THE SCIENTIFIC EXCAVATIONS IN ÇORUM
The President of The Excavation: As. Prof. Doc. Andreas Schacahner
Hattis was discovered by Charles Texier in 1834 . This discovery can be perceived as not only the discovery of Hattis but also the discovery of completely forgotten Hittites. Until the period in which Ernest Chantre performed some drills in 1893-1894 and the first clay cuneiform writings were published; in addition, many scientists and travellers visited Hattis. The director of Müze-i Hümayun (Royal Museum) Osman Hamdi Bey, initiated Boğazköy excavations in charge of Makridi. They confirmed that this place is Hattis, the capital of Hittites, with the support of cuneiform specialist Assyriology Hugo Winckler. Due to the Second World War, the excavations were paused between 1931-1939. They were initiated in 1952 again. They have been continued by German Archeologist Institute permanently for about 100 years.
The first settlement traces date back to Late Neolithic-Early Chalcolithic in BC 6000. The permanent settlement started in BC 3000 through the end of Late Bronze Age. The natives of the region established a city here and named as Hattis. As found out in written sources, Hattis became the capital of Hittites with the power of Hattusili I (BC 1665-1640)
The Bronze Age ended with the collapse of Hittites in BC 1200. The settlement in Hattis kept on, though. It was BC 8th century in which a town began to grow with the effect of Frigians in Early Iron Age. (BC 12th Century) The settlement continued in Persian Age. Settlement and fortification traces of Helen / Galata and Roman / Byzantine are seen. With one of the settlement of Turkomen tribes here, Boğazkale was established. This location whose name used to be Boğazköy gave its name to Hittites’ capital, as well.
The President of The Excavation: Prof.Dr. Aykut ÇINAROĞLU
Alacahöyük was first introduced to realm of science in 1835 by English W.C Hamilton. The tumulus became the place of resort for the scholars who visited Middle Anatolia. G. Perrot, W. Ramsey and E. Chantre made a research during their visits to Anatolia in 1861, 1881, 1893.
H.Winckler and Makridi Bey , who worked in the excavations of Boğazköy-Hattis since 1906, decided to make a research upon the desire of Halil Ethem Bey, Istanbul Archaeological Museum Director. Makridi Bey worked at the Sphinx Door for about 15 days.
The first systematic excavations in the tumulus were initiated by Atatürk during the republic period. The first excavations on behalf of Turkish Historical Society performed by Hamit Zübeyr Koşay, Remzi Oğuz Arık and Mahmut Akok continued until 1983. The excavations were stopped after this time.They were initiated and continued again since 1996 by Prof. Dr. Aykut Çınaroğlu.
“If you don’t know the past, you can’t predict future. History is the best example to establish a modern country. “ Mustafa Kemal ATATÜRK
As we can understand from this saying of Atatürk, he gave great importance to national culture, the culture of our existence and their exploration.
After Atatürk had initiated National excavations period in 1933, he participated in Ankara Ahlatlıbel excavations. He also ordered for the excavations to begin in Alacahöyük Çorum which is the second center of our national excavations and he dealt with the excavations himself.
The importance of Alacahöyük excavations is that it shed a light on republic period politics. These excavations had bright results and provided Republic of Türkiye to take place in science world. He gave so much importance to these excavations that he emphasized on them in his speech when the parliament was being opened. He participated in International History Congress and he announced that he had been proud on behalf of his country in terms of the evaluations made by world scientists.
It is 45km away from northeast of Çorum, 25 km from northeast of Boğazköy, 160km from eastern Ankara. The first excavations in Alacahöyük discovered by W.G Hamilton were held by Th. Makridi Bey on behalf of İstanbul Archeology Museum in 1907. The systematic excavations were initiated by Dr. Hamit Koşay and Prof. R.O. Arık in 1935 on behalf of Turkish Historical Society. It was continued by H. Koşay after 1936, then by H.Koşay – M. Akok and then continued by M.Akok until 1983. The excavations were stopped in 1983 and initiated again by Prof. Dr. Aykut Çınaroğlu in 1996.
Four civilization ages were brought to light in Alacahöyük which is an important art and culture center in Old Bronze Age and Hittites Age. Apart from Bronze and Hitttites age , Chalcolithic, Phrygian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman ages were also discovered here.
The President of The Excavation : Prof.Dr. Aygül SÜEL
Şapinuva-Ortaköy, one of the most important administration center of Hittites is in the 53 km southeast of Çorum. Upon two cuneiform tablets were bought by Çorum Museum , it was decided to make excavations in this region. The excavations initiated by Çorum Museum in 1990 were continued in 1991 and they have been directed by Prof.Dr. Aygül Süel since 1992. Ortaköy-Şipunuva in Hittites age is an important military and religioous center due to being both political and strategical geographic location. As to the information gained from about 4000 cuneiform tablets found in Ortaköy-Şapinuva excavations, it is understood that it was an important administrative center. Being a flat surface, it was used by Hittites as the settlement area, but it was also used as cemetery by Romans after Hittites.
