Pednelissos Regional Survey – Pisidia Survey Project

Location: Antalya Province

Years: 2007-2011

Director: Lutgarde Vandeput

Participants: Veli Köse, Mark Jackson, Mustafa Türker, Sabri Aydal, Michelle Zelle, Katie Green, Christina Klein, Ahmet Çinici, Kyle Erickson, Timothy Beach


During the 2007 season, the Pisidia Survey Project started a new phase; rather than focusing on ancient city remains, a territorial region was selected for survey and exploration: the territory of ancient Pednelissos.  The city itself had been recorded between 2000 and 2004, but now the project moved on to establish national boundaries for Pednelissos’ territory, and also to look at the changes in the landscape’s organisation and exploitation over time.  Over the course of three weeks, over 60 sites in the southeast quarter were visited and mapped by GPS.  A variety of settlements were encountered: fortified, unfortified, and many stone remains connected to the production of olive oil.  A basic typology of the range of recurring settlements was drawn up, though it was of course provisional at that stage.  One of the very unique settlements was found at Arpalık Tepe: it featured a Doric temple, built over a cave which had been used for cultic purposes.  It appeared from the survey that all arable land was in use anciently – quite in contrast to the land’s modern exploitation.

In 2008, the survey continued with the identification of territorial sites (again this season a pattern of densely spread isolated structures emerged), whilst at the same time a detailed ceramic and architectural survey was undertaken on sites deemed representative of a specific settlement type.  Dumlutaş represented a fortified site with two “Herrenhausen”, which were both recorded; at Haciosmanlar a site with some fortification walls constructed in Hellenistic then late antiquity was explored.  The season’s primary discovery was of four production units of ceramic ware dating to Late Antiquity, and which appeared to have produced Cypriot red slipware.  Ceramic production, along with that of olive oil, was seen as a major economic feature. 

The third season took place in July 2009, and saw the discovery of some ten new sites, including a rural antique bridge, a kale or other type of stronghold in Yumaklar, and some cistern remains.  The settlement typology for Pednelissos region continued to be developed, and a detailed mapping of exemplary sites was continued.  One other project was the mapping, by real-time GPS, of the large site of Kocamehmetler Asarı; this methodology allowed for precise measurements, though the terrain was quite steep.  Artefacts and clay samples from the pottery production sites were collected and recorded during the course of this season, and researchers attempted to establish how the pottery there related to the pottery from other sites in Turkey and Cyprus.  The results could have major implications on the way Eastern Mediterranean trade was seen.

In 2010 work in the territory continued, with the location and recording of 48 new sites.  Three new settlement types were represented, and three more ceramic ware production centres were located.  The broadened typology resulted primarily from expansion into the southwest region: less mountainous than the previous areas, and more hilly.  Some remains from ancient watermills were found around Kuruçen Ovası, and what appeared to be a refuge or stronghold was discovered on Yalçıtepe hill.  The intensive GPS survey at Kocamehmetler Asarı was continued.  Work on two of the discovered pottery production sites was also undertaken.  Finally, some pottery production sites were found at Akcapinar Köyü, displaying tools for stamping pottery, misfired wasters, and lots of pottery sherds.

Work on Pednelissos’ landscape continued in 2011, with the introduction of a water source investigation within the region.  Two of the sites during the season fit no clear typology: one, a cave, at Haspınar Köyü, the other a chamber tomb at Yumaklar Köyü.  Building techniques were studied both at Kocamehmetler Asarı and at Pednelissos, and comparison between the two proved to be helpful.  Finally, a systematic surface survey was undertaken at ten separate units, selected for their distinctive historical landscape.  This specific survey, conducted through transect walking and artefact collection, aimed at producing data that would allow the landscape’s development across time to be studied.  Thanks to this work, a concentration of lithics was found, as well as an abundance of late Roman ware and evidence of material into early Byzantine times.


Anatolian Archaeology 13: 33-35; 14: 32-33; 15: 31-32; 16: 29-31

Heritage Turkey 1: 29-30; 2: 28-9


Behrwald, R. 2003: ‘Inscriptions from Pednelissus’ Anatolian Studies 53: 117-130

Behrwald, R., Brandt, H. 2008: ‘Neue inschriften aus Pednelissos” Chiron 39: 257-70

Jackson, M. et al. 2012: ‘Primary evidence for Late Roman D ware production in southern Asia Minor: a challenge to “Cypriot red slip ware”’ Anatolian Studies 62: 89-114

Zelle, M. 2007: ‘Späthellenistische und frühkaiserzeitliche Keramik in Pednelissos und ihre Aussagekraft zu kulturellem Wandel’ in M. Meyer (ed.) Neue Zeiten – Neue Sitten.  Zu Rezeption und Integration italischen Kulturguts in Kleinasien: 195-202

Vandeput, L. 2009: ‘Late antiquity in the Taurus mountains: remains in Pednelissos and its territory’ Colloquium Anatolicum 8: 23-44

Annual reports in XX-XXIX Araştırma Sonuçları Toplantısı

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