Archaeology Field Trip: Experiencing 3,500 Years on a Sunny Saturday

15 October 2018 Comments Off on Archaeology Field Trip: Experiencing 3,500 Years on a Sunny Saturday

On Saturday, October 6, the Department of Archaeology organized a study trip to archaeological sites in the vicinity of Ankara. The excursion was led by Asst. Prof. Thomas Zimmermann, who first took the group to the site of Gavurkalesi, a 3,500-year-old Hittite stronghold close to the town of Haymana.

The site, well-hidden in the countryside and unmarked by any signs, features rock-cut figural decorations and the remnants of monumental fortification walls. Here, students and staff members who went on the trip could get a sense of what it is like to discover a place of archaeological significance step-by-step, “reading” the information provided by the environment and roughly dating the place using potsherds and architectural features.

In the afternoon, the group headed to Gordion-Yassıhöyük, the famed capital of the Phrygian empire, and had the chance to visit the so-called tomb of Midas, one of the largest burial mounds ever erected, with a central burial chamber preserved in pristine condition. A tour of the settlement mound of Yassıhöyük, with its monumental city gate and palace quarters, completed the excursion.

The next departmental study trip is scheduled for Saturday, November 3. Planned are a visit to the archaeological museum in Çorum and the Bronze Age settlement of Alaca Höyük, an archaeological showcase site, with excavations once promoted by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. These revealed, apart from later Hittite architecture, the famous Early Bronze Age “royal ceremonial standards,” one of which was recreated on a monumental scale and stands on Sıhhiye square in Ankara.

The field trips are free of charge. Students and staff from other departments are welcome to join them; those wishing to do so should contact Dr. Zimmermann at