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Seyitömer Höyük

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Seyitömer Höyük
1180 m
Investigation Method:


Location: It is located within the territory of the Seyitömer Lignite Facilities; north of Seyitömer/Seydiömer Village; 24-25 km northwest of Kütahya Province as the crow flies. To the north of the mound are the lignite beds; to its east the factory and the Kütahya road.
Geography and Environment: The northern part of the mound is steep while the southern part is 20 m high and flat. The top hill is reported to measure ca. 200 square meters as a flat area [Aydin 1991:192]. The mound stands on a rocky clay strata called blue-green colored marn. Below this stratum lies a layer of lignite coal. The lignite opencast mine area, also including the mound is a pliocene aged lake formation. It consists of sedimentary rocks, conglomerates, clay layer in green and blue colors and a main coal seam. The composition of the coal seam ceiling is marl. The basin area was often subject to big scale tectonic movements. The topographic characteristics were almost lost due to constant removal of coal. The mound has an oval shape with an approximate height of 20 m.
Research and Excavation: Since the mound was negatively affected by the lignite production of the Seyitömer Lignite Facilities; it was excavated in 1989 under N. Aydin (Museum of Eskisehir); in 1990-1992 under A. Topbas (Museum of Afyon) and in 1993 under A. Ilasli (Museum of Afyon) by the financial contribution of the facility. Started with a better financial budget compared to the other excavations carried out in Turkey; the excavation was mainly concerned with the upper levels of the top hill. The mound excavations were resumed under the conduct of A.N. Bilgen of Dumlupinar University in 2006. It takes place in the registered archaeological sites list prepared by Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Stratigraphy: The settlements of Roman; Hellenistic; Classical; Archaic and Phrygian Periods (descending order) are followed by the settlements of the second and third millennia BC. The settlement of the third millennium BC was uncovered only by the stepped or terraced trench on the northeastern slope. The terrace/step X of the trench C 15 yielded two levels underwent a massive fire; one at 13.5 m depth and the other at 15-16.5 m depth with very rich finds [Topbas 1992:14; pic.10-16]. The virgin soil was reached; probably; at 18.1 depth. The cultural deposit of the first settlement of the mound was uncovered on the bedrock; 2 m deep below the road passing by the mound. The excavators date the first fortified (?) settlement to the transition period from the Late Chalcolithic Age to EBA and the fired levels near the plain level to EBA II. Between the lowest cultural deposit and the second fired level; there is a cultural deposit including the small or big pieces of lignites. EBA level was also reached in the trench S 9-10 on the southern part of the mound [Topbas 1992:16]. Mound stratigraphy rearranged following excavations by A. N. Bilgen et al. in 2007. According to this VI building levels were analyzed where each had their own architectural phases. The mound was uninterruptedly inhabited from IIIrd Millennium BC to the Roman Period [Bilgen 2009:72; 82]. In 2008 levels were evaluated again and listed as follows: Level I: Roman period Level II: Hellenistic period (II-A: Late Phase-II-B: Early Phase) Level III: Achaemenid period 500-334 BC (III-A: 4th century BC- II-B: 5th century BC) Level IV: MBA 18th century BC (IV-A: Late Phase-IV-B: Early Phase) Level V: EBA 3000-2000 BC [Bilgen et al. 2010:342-343].
