An Evaluation of Iron Age Ceramic Materials from the Erzurum-Çiğdemli Mounds in the Northeast Anatolia RegionRabia Akarsu
The Çiğdemli Mound is located in the western part of Erzurum Plain, one of the largest plains of the Northeast Anatolia Region. It was uninterruptedly inhabited from the Bronze Age to the end of the Iron Age. Traces are also found from the Middle Ages. In 1997, a short-term salvage excavation was carried out under the scientific consultancy of Prof. Dr. Mehmet Karaosmanoğlu. At the same time, a large number of ceramic materials were collected from the Çiğdemli Mound during the survey of the Erzurum Plain in 2001, again under the direction of Prof. Dr. Mehmet Karaosmanoğlu. This study makes evaluations of the Çiğdemli Höyük ceramic materials that have been determined to have come from all three phases of the Iron Age and to be very dissimilar in Eastern Anatolia and is thought to be able to shed light on future research to be done on this subject.
Erzurum-Çiğdemli Höyük’te (Kuzeydoğu Anadolu Bölgesi) Tespit Edilen Demir Çağ Seramik Malzemesinin DeğerlendirilmesiRabia Akarsu
Kuzeydoğu Anadolu Bölgesi’nin en büyük ovalarından Erzurum Ovası’nın batı kesiminde yer alan Çiğdemli Höyük, Karaz kültüründen başlayarak Demir Çağları sonuna kadar kesintisiz olarak yerleşim görmüştür. Aynı zamanda Ortaçağ’a ait izler de mevcuttur. 1997 yılında Prof. Dr. Mehmet Karaosmanoğlu’nun bilimsel danışmanlığında kısa süreli bir kurtarma kazısı gerçekleştirilmiştir. Aynı zamanda 2001 yılında yine Prof. Dr. Mehmet Karaosmanoğlu başkanlığında bu kez Erzurum Ovası’ndaki yüzey araştırmasında Çiğdemli Höyük’ten çok sayıda seramik malzemesi toplanmıştır. Çiğdemli Höyük seramik malzemesi üzerinde değerlendirmelerin yapıldığı ve Doğu Anadolu’da çok benzeri olmayan biçimde Demir Çağlarının her üç evresinin tespit edildiği bu çalışmanın, konu ile ilgili yapılacak araştırmalara ışık tutacağına inanılmaktadır.
Erzurum is one of the largest cities in the East Anatolia Region and has strategic importance due to its position on the transition roads, which have enabled the establishment of political, cultural, and commercial relations to the north, south, east, and west. The Erzurum region has been inhabited continuously since the Paleolithic Age and is an important center where the interactions of many cultures with one another can be detected. Despite all this importance, the Northeast Anatolian Region in which Erzurum is located has been less explored archaeologically than other parts of East Anatolia. Despite the little amount of research, many early period settlements are known to have been identified during surveys. One of these is the Çiğdemli Mound located within the borders of Erzurum province and where a short-term rescue excavation had been carried out. Today, a settlement is still found in Çiğdemli District on the southern section of the mound. Based on the short-term rescue excavations and ceramic materials that were found there, an uninterrupted settlement can be said to have occurred at the mound up to the end of the Iron Age as a result of the pottery found from the earliest Kura-Araxes Culture.
The Çiğdemli Mound is located on the west of Erzurum city and to the north of Çiğdemli neighborhood (formerly Tikkir) of the Aziziye District. The mound is located on a natural hill parallel to the Arkaçayılar creek passing along its base and overlooks the Daphan Plain and natural roads. The mound is also approximately 200 meters wide in the north-south direction and approximately 15 meters in height above the plain. The immediate surroundings of the mound are covered with agricultural fields. Arkaçayırlar Stream, which passes through its base and irrigates the land, connects to Karasu, one of the branches of the Euphrates, near Tebrizcik Neighborhood in the south. Karasu is an important branch of the Euphrates that forms from the merger of the Dumlu brook, which takes its source from the Dumlu mountains, with the Pulur Stream, whose headwaters come from the Palandöken mountains in the center of Aziziye.
As with most of the other mounds in Erzurum, the Çiğdemli Mound has been heavily damaged due to land acquisition and illegal excavations by the villagers. Due to the two Seljuk plates and vessels belonging to the Kura-Araxes Culture unearthed by the villagers, the decision was made to conduct a rescue excavation in order to prevent further destruction on the mound. With the permission of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums in 1997 under the chairmanship of the Erzurum Museum Directorate and the scientific consultancy of Prof. Dr. Mehmet Karaosmanoğlu, a retired faculty member from Atatürk University’s Archeology Department, a short-lived rescue excavation was carried out from September 7-25, 1997 for various reasons. The excavation also bore the distinction of being the first excavation of the department in Erzurum since the Archeology Department’s establishment at Atatürk University in 1973. In addition to the excavations, determinations were made about the archaeological history of the mound during the surveys conducted in the region under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Alpaslan Ceylan in 2000 and Prof. Dr. Mehmet Karaosmanoğlu in 2001.
Among the ceramic material collected from the Çiğdemli Mound during the Erzurum Plain survey of 2001, materials from the Iron Age were determined to constitute the mostdense group after the Kura-Araxes Culture’s ceramics. A total of 53 profiled materials belonging to the three stages of the Iron Age (i.e., early, middle and late) were identified. Among the Iron Age materials, Early Iron Age materials were determined to constitute the densest group, with 28 samples from this phase, 12 ceramic samples from the Middle Iron Age, and 13 ceramic samples from the Late Iron Age. This study has evaluated the profiled fragments from among the Çiğdemli Mound’s Iron Age ceramic materials and formed ware groups according to their outer surface treatments.
The Iron Age pottery found at Çiğdemli Mound, a plain settlement strategically located on intersecting road routes, is large enough in size to shed light on the Iron Ages of the Northeast Anatolia Region. In order to better understand the archaeological stratification at the Çiğdemli Mound and identify the cultural traces it contains, more extensive research will be required there.