Boyalı Tumulus Excavation:
The Director of The Excavation : Directorate of Çorum Museum
Scientific Advisor: Associate. Prof. Tunç SİPAHİ
The excavations in Boyalı Tumulus of Sungurlu Yörüklü lies on the river basin of Büyükçay were initiated by Çorum Museum with the participation of Ass.Prof. Tunç SİPAHİ in 2004. The excavations continued between 2005-2006 in Kızılırmak curve in the west of Hattis and in this region of Çorum which is the cultural core of Anatolia revealed many important results to learn about the civilizations of BC 2000 who are the inheritors of Hittites very well.
Boyalıhöyü and its Environment in Old Hittites Period click
Associate.Prof. Tunç SİPAHİ , İsmet Ediz / Çorum Magazine of Culture and Art Volume: 4 - Çorum 2005
Resuloğlu Old Bronze Age Cemetery Excavation:
The Director of The Excavation : Directorate of Çorum Museum
Scientific Advisor: Associate Professor Tayfun YILDIRIM
The excavations in Resuloğlu Cemetery in Uğurludağ Resuloğlu village led by Çorum Museum Directorate with the participation of As.Prof. Tayfun Yıldırım were initiated in 2003. A lof of important data were found about the people’s beliefs and traditions after death of Old Bronze Age in the cemetery. In the cemetery dating back to the second half of BC 3000 (BC 2500) , about 87 gifts buried near rich people represents art pieces which belong to a Anatolion modern civilization (Hatti) before Hittites.
The tombs in the cemetery in the shape of stone chests and cube were damaged by looters but a big part of them were found in a good condition. The length of the tombs ranges from 70 to 160 cm and the depth is about 60cm. After placing the dead body and gifts in the rectangular-shaped tomb, it was covered by thick stone. Many of them was covered with not only with one big stone but also with randomly placed smaller stones. The tombs made of local stones such as andesite and limestone were placed in the east-west direction . The head of the dead bodies which were placed in fetal position is in the west of southwest direction.
The length of cube tombs ranges from 50 to 140 cm. Babies or children were buried in small pots or jars, the mature bodies were buried in big jars. The jars were covered with flat stones. Pots as gifts for the dead person have also been found among these stones.
A new Old Bronze Age Cemetery Excavation in Resuloğlu, Hatti Culture Region click
As.Prof.Tayfun Yıldırım , İsmet Ediz
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES
Hüseyindede Old Hittites Cult Center :
Hüseyindede is a thin and long hill which is 2.5 km south of Yörüklü , Sungurlu. The region which is a bit curved at the south tip of the hill was chosen as the settlement place in Old Hittites Period.
During the surface researches by As.Prof. Tunç SİPAHİ and As.Prof. Tayfun YILDIRIM which began in 1996 and continued in 1997, this place was regarded as damaged area and the settlement has been discovered. Regulation of the area was performed by Çorum Museum Administration in the same year.
The most important pieces of Hüseyindede are embossed vases. Cult ceremonies with music and dance are described on the friezes of two vases which can be combined. Dance and music is very important in Hittites religious festivals and the rich content of these ceremonies were already known by the written documents. Apart from the descriptions which have an important role in worshipping for the god of thunder and continuing the Hatti culture, a new stage emerges.
A new two year excavation was also led by Çorum Museum Directorate in Fatmaören near Hüseyindede where an old Hittite Settlement was brought to light.
Old Bronze Age Cemetery Excavations in Hüseyindede, Boyalı Höyük and Resuloğlu click.
As. Prof. Tunç Sipahi, Doç.Dr.Tayfun Yıldırım
The tumulus which is 5 km west Alaca and on Alaca-Sungurlu road is 25 km northeast Boğazköy, 20 km southeast Alacahöyük. The first excavations were initiated by Ankara Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in 1968 and continued until 1983. Then, the excavations were continued between 1989-1991 by Çorum Museum Directorate. As a result of this excavation, Old Bronze Age, Hittite, Phrygian, Roman and two-phase Hellenistic era permanent settlements were discovered.
In the researches of Old Bronze Age layers under Hittites layers in the tumulus, a treasure consisting gold and silver pieces were found under a house ground. The treausure consisting of silver vases, Syrian bottle, silver ceremonial axe, different types of golden needles, beads, earrings and bracelets are not only smilar to findings in Alacahöyük and Kültepe, but also to ones in Troy, Poliochni and northern Syria and Mesopotamia. These findings are exhibited in Ankara Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.
Pazarlı which is in Çikhasan village , 30 km northern Alaca, was researched by Dr.Hamit Zübeyr KOŞAY and Mahmut AKOK on behalf of Turkish History Society and Chalcolithic, Early Bronze, Hittite, Phrygian, and Classical Ages settlements were discovered at the end of the excavations.
The Phrygian layer represents the most important age of Pazarlı. The embossed sheets used for decoration of stone-based, brick walled, two storey buildings’ facades and castle ruins belonging to Phrygians were brought to light. The warriors walking on sheets of this age, the lion-bull fighting, architectural terra cotta plates decorated by mountain goats’ climbing to tree of life represent the best examples of Anatolian archeology of BC 7-8 th century. The findings of Phrygians are exhibited in Çorum and Alacahöyük Museums ; multi-coloured sheets made of baked clay are exhibited in Phrygian sections of Ankara Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.