Masako Omura JIAA

About the Site

Yassıhöyük (2008)

Yassıhöyük (2008)

Yassıhöyük is a mound site at Çaiaız village, Kırşehir province, Republic of Turkey. It is located about 170 km from Ankara, Turkey's capital city, about 30 km from Kaman-Kalehöyük, and north of National Route 260. Japanese Institute of Anatolian Archaeology conducted research at this site and in the surrounding area during its general surveys in 1986, 1988, 2000, and 2002. Based on the potential of the site, JIAA conducted a magnetic survey, a topographic survey, a photographic survey, and a surface collection survey in 2007 and 2008.

Yassıhöyük measures 500 m north-south, 625 m east-west, and 13 m high. The condition of the site is good except that part of the east and south slopes have been lost to road construction.

The top of the mound is surrounded by high, buried features thought to be the remains of a city wall, and inside the apparent wall, three other high areas are visible. The magnetic survey indicated that in the highest part, there is an immense structure – 45~50 m in length and 40 m in width – thought to be a royal palace or a temple. Small structures thought to be affiliated with the large one and parts of another major structure were also recognized.

During surface collection, pottery shards belonging to the Iron Age (parallel to Stratum II at Kaman-Kalehöyük) and to the 2nd millennium B.C. or the middle of the Bronze Age (parallel to Stratum IIIb and IIIc) were found. The date of the immense structure indicated in the magnetic survey cannot be confirmed, but two possibilities can be proposed: the first half of the 2nd millennium B.C. or the first half of the 1st millennium B.C. The early date is proposed because the buried structure is similar to a structure excavated at Açemhöyük, an important site of the first half of the 2nd millennium B.C.; also, Yassıhöyük is comparable in size to Açemhöyük, as well as to Kültepe, another important site from that period. A possible 1st millennium B.C. date is strengthened by the find of a lead document written in late Hittite hieroglyphic text, which local people brought to the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara.

Research at Yassıhöyük in 2008 was conducted with a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Basic Research B) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.