Byzantine Glazed Pottery From the Excavations of Cobankale in Yalova: 2019 SeasonFiliz İnanan, Selçuk Seçkin
Çobankale is a building located in the Altınova District of Yalova Province, a significant part of which has survived to the present day. Clive Foss published the first research on the Çobankale. Archaeological excavations in the region were initiated in 2017 under the direction of the Bursa Archaeology Museum. During the excavations in 2017 and 2018, as a result of the complete cleaning of the inner castle, a cistern structure has been identified. In the 2019 season, excavations were carried out in the cistern and its surroundings, In this paper, the Byzantine Glazed Pottery recovered during these studies was analysed. 110 sherds were catalogued and 105 of them were classified under “Zeuxsippus Family Ware”. 3 bases and 1 amorphous body are polychrome incised decorated pieces, which resemble these ceramics but with differences in paste characteristics. These vessels exhibit some characteristics of both the Zeuksippus Family Ware and the group known as Polychrome Sgraffito Ware, suggesting that they may be transitional productions between the two groups. It is deemed possible to date them to the late 13th century or the beginning of the 14th century, and it is suggested that they should be subject to further discussion. Apart from this, only one ring base was found which is Glazed White Ware. It has been determined that the ceramics used between the early 12th and 14th centuries are abundant in the Çobankale ceramic findings.
Yalova, Çobankale Kazıları 2019 Sezonu Bizans Sırlı Seramik BuluntularıFiliz İnanan, Selçuk Seçkin
Yalova İli, Altınova İlçesinde bulunan ve büyük bölümü günümüze ulaşan Çobankale’nin inşası hakkında ilk araştırma Clive Foss’a atttir. Bölgedeki ilk arkeolojik kazı çalışmaları ise 2017 yılında, Bursa Müze Müdürlüğü yönetiminde başlatılmıştır. 2017 ve 2018 yılları kazı sezonlarında, içkalenin tümünün temizlenmesi sonucunda bir sarnıç yapısı tespit edilmiştir. 2019 yılı sezonunda ise sarnıç ve çevresindeki alanda çalışmalar gerçekleştirilmiştir. Makale kapsamında, bu çalışmalar sırasında ele geçen tüm Bizans Dönemi sırlı seramik buluntuları değerlendirilmiştir. Çoğunluğu kaide ve ağız parçalarından oluşan 110 seramik parçası kataloglanmış, bunlardan 105 tanesi “Zeuksippus Ailesi Seramikleri” altında tasniflendirilmiştir. 4 kaide ve 1 amorf gövde parçası bu grup seramiklerine benzeyen ancak hamur özellikleri farklı olan çok renkli ve kazıma dekorlu kaidelerdir. Hem Zeuksippus Ailesi Seramiklerinden hem Polikrom Sgraffito Seramikler olarak tanınan gruplardan bazı özellikler taşıyan bu kapların iki grup arasındaki “Geçiş Dönemi” üretimler (?) olması ve 13. yüzyıl ikinci yarısı/sonu14. yüzyıl aralığına tarihlendirilmesi mümkün görülmekte ve tartışmaya açılması önerilmektedir. Bunların dışında bir kaide buluntusu Beyaz Hamurlu Seramikler grubundadır. Çobankale seramik buluntularında 12.-14. yüzyıl başları arasında kullanılan seramiklerin yoğun olduğu saptanmıştır.
The aim of this study is to determine the Byzantine glazed pottery recovered during the 2019 season of the excavations in the settlement known as Çobankale in the Altınova district of Yalova Province. The most comprehensive study on the construction history of the castle before the excavation belongs to Clive Foss. He suggests that the castle was built in 1087. The first archaeological excavations in the region were initiated in 2017 under the direction of the Bursa Archaeology Museum, In 2018, excavations were carried out in the cistern and its surroundings and were carried out in the north of the castle and the upper level of the cistern in 2019.
This paper analyses the Byzantine glazed pottery unearthed during these works. The study includes 110 potsherds which are evaluated in detail in the catalogue. Among these, a ring base is grouped in Glazed White Wares (Cat.no: 108). 105 of them are classified under “Zeuxippus Family Ware” (Cat.nos: 1-105). Of these, 47 are ring bases and 52 are rims. 4 bowl forms were fully identified (Cat.nos: 66,67,68, 105). In addition to these, 2 closed vessels were also recovered during the 2019 season (Cat.nos: 69-70). There are 3 ring bases and 1 amorphous body sherd with incised decoration, which share the form and ornamentation with the ceramics of this group, but their paste is coarser and more coarse limestone tempered (Cat.nos: 106, 107, 109, 110).
