Cide Archaeological Project (CAP)

Location: Cide; Kastamonu Province

Years: 2009-2011

Director: Bleda Düring, Claudia Gatz, T. Emre Şerifoğlu (co-director beginning 2010)

Participants: Marica Cassis, Geuch de Boer

Government Representatives: Cağman Esirgemez (2009), Ünver Göçen (2010)

Funding: Leiden University, Byvanck Fund, UCL Graduate School, Institute of Archaeology Awards, Wainwright Fund, University of Glasgow, Carnegie Trust, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, British Academy, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart Üniversitesi Bilimsel Araştırma Projeleri Bütçesi



In August 2009 the first season of the three-year Cide Archaeological Project (CAP) was launched, with 11 team members working together for 15 days.  Cide, a mountainous and green site in Kastamonu Province on the Black Sea coast, had never previously been the subject of systematic studies.  “Unit-walking” was adopted as a field technique with the aim of finding areas with greater amounts of artefacts.  Local informants provided information about areas of archaeological significance.  It became clear that occupation had likely occurred through the Mesolithic, Chalcolithic, Early Bronze Age, and possibly Iron Age and Hellenistic periods, in addition to the more obvious Roman and Byzantine settlements (which included such various types as castles, hermit caves, farmsteads, and a monastery). 

During the 2010 season the limits of the survey were extended to include the Şenpazar district, and also expanded chronologically to include a study of Classical and Post-Classical remains, as well.  Geological processes – such as erosion and landscape deposits – have also been studied and taken into account for their effect on archaeological remains.  Their previous methodology of “unit-walking” was carried out again, and this season the tactic of asking local residents for advice was employed to a greater extent, and mentioned sites were then followed up on.  Intensive efforts were specifically directed in the Okçular and Abdulkadır valley areas, and the Aybasan region.  The chronological gaps remaining from the previous season were mostly filled by the work conducted in 2010.  Some of the most significant finds were lithic assemblages, including tools or weapons dating from around 20,000BC to 6,000BC.  Kiliçli cave was also identified as an important site for better understanding the Chalcolithic and Bronze Ages.  At Gideros, a fortification system was discovered, in addition to a range of Hellenistic pottery.  The coastal area was home to many Late Roman and Early Byzantine communities; churches and spolia were found in abundance.  Lastly, Selçuk and Ottoman period finds were discovered and recorded. 

In 2011 fieldwork was concluded, with four weeks in the field, then two weeks of study.  Among the primary goals of this season were better understanding pre-history and proto-history, continuing geoarchaeological studies of the regional landscape, and coming to a more precise knowledge of the Roman and Byzantine periods.  Again, both fieldwalking and local sources were used as ways to locate sites and understand the landscape.  Fieldwalking this year sampled a range of geographical sites, but especially concentrated on the coast and river valleys.  Local sources led to the identification of new castles, and caves yielded pre-historic as well as proto-historic materials.  By the end of the project they were successful in creating a near complete occupational sequence for the Holocene, and had a better idea of Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age periods, though these remained much less complete.  The 2011 season contributed much to the knowledge of Roman Cide, with the discovery of monumental structures, construction pits, and graves.  Several new Byzantine castles were found, and they were also able to broadly determine the sort of interactions Cide had had with other regions as well as its maritime connections.  Research continued on the samples of soil, pottery, and obsidian after fieldwork was concluded, and radio-carbon dating was also performed. 


Anatolian Archaeology 15: 15-16; 16: 14-15

Heritage Turkey 1: 19-20

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Archaeology and Related Disciplines

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