This project aimed to investigate prehistoric sites in the Kaikos Valley. For this approach, a systematic survey program on the prehistory in the outskirts of Pergamon was applied for assessing the inter-regional contacts, cultural and historical comparison with regard on the more extensively studied region of the Troad in the north and the Izmir region in the south.
The concept for the archaeological survey at Yeni Yeldeğirmentepe, which started in 2008 in cooperation with PD Dr. Felix Pirson (German Archaeological Institute, Pergamon excavations), was developed from viewing and recording Bronze Age finds from the surrounding area of Pergamon in 2007.
Prior to this project, very little systematic prehistoric research was undertaken in the outskirts of Pergamon. Three short expeditions in the last 100 years formed the entire basis of our knowledge of the prehistory in this region (1908 W. Dörpfeld, 1943 K. Bittel, 1955 J. Driehaus). An integration of the Kaikos Valley in large-scale debates regarding the prehistory in the region has so far been almost impossible due to the state of research. The surveys carried out in 2008 and 2009 at Yeni Yeldeğirmentepe formed the beginning of a systematic survey program on the prehistory in the outskirts of Pergamon.
First results show that Yeni Yeldeğirmentepe is a late Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age settlement site, which has large potential for further research. Firstly, it provides a concrete possibility to define the micro-region of the Kaikos Valley in the late 4th and 3rd millennium BC, which means the region can be tied to larger-scale research questions. Early Bronze Age Troy remains a key site in the wider region, to which all chronological schemes and further interpretations of western Anatolia are connected. The fact that many aspects are only partially transferable to the central Aegean coast, however, has been demonstrated by H. Erkanal and his team in the region of Izmir and with the excavation results of Çukuriçi Höyük. The Valley of Kaikos, a cultural region directly adjacent to the Troad towards the south, will provide answers to many further research questions.
The surveys have been expanded considerably in the campaigns of 2011 and 2012. Other sites were visited in addition to the continuing investigation of Yeni Yeldeğirmentepe. These include Çiftlik, Kazantepe, Teuthrania and Değirmentepe amongst others as well as the first systematic investigation in the neighbouring Gümüş Valley. The sites were visited, measured, mapped and described as required. This also included the application of magnetometry and GPR. Furthermore, palaeogeographic and geological surveys complimented the archaeological investigations to obtain extensive results for the entire micro-region (KozakMountains → ore deposits and raw materials / Kane Peninsula → Karagöl-wetland archive / Gümüş Valley → micro-regional analysis).
Further analysis of the finds are almost finished in order to present an authoritative overview of prehistoric Kaikos Valley from the data obtained. The results will then be used as the basis for an inter-regional, cultural and historical comparison.
Peter Pavúk (Universität Prag)