Understanding the Urbanization Process in Çine-Tepecik’s Cultural DevelopmentSevinç Günel
With its location on the Çine plain south of the Greater Meander (Büyük Menderes), Çine-Tepecik is a settlement that sheds light on the region’s early cultural history. Its earliest cultural remains date to the Chalcolithic Period (Late Neolithic in the Aegean chronology), and the settlement process extends to the end of the Late Bronze Age. In this chronological development, the pottery tradition, the art of depiction, and chipped stone technology are prominent lines of evidence characterizing Tepecik’s social life. Archaeological data show cultural and chronological development associated with Western Anatolia and the Aegean world. This interregional communication and cultural dynamism can be followed through vessels’ decoration style, cult items, and raw material sources since the Chalcolithic Period. Among raw materials sources, obsidian and flint were used in Chalcolithic, Early, Middle, and Late Bronze Periods. Obsidian in Tepecik was obtained from the Aegean islands and Central Anatolia, thus shedding light on the earliest interregional trade relations. Architectural remains of the settlement and its graves, which provide understanding of the Early Bronze Age’s burial tradition, evidence a society that has reached a certain sociocultural level. According to the mound’s stratigraphy, the settlement model with a defense system in the 2nd millennium BC, on the one hand, highlights Çine-Tepecik as a strong city in its region, but on the other hand, shows that cultural and commercial activities with Anatolia, the Aegean, and the Eastern Mediterranean are active. This communication reflects the art of figurative depictions, Mycenaean painted vessels, metal artifacts, and philological evidence from seal impressions in the Middle and Late Bronze Ages. In the Late Bronze Age settlement, the Mycenaean painted pottery tradition, with a rich group of finds, demonstrates that Tepecik played an important role in the Aegean region’s cultural network. In contrast, seal impressions with Anatolian hieroglyphs belonging to the Hittite Empire Period carry communication of the Tepecik settlement with the Hittites to official dimensions. In light of archaeological data and philological evidence, Çine-Tepecik contributes to the region’s archaeology with its strong position dominating natural roads in the south of Arzawa/Mira Land in Western Anatolia’s historical geography
Çine-Tepecik’in Kültürel Gelişiminde Kentleşme Sürecini AnlamakSevinç Günel
Çine-Tepecik Büyük Menderes’in güneyinde Çine ovasındaki konumuyla, bölgenin erken dönem kültür tarihine ışık tutan bir merkezdir. Tepecik’in en erken kültür kalıntıları, Kalkolitik döneme (Ege kronolojisinde Geç Neolitik) tarihlenmekte ve yerleşim süreci, Geç Tunç Çağı sonuna değin takip edilmektedir. Bu kronolojik gelişimde, seramik geleneği, tasvir sanatı ve alet teknolojisi, Tepecik’te yaşayan toplumların sosyal yaşamının belirlenmesinde öne çıkan kanıtlardır. Arkeolojik veriler, Batı Anadolu ve Ege dünyasıyla bağlantılı bir kültürel ve kronolojik gelişimi göstermiştir. Tepecik’in bölgelerarası iletişimindeki bu yakınlığı ve kültürel hareketliliği, Kalkolitik dönemden itibaren kapların bezeme stilinde, figürinlerde ve hammadde kaynaklarında görmek mümkündür. Hammadde kaynakları arasında obsidiyen ve çakmaktaşı Kalkolitik, Erken, Orta ve Geç Tunç Çağı’nda kullanım görmüştür. Obsidiyen, Ege adaları ve Orta Anadolu’dan temin edilmiş olup, en erken bölgelerarası ticari ilişkilere ışık tutmaktadır. Erken Tunç Çağı’nda, yerleşime ait mimari ve ölü gömme geleneklerinin anlaşılmasını sağlayan mezarlar, belli bir sosyo-kültürel düzeye ulaşmış toplumlara ait kanıtları vermektedir. Höyüğün stratigrafik ayrımına göre, MÖ 2. Binyılında savunma sistemine sahip yerleşim modeli, bir taraftan Çine-Tepecik’i bulunduğu coğrafyada güçlü bir kent olarak öne çıkarmakta diğer taraftan ise, Anadolu, Ege ve Doğu Akdeniz’e değin takip edilen kültürel ve ticari faaliyetlerin aktif olduğunu göstermektedir. Bu iletişimi, Orta ve Geç Tunç Çağı’nda, tasvir sanatına ait eserler, Miken boya bezeli kaplar, metal eserler ve filolojik anlamda mühür baskıları yansıtmaktadır. Özellikle Geç Tunç Çağı yerleşmesinde Miken seramik geleneği, Ege dünyasıyla olan kültürel birlikteliğini zengin bir buluntu grubuyla göstermektedir. Öte yandan Hitit İmparatorluk dönemine ait Anadolu hiyeroglif yazılı mühür baskıları ise, Tepecik’in Hititlerle iletişimini resmi boyutlara taşımaktadır. Arkeolojik ve filolojik veriler ışığında Çine-Tepecik, Batı Anadolu’nun tarihi coğrafyasında Arzawa/Mira ülkesinin güneyinde, doğal yollara hakim, güçlü bir merkez konumuyla bölge arkeolojisine katkı sağlamaktadır.