Small Finds: Architecture: The layer called the fire level under the fortification walls of the second millennium BC; two rooms dating to the third millennium BC; partly built of mudbrick; were uncovered. These rooms housed intact vessels (appr. 50 pieces) and plenty of loomweights. The floor of the lowest level revealed a wall which might be a city wall (?). It is apparent that this level went through a serious fire disaster as observed during 2008 excavations. As a result of this fire the plaster of the buildings was cooked and the high temperature even destroyed the stones of the walls [Bilgin et al. 2010:348-349]. When the buildings unearthed in 2009 from the West and Middle parts of mound are considered in general, it is observed that they are constructed with rectangular plan, in a parallel way, with common walls. Usage of common areas is implied by the fact that entrances of some of the buildings are opened to a yard. It is perceived that there was a planned settling during EBA. The rooms are in Northeast-Southwest direction in the Western side of the mound, while in the Northern side of the mound they are lined up in Northwest-Southeast direction. The walls are built with thin-flat stones and then plastered with yellow clay. The commonly used walls are made with two faces. All the floors are made of pressurized soil. Only two rooms had wooden standers. Among the unearthed architectural elements benches, platforms, fireplaces and ovens can also be noted. The fireplaces within the rooms are very low standing. These fireplaces with round plans are formed with clay as their base parts are also made of clay. All of the rooms have a rectangular plan except one. Considering the functions of the rooms, ten workshops, two ceramics storages, and one religious place is excavated. The buildings that are used as houses are side by side with the workshops [Bilgen et al. 2011.371-373]. In 2010, 13 living rooms, 2 storage-living rooms, 5 workshop-living rooms, 3 workshop-storage rooms, 2 storage-living rooms and a palace dated to EBA III were exposed. The room 36 which was only used as a living room measures 5.00x11.90 m and consist of two rooms. The room A located to the east of the room measures 5.00x6.70 m. There is a pillar stone, which some parts of it is embedded in floor, in the center of the room. It has been suggested that this stone was placed for the wooden post which is used for supporting the roof. Also, a heart formed with yellow clay was placed in the center of the room. There is a "clay table" in the area between the heart and the east wall. The room B measures 4.70x5.00 m. There are two entrances of the room. The living-workshop room 22 measures 10.15x9.30 m and consist of two rooms. In the room A, a kiln and wood remains which is thought to be a part of the roof structure were discovered in the area measuring 2.50x2.20 m. In the center of the workshop-storage room 47, burnt wood fragments were encountered in the area of 1.03x0.40 m. Thinner beams were placed over two large beams, which is located in the east-west direction. These beams could also belong to the roof structure. The structure on the west of the mound differs from the other rooms according to the storage rooms around it, its architectural features and finds. It has been suggested that this structure could be a palace complex [Bilgen et al. 2012:242-245]. : In 2011, the structures belonging to Phase EBA A were removed and the buildings belonging to EBA B were exposed. It was observed that there are some differences between settlement plan of these two phases. In EBA B, the rooms were extended and the buildings became two or three roomed. The yellow plaster which is seen in the buildings was renewed several times. In this building level all the buildings, except the megaron building and the two structures next to it, went through a heavy fire. In Phase V-B, there is a temple located in the center of the upper platform of the mound. The palace complex on the southwest and other structures on the west and north are aligned at the sides of the upper platform. While the temple was built independently, the other structures were built adjacent to each other by using shared walls. Therefore all of these structures were completely burnt. There is a street beginning from the north of the temple and extending towards the northeast of the mound in Phase V-B. At both sides of this street, the rooms are sligned along the sides of the upper platform. Also rooms, workshops and storage rooms were recovered in this phase. There are ovens, hearths, platforms and benches in these structures. A great number of pottery, weights, spindle whorls and clay mould that were used for pottery production show that these workshops were also used as storage rooms. All of the pottery kilns are round or oval. It was discovered that the walls erected with rough stones are plastered inside and outside and the same material was also used for making the floor. The floors of kiln generally slope from backside to the mouth of kiln. The hearths were formed as round platforms with two connected horned shaped ridges at their backs. There are 48 structures in total including the temple and palace complex in this phase [Bilgen et al. 2013:204-205]. During the 2012 excavation campaign, 1 room belonging to Phase A and 11 rooms belonging to Phase B were exposed. It was determined that 6 of these room have two occupational phases and they were used for different purposes during these phases [Bilgen et al. 2014:352]. In 2013, a room belonging to EBA III Phase B was exposed in Level V. The rooms that unearthed in previous seasons were removed and the data about the first building level of these rooms were obtained. During the excavations conducted around Structure no.30, which was discovered in previous years as well, it is revealed that this structure had one more room. All structures belonging to this phase were removed. A wall painting in red was exposed on the north wall of a structure. It is suggested that this wall painting depicts a hunting scene. A part of the structure is semi-subterranean and it is possible that it belonged to Phase V-B. However, it is also possible to date this structure to Phase V-C. EBA III Phase C yielded 35 structures. One more room belonging to Structure no.7 that was discovered in previous seasons was exposed. It is revealed that the structures unearthed in the plan square H-10 and I-10 represent the renewal phase of these remains [Bilgen et al. 2015]. Pottery: The pottery industry of the fired levels of Seyitömer witnesses the development of pottery industry in the Central Anatolia Region. A hearth uncovered in a room almost in the plain level at the fired level on the foothill is full of sherds dating to the end of EBA II. 50 vessels that can be completed were recovered from the room. They include productions of clay and stone moulds. Vast majority of them is red-orange ware of the Altintas Plain. The surface is very well smoothed; mat or slightly burnished. This group of ware continues from the end of EBA II to the end of EBA III. Likes of this ware were found at EBA III levels of Beycesultan and Kusura level B. It is noted that