Çine-Tepecik Excavations, which started as the Council of Ministers’ excavation in 2004 with the approval of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, were conducted under the presidency of Prof. Sevinç GÜNEL. Çine-Tepecik archaeological settlement is located 1 km east of Çine Stream (Marsyas) within the borders of Karakollar Village in Çine District of Aydın Province (Map 1) (Günel, 2006, 2014a). In the excavations that have been proceeding since 2004, cultural layers covering the whole time interval from the Late Neolithic / Chalcolithic period to the Bronze Age have been discovered (Table 1) (Günel, 2015).
Map 1: Location of Çine-Tepecik Mound (Günel, 2014)
Chart 1: Stratigraphic Development of Çine-Tepecik Mound (Günel, 2015)
Findings to date belonging to the Middle and Early Chalcolithic period in the earliest cultural layers of the settlement of Çine-Tepecik indicate a development parallel to the Neolithic period in the region (Günel 2010a, 2011, 2014b, 2016). Besides, various finds dating back to the early times of the Chalcolithic Age (chipped stone and bone tools, ceramics) show that Çine-Tepecik's relations with the Aegean World also date back to a very early time (Günel 2011). The location of the settlement as well as the existence of natural roads and routes towards all geographical directions, especially the valleys opening to the Aegean coastline, have a significant role in the formation of these relations (Günel 2011, 2014a). Also, we can say that the 2nd Millennium ruins unearthed in a broader area of the settlement provide a better understanding of this central location of Çine-Tepecik. Studies have shown that the settlement had an impregnable defense system (fortification structure) in the second half of the second millennium BC (Günel, 2010b, 2012, 2016). Within the context of the relations of Western Anatolia with the Aegean world, we should remark that the paint-decorated Mycenaean ceramics obtained from the settlement signal the period (Late Hellas III B-C) in the Aegean (Late Hellas III B-C) (Günel, 2012, 2015, 2016). On the other hand, the seal impressions unearthed are an indicator of the political and economic relations of Çine-Tepecik not only to the Aegean world but also to the Hittites (Günel, 2012, 2015). All these show that the people of Çine-Tepecik had a direct relationship both with the Mycenaean world and the Hittites in the second millennium (Günel, 2016). Findings obtained from the cultural layer belonging to the Late Bronze Age showed that a fire destroyed the settlement (Günel, 2012). In addition, roof-tile tombs unearthed so far in the northwest of the mound show that the area was a cemetery in the upper phase of the settlement (in the Hellenistic period) (Günel, 2006, 2008, 2012a, 2012b).
The bioarchaeological investigation of human skeletal remains unearthed in the excavations of Çine-Tepecik is continuing multidimensionally. In this context, a master's thesis on ancient mtDNA has been completed so far (Yorulmaz, 2019). Scientific activities related to this were attended (Yorulmaz et al., 2018), and a presentation was made on bioarchaeological studies (Büyükkarakaya, 2018). Communities of Çine-Tepecik, Karataş-Semayük, and Laodikeia/Kandilkırı have been studied comprehensively in an ongoing genome-level project on the Southwest Anatolian Bronze Age communities.
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Prepared By: Hacettepe University Institute Of Social Sciences