From early periods, Aegean geography, both at sea and on land, has naturally played an important role in site distribution and in cultural interaction among societies. In the Meander (Menderes) region in Western Anatolia, the Great Meander River (Büyük Menderes Nehri) and its tributaries to the south are important natural connections between the Aegean world and Central Anatolia. South of the Menderes, Çine-Tepecik provides understanding of this region’s prehistoric and protohistoric cultures.
The Tepecik site reflects a long settlement process beginning in the Chalcolithic Period (in the Aegean chronology, Late Neolithic) until the end of the Bronze Age. The mound’s latest settlement dates to the Carian-Geometric Period. In this stratigraphical definition, ÇineTepecik’s life and cultural development continued uninterruptedly. During the site’s early period (ca. 5463–5452 BC), the social structure of the settlement developed around agriculture and animal husbandry, as evidenced by buildings with storage facilities, the pottery tradition, chipped stone artifacts as blades, and bladelets and arrowheads of obsidian and flint. Lithic artifacts are the most widely used tools related with social life. Advanced technology has been applied to tools they used on animal species such as sheep, goats, deer, and cattle. The inhabitants grazed and hunted these animals while also farming grains. Obsidian’s presence—of Central Anatolian and Aegean origin—also points to a wide-ranging, active interregional exchange network contributing to Tepecik’s economic activities. This continuity of interregional contacts extends from the Chalcolithic to the end of the Bronze Age.
In addition to tool technology, decorated vessels and figurines shed light on the Chalcolithic community’s sociocultural life. From the beginning of the Early Bronze Age, a developing social organization is evidenced on the mound by extensive building and the burial tradition. Finds from this period’s burials, including pithos and jars, shed light on the community’s differentiation of social status. In the Middle Bronze Age, foundations built of small stones and mudbricks reflect the settlement’s architectural remains. Elaboration of the art of depiction is particularly striking among a major group of this period’s artifacts. Among these finds are a deer-headed rhyton, a pithos of an anthropomorphic vessel, a terracotta model with stylized bulls (bucranium), and also a terracotta model with bull’s horns. Among pottery finds, bowls and cups reflect the local pottery tradition of Western Anatolia. Conical cups, reminiscent of Minoan vessel forms, provide a parallel chronology. Cult items, which shed light on understanding of religion, echo the sociocultural structure. In addition to this period’s rich finds, obsidian and rock crystal vessels had special meaning as prestige products. Settlement of the Middle Bronze Age shows impacts of a thick ash layer. Indeed, the southern part of the settlement is covered by a thick layer of volcanic ash over a large area, which has been scientifically confirmed to result from the eruption of Santorini.
In the Late Bronze Age, Tepecik possessed a fortification wall supported by towers. The architectural remains from this settlement phase revealed storage facilities and workshops, indicating a well-developed socioeconomic system. Agricultural products in the buildings were stored in pithoi. In the official storage building in this settlement, seal impressions with Anatolian hieroglyphs among storage vessels and pithoi indicate an economic organization based on local administrative power. Seal impressions date to the Hittite Empire (13th century BC). Philological evidence from seal impressions and archaeological data from seal impressions’ context clearly demonstrate official relations between the Hittite Empire and Tepecik’s local administration. These finds are important not only for the Maeander region’s historical geography but also for documenting the Hittite’s impact on Western Anatolia. Meanwhile, Çine-Tepecik of the Late Bronze Age possessed cultural traits influenced by the Mycenean. Mycenean painted deep bowls, kylix, figurative kraters, and stirrup jars demonstrate that Tepecik played an important role in the Aegean region’s exchange networks. The decoration of the Mycenean jars show typical Mycenaean motifs often found on various vessel types from the LH III B and III C in the Aegean. With its location at the crossroads, Çine-Tepecik was clearly a site active in interregional communications among the Aegean world, Central Anatolia, and the Eastern Mediterranean.