In the 2019 season of Çobankale Excavations, a significant increase was observed in the amount of Byzantine Period glazed pottery. Most of the finds of this season were recovered from the areas around the city walls. Except for a very small number of sherds, almost all of the findings are “Zeuxippus Family Ware”. Therefore, only this group could be analysed in detail. The most intense glaze colour among the finds is yellow and its shades. Green-glazed examples are less common. All ring base fragments have tripod marks.
The common forms of ceramics are small, deep bowls or bowls (Cat.nos: 66,67,68, 105). Closed vessels were also found (Cat. nos. 69, 70 (G. 16)). The most common profile among the ring bases is the slightly flared low ring with or slightly rounded or slightly sharpened ends. This form is particularly preferred on small-sized vessels with monochrome glazes (yellow and green), Cat. nos. 1-9 (G. 4), Cat. nos. 11-14 (G. 5), Cat. nos. 15-21 (G. 6), Cat. nos. 22-23 (G. 7), Cat. no. 28-29 (G. 8), Cat. no. 33 (G. 9), Cat. nos. 66-68 (G. 15), cat. nos. 77-83 (G. 18), cat. no. 91 (G. 19), Cat. no. 93-96 (G. 20), cat. no. 102-103 (G. 21), Cat.no.107 (G. 23) are fragments of this type of base. High ring base forms are relatively rare. Cat. no. 92 (G. 19), Cat. no. 97 (G. 20), Cat. no. 101 (G. 21), Cat. no. 104 (G. 22) have examples in which the high ring base is widened by flaring expanded and the rounded end. Cat. nos. 85, 86 (G. 18) are goblet ring bases. The rim forms were analysed and it was found that there were no examples other than the common forms of Zeuxippus Family Ware, but the common profiles, which can be categorised in three main groups, are rounded, simple-ended, vertical-edged and narrow-flat rims. On the simple rounded rims, it is observed that the rim of the vessel is slightly curved inwards. Cat. no. 27 (G. 8), Cat. no. 32 (G. 9), Cat. no. 49 (G. 12), Cat. nos. 57, 58 (G. 13) belong to this group.
The second main group consists of rims with vertical edges. In this form, the vertical rim ends with a rounded and framed appearance or slightly inverted e.g. Cat. nos. 24, 26 (G. 8), Cat. no. 31 (G. 9), Cat. no. 41 (G. 11), Cat. nos. 71, 72 (G. 17). However these forms are few. The third main group includes profile examples with a slightly concave table. This form could be seen on Cat. no. 34 (G. 10), Cat. no. 89 (G. 19); Cat. nos. 43, 44 (G. 11). And different variations of this form are also available (Cat. Nos 43, 44 (G. 11). As discussed in detail in the catalogue, there are differences in some details within all these forms. For example, Cat.no. 36 (G. 10), Cat.no. 64, 65 (G. 14), Cat. no. 75 (G. 17), Cat. no. 87 (G. 19), have different characteristics from other rims. The decoration compositions of the Çobankale-Zeuxippus Family Ware represent that the characteristic decorations of the family, such as two, three or more concentric circles, uninterrupted-wavy incised line arrangements with concentric circles, spiral and spiral change into circles, various floral and geometric compositions, “♯” (hashtag motive or arms or monogram, human and griffon figures were used. During the excavations in Çobankale in 2018 and 2019, no data on ceramic production was found. In this case, it is thought that the findings unearthed from the castle are the products of an unknown local production centre. It is possible to enlarge the list of similar examples of Çobankale-Zeuxippus Family Ware findings however findings from nearby settlements were prioritised.
In the light of our preliminary assessments, the similarities between some Çobankale finds and Iznik and Dasklyeion findings and local products (?) have attracted our attention. Iznik (Nicaea), which shares some of the form and ornamental characteristics of the Çobankale findings and is considered to be the local production centre. Besides this, Balıkesir-Daskyleion excavations, Bursa, Nilüfer Districts and Bursa, Zindankapı excavations are among the nearby ancient settlements. We also should note that Polychrome glazed sherds in our catalogue (Cat. nos. 98-103 (G. 21), Cat. nos. 104-105 (G. 22) ) are less than half of the monochrome pottery and they share some characteristics of both Zeuxippus Ware and Polychrome Ware. It is possible to suggest that this group of ceramics can be considered as transitional period pottery or to open this issue for discussion. However, this argument requires more findings.
In addition to all this, no data that can help us to date these ceramics. Therefore, these ceramics dated between the 12th century and early 14th century by considering similar examples.