an important place in Syedra, especially in the Middle Ages, as in the other mentioned cities. M.S. After the Arab raids that started in the 7th century, the region came under the control of the Umayyad and Abbasid states, and again in the 10th century, under the rule of Byzantium. In the 19th century, when epigraphic and historical researches on the region increased. Syedra's name is also frequently mentioned in the notes and publications of the trips made since the end of the year. The travels of R. Heberdey and A. Wilhelm in 1891-92 are considered to be the first research on the city and its immediate surroundings. Then, the city was visited by J. Keil and A. Wilhelm in 1914. Epigraphic research by G. Bean and T. Mitford in the 1960s constitutes an important place. Also, within the scope of the surveys carried out in the region by E. Rosenbaum, G. Huber and S. Onurkan, the main structures and water systems of the city were also investigated and published in 1967. In the 1990s, research on the city intensified. The epigraphic studies of F. Hild and H. Hellenkemper on these dates are followed by the researches of M. H. Sayar for the same purpose. In the same years, architectural determination studies were carried out by G. Huber. is allowed. All these are architectural and especially epigraphic determination studies and are for the remains that can be seen on the surface. Cleaning and landscaping works started in 1994 by the Alanya Museum continued until 1999. During these studies, excavations were carried out in the main structures such as the Temple, the Colonnaded Street, the Acropolis Church, the Spring Cave, and the Harbor Area.

Survey of the Year 2016
Syedra 2016 (Second Season) Surveys

Surveys at Syedra 2016 (Second Season)


The second season of the surveys, which started in 2015 in order to determine the existing structures of the ancient city of Syedra, to draw up the topographic plan, to establish the settlement model and to determine the spread area, was carried out between 02-22 August 2016. Although the work of the 2015 season focused on the summit of Asar Tepe, where the central structures of the ancient city are located, and the southern slopes facing the Mediterranean, it was understood that agricultural production structures were located on some of the lower hills in the vicinity. In particular, the terraces created for water resources and agriculture showed that the production here should not only be for use but also for trade. For this purpose, the determination and detailed studies of these production areas have been an important topic of field studies this year. Since the research conducted by G. Huber in the early 1990s was focused on the city center, environmental structures were not included in the plan in the mentioned publication. Although one of the main purposes of our survey is to create a new and detailed topographic city plan, Huber's city plan, which was prepared in great detail despite its shortcomings, was used. First of all, the measurements and positions of the buildings on the existing plan were checked, on the other hand, detailed measurements and drawings of the buildings that were not processed in the plan were started. In the 2016 season, environmental structures that are not included in this plan but remain within the territory of the city were emphasized. Among these environmental structures, cisterns, aqueducts and workshop/workshop complexes have an important place. During the 21-day study, 6 of the workshops and workshops for production purposes were identified, but detailed studies could only be carried out in 4 of them due to the dense bush cover and time constraints. Aqueducts were observed among the agricultural areas around these workshops, especially on the valley floors. On the other hand, detailed studies were carried out especially in the cisterns in the city center. Finally, plant cleaning was carried out in the northwest necropolis, and chamber tombs, most of which were destroyed and destroyed, were identified. Workshop complexes are built on the plains formed by carving the bedrock on the summits of the hills around Syedra. The slopes and skirts of these hills are agricultural lands, as can be seen from the terraces that can be observed. Workshops of different sizes and plans also reflect common and similar features. One of these similarities is that they have courtyards and indoor spaces. Depending on the slope of the land, the spaces in some workshops are in the form of terraces. In the workshops, the bedrock was also used as a wall up to a certain height, on top of which it was raised as a plaster-covered rubble mesh. In particular, on the walls where the press arm is fixed, either bedrock was used to withstand the heavy load, or it was built with larger blocks, unlike the other walls (Fig. 1). These press arm slots are close in size in all workshops. The nests, approximately 100-107 cm high, 40-45 cm