Çaltılar Survey

Location: Çaltılar village; Muğla Province

Years: 2008-2010

Director: Nicoletta Momigliano, Alan Greaves, Tamar Hodos, Belgin Aksöy

Participants: Andrew Wilson, Maria Young, Hege Usborne, Andrew Brown, Catherine Draycott, Ahmet Arı, Ayşe Duran, Emma Jordan, Danielle Bradshaw, Sian O’Neill, Katherine Edwards, Mustafa Kibaroğlu, Warren Eastwood, Anneley McMillan, Berna Hepbilgin, Ceyhun Sökün, Erhan Küçük, Nilgun Öz, Hege Usborne, Susan Williams, Çetin Şenkul

Government Representatives: Nevin Soyukaya (2008), Handan Özkan (2009), Nilgün Şentürk (2010)

Funding: British Academy, University of Liverpool Research Development Fund, University of Bristol, Institute for Aegean Prehistory, INSTAP, Seven Pillars of Wisdom Trust, Richard Bradford McConnell Trust, private donors

Website: sace.liv.ac.uk/lycia


The Çaltılar survey project was initiated in 2008 as a way to discover more information about Lycia during the Bronze and Early Iron Ages, specifically its settlement history and material culture.  Though Lycia, an area where many cultures merged, is very significant, little work has been done on its pre-Classical history, especially on the second and early first millennia BC.  Çaltılar höyük had been briefly surveyed in 1988 during the fieldwork at Balboura, but little had been done since then. 

From 25 August to 16 September 2008, fieldwork was aimed at understanding the site’s extent, collecting artefacts from the surface, and to systematically process and record them in order to understand the site’s occupational history.  A topographic survey was undertaken over the course of three weeks, during which 3,200 individual measurements were recorded. Team members also conducted geophysical prospection, going over 13,600m2 in about two weeks.  Extensive and intensive survey was also undertaken and more than 14,000 artefacts (largely potsherds) were collected and processed.  Small finds and ceramics suggested occupation from the first to the fourth millennia BC.  A public meeting with about 80 people was held in the village to discuss the archaeological project. 

Work recommenced in 2009 between 10 August and 4 September.  Surface and topographical surveys were continued and aerial photography surveys, ethno-archaeological studies of the production of modern pottery, and geomorphological work were also undertaken.  About 28,200m2 were intensively surveyed and 18,7000 more pieces of pottery were collected and entered into the system.  Iron Age finds continued to dominate the collections.  Ceramic samples were collected and studied on a chemical and petrographic level, and were shown to be largely local.  A small team looked at the site in terms of its environmental context, visiting Gölhisar Gölü, Söğüt Gölü and Elmalı and other sites for palaeoenvironmental analysis.  Another public meeting was held, this year on 25 August.  A bilingual Turkish and English website was launched.

The next season of fieldwork took place between 25 July and 14 August 2010.  Artefact studies were continued this season, as publications were prepared on the material they had so far reviewed.  Geophysical survey work was also undertaken, with the aims of determining the settlement’s limits and discovering more about the mound’s structure.  Another survey was conducted by using electric resistance tomography.  Geomorphological investigations continued around the lake areas.  Spolia was surveyed around the village, with 16 pieces of Classical stonework discovered in existing buildings.  Outreach activities took place again during this season, and some abandoned school buildings were renovated for future use as storage facilities and accommodation.


Anatolian Archaeology 14: 28-29; 15: 26-28; 16: 24-25


Momigliano, N. et al. 2011: ‘Settlement history and materria culture in south-west Turkey: report on the 2008-2010 survey at Çaltılar Höyük (northern Lycia)’ Anatolian Studies 61: 61-121

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