Türkmen-Karahöyük Intensive Survey Project, Turkey

The Türkmen-Karahöyük Intensive Survey Project (TISP) is a new fieldwork initiative led by James Osborne, Assistant Professor of Anatolian Archaeology at the Oriental Institute. The massive site of Türkmen-Karahöyük is located in the heart of the Konya Plain, an alluvial region in southern Turkey that is littered with mounds of all periods. This incredibly rich archaeological landscape is the subject of a large regional survey co-directed by Chrisoph Bachhuber and Michele Massa called the Konya Regional Archaeological Survey Project, which seeks to understand regional processes including the origins of sedentarism, the rise of urbanism, and early state formation.

TISP will be conducting a high-resolution surface survey of the lower town. Ceramic and other artifactual data collected from the surface of the site will clarify its full areal extent; illustrate how the settlement’s population density was distributed across the city; provide a period-by-period picture of the ancient city as its fortunes waxed and waned through time; and indicate how neighborhoods were organized functionally. This surface collection will be accompanied by a program of drone-aided aerial photography that will create a digital elevation model of the site’s topography at cm-level accuracy, allowing for spatial modeling and analysis. Future seasons will incorporate remote sensing techniques like magnetometry and resistivity, which have the ability to map building plans without excavation.