deep and 23-30 cm wide, were carved on large blocks fixed in the wall or directly into the bedrock. In some workshops 1, in some of them 2 press arm slots are used. It is understood from the pieces unearthed that there are blocks belonging to the crushing basins and accumulation pools just in front of these press arm slots (Fig. 2). Although none of them seem to have retained their in situ position, their original location is not difficult to guess. Most of the crushing vessels with circular cavities and canals were found in a broken condition. Some of the weight stones hung on the ends of the press arms are also in these parts. On the walls of the closed spaces of the buildings, there are crenellated windows that narrow outward. On the other hand, in some rooms, there are beam slots placed at regular intervals on opposite walls, indicating the existence of the second floor. The entrance doors of the spaces are arranged with a profile, and the shaft slots and lock systems of the single-leaf doors can be seen clearly in these parts. Detailed studies of Syedra and a few other workshop complexes detected in its territory have been left to the 2017 season. Among the ceramics found on the surface of the workshop complexes, Zemer 41 type Kilikia amphorae attract attention. Among the amphora finds, Dressel 2/4, Rhodos handle, African amphora and LR 1 amphora fragments from the Cilicia Region were also found. When examined in terms of clay structures, it can be said that these are the production of Syedra and Bıçkıcı workshops, especially known in Western Rough Cilicia. So far, red slipped ceramics from Cyprus and a small number of African production have been found in Syedra. Apart from these, there are probably parts of locally produced daily use containers. The mortarium, pithos and basin uncovered from the workshopsMlu container parts also give an idea about production and storage. Detailed studies on ceramics are carried out by the team members. During the 2016 season, the city and its surrounding waterways and cisterns were also examined. The detected water sources do not seem to be at a suitable altitude to feed the higher Syedra and the workshops on the surrounding hills, with their location at the low elevations of the valleys and at the foothills. The origins of these waterways have not been clearly identified yet. Apparently, the water requirement of the city center of Syedra was provided from the spring caves and accumulation cisterns in the city, and the water requirements of the agricultural areas were supplied from the water sources in the immediate vicinity and were carried by the aqueducts in the valleys. One of the identified waterways lies on the valley floor between the two hills, to the west of Syedra, to the northwest of the hill where the Kargicak workshop is located. There is a channel (specus) approximately 10 cm deep and 40-42 cm wide above the 12 m high rubble and mortar braided single arched waterway. The side walls on both sides of the channel are 40 cm thick. The channel, covered with 2-3 cm thick hydraulic plaster, slopes 2º towards southeast. Another aqueduct is located on the slope of Karagedik Hill (Fig. 3). The 8 m high aqueduct was built with local stone, rubble and mortar. Its single arch is 3.8 m wide and 2.20 m thick at the foundation level. The canal extending above the aqueduct is 42-43 cm wide and 40 cm deep. This aqueduct is apparently related to the waterway that circumnavigates the entire Karagedik Hill. Remains of this waterway found southeast of the Aquaduct were likewise built with mortared rubble. The channel in the middle is 42-50 cm wide and 55 cm deep, and its side walls are 40 cm thick. The inside of the channel is covered with hydraulic plaster of 2-3 cm thickness up to a height of approximately 42-43 cm. On the other side of the hill facing the sea and at approximately the same level (58 m), there is another remnant of this waterway. This waterway also shows approximately the same characteristics in terms of its dimensions. The other pillar of the studies on water systems was the detection and detailed measurements and analyzes of the cisterns concentrated in the city center. Measurements were taken by clearing the vegetation covering both the cisterns in G. Huber's publications and the cistern structures that were not included in previous records. The vaulted top cover of some of the cisterns, whose walls are generally 1 m thick, has survived to the present day, mostly intact. The original depths of many of the cisterns, whose walls are covered with high quality hydraulic plaster to prevent water infiltration, cannot be understood due to the fillings covering the inside. Among the cisterns, there are some that consist of a single room, as well as those that consist of two or even three vaulted spaces side by side (Fig. 4). In multi-rooms, openings are left in the intermediate walls in order to allow water flow between the rooms. Some of the openings left to draw water in the vaulted ceilings have been preserved. The largest cistern that can be detected in Syedra is the cistern, which is located next to the western gate of the city, consisting of three large closed spaces with vaulted cover side by side. After leaving the large spring cave in the upper elevations, the water would accumulate in a series of indoor and outdoor spaces, then fill the large spaces that were arranged gradually and connected to each other by connecting channels. The total capacity of this three-room Great Cistern structure was calculated as 2,500 m³. The cisterns covered with hydraulic plaster were found in the 2nd-3rd century AD. It is understood that it was used actively in the 19th century. The total capacity of the cisterns that have been identified so far is estimated to be around 5600-5800 m³. When exiting the western gate of the city, there are necropolis remains along the western and northwest slopes of Asar Tepe. This area, which contains many vaulted tombs on the slope, is within the dense forest area. These tombs, which have a rectangular or square plan, probably vaulted, with niches on the walls, and some of their frescoes are still preserved, lie on both sides of the extra-urban road leading from this section. In the northwest necropolis area, detailed measurements and records were made, especially in a chamber tomb, due to its size and relatively intact survival (Fig. 5). The rectangular planned structure, which was built on the slope and extending in the southwest-northeast direction, was seated on a high podium. The vault top cover of the building, whose walls remained mostly intact, was completely destroyed. The floor of the building, which consists of a front room and a main room, is covered with mosaic flooring. There is a marble sarcophagus cover inside the building, the walls of which are covered with multicolored frescoes consisting of vegetal borders and panels. Both the mosaic floor and all the remains of the sarcophagus were destroyed by illegal excavations. There is a wide niche directly opposite the entrance and a smaller niche on the side walls. In addition to detection and documentation, cleanliness and environmental latitudinal studies are also one of the titles of the 2016 season. With the permission and help of the Forestry Operations Directorate, bush cleaning was carried out in order to make measurements of the structures within the dense forest area. Apart from this, cleaning works were also carried out on the approximately 3 km road that extends from the D-400 highway to the visitor parking lot at the entrance of the ancient city of Syedra. Since it is located among agricultural lands, the cleaning of the road, which was destroyed by heavy vehicles such as tankers and the effect of running water, by Alanya Municipality has also positively affected the number of touristic visitors. On the other hand, the renewal of the information signs and the construction of walking paths in the city with a project carried out by the Alanya Museum Directorate contributed greatly to the increase in the number of visitors (Figs. 6, 7). Ceramic pieces found during the excavations carried out in Syedra by the Alanya Museum between 1994-1999 are preserved in the museum warehouses. Work on these materials, which started in the 2015 season, continued in the 2016 season (Fig. 8). In these museum works, first of all, all the find boxes belonging to Syedra; It has been classified as ceramic, glass, metal, bone, small finds, marble statues, sarcophagus/ostothek fragments. Typologically diverse ceramics were identified with their drawings, additives and colors, and their photographs were taken from each find safe. Statistical studies of ceramics belonging to the same form were started. As a result of the preliminary study, the presence of imported and local ceramics among the ceramic finds from the Late Hellenistic Period to the 7th century AD and showing the same characteristics with the finds from other centers of the region was determined. Among the finds, there is also a group of glazed ceramics belonging to the Byzantine Period. As a result of the preliminary study, the most intense group of finds was found between the 1st BC and the 3rd century AD. It has been understood that the Cyprus Sigillata dated to the Apart from these, Red Slip Ceramics produced in Cyprus and Africa dated to the Late Roman - Early Byzantine Period, amphora fragments produced in Rhodos, Tripolitanian, Syria - Palestine, Spain and Cilicia Region, and oil lamp fragments dated to the Roman and Late Roman Period were found. Some promotional activities were carried out in order to announce and share the works supported by local government units, first locally and then nationally. As the first step of these, Syedra introductory meeting and Syedra tours were held at the conference hall of Alanya Museum at the end of the survey.