The Kibyratis: Tradition and transformation of a cultural landscape of Asia Minor

An archaeological-historical survey was conducted in the Kibyratis from 2008 to 2014. The aim was to study a cross-section but for the first time systematically the material culture, the settlement development, and history of the region. The fieldwork has been completed and the project has entered the publication phase. 

Project background

The study of the Kibyratis or Kabalis – largely identical with the western half of the modern province of Burdur – took place from 2008 to 2014 as part of a fieldwork project; the ancient historical-epigraphic part was led by T. Corsten (Institute for Ancient History and Classical Studies, Papyrology and Epigraphy, University of Vienna) and its archaeological part by O. Hülden (formerly Institute for Classical Archeology, LMU Munich). The field project was divided into two phases that pursued different topics. 

Initial fieldwork phase

Following an exploratory season in 2008 the first phase (2009-2012) had the general aim of gaining specific insights into the settlement structures and the material culture of the Kibyratis/Kabalis, which had not yet been systematically investigated, based on a combination of extensive and intensive surveys.As a result of the situation of the contexts, the focus was placed on the Archaic period when the region appears to have been part of the periphery of the Lydian empire. One of the most important results of this project phase was the almost complete documentation of a heavily destroyed primarily Archaic settlement located on a peninsula that protrudes into a lake by the name of Gölhisar Gölü and its surrounding area. The site is situated approximately 10 km from the Hellenistic-imperial period city of Kibyra which became the namesake of the region and very likely appears to have been the Lydian precursor settlement, i.e. ›Old-Kibyra‹.

Second fieldwork phase

In the second phase of the project (2013–2014) the focus was placed on the settlement of the rural areas in the Roman imperial period and late antiquity.

Here one of the most important results was the archaeological identification of parts of large estates; their locations had been vaguely determined on the basis of the find spot of associated inscriptions that had been known for a while. In the imperial period they had been owned by local families but also by members of the imperial aristocracy, including the sister of Marcus Aurelius, Annia Cornificia Faustina. Clear indications for a pottery production of larger dimensions in the rural areas was discovered at one of these estates.