Ankara Tumuli

Pursuing the Remnants of a Historical Landscape in Maps and Aeriel Photographs

March 29, 2022
19.00 (UTC+3)
The lecture will take place on Zoom. For Zoom registration, click here

The Turkish American Assocation will host its 42nd annual lecture series on art and archaeology in Turkey. This year, Dr Ela Alanyalı Aral will present 'Ankara Tumuli: Pursuing the Remnants of a Historical Landscape in Maps and Aeriel Photographs'.

Evidence shows that Ankara was first founded as a Phrygian city beneath today’s traditional city center. Phrygians migrated from Thrace to Anatolia around 1200 BC, settled in the northern and western Black Sea regions and then moved to Central Anatolia where they established their own cities. 

Ankara was one of the Phrygian settlements located along water courses in the Inner Anatolia. As the characteristic elements of the Phrygian burial tradition, tumuli signified specific location principles regarding both the natural (topography and waterways), and the man-made (settlement area and roads) elements. Ankara Tumuli have been documented and researched since the late 19th century: a number of Ankara Tumuli were known to be placed on the northern and western heights around the estimated settlement area that is beneath the city’s traditional center. 

At the very beginning of the Republican period, the series of archaeological excavations of the west tumuli revealed many valuable relics. Even though research and excavations continued in the following years the tumuli started to disappear. Later after the 1950s, a tremendous urban expansion rendered all the north and most of the west tumuli lost within the urban scene, with no reliable information on their exact locations. Recent research on Ankara Tumuli has revealed that many of these tumuli that are lost today, were visible on the early maps and aerial photographs of Ankara. Furthermore, continuing research reveals more tumuli in the areas unknown before (ODTÜ BAP Project ID: 10265). 

The study researches the original number and locations of tumuli using available visual sources including maps and vertical aerial photographs from the period before 1960s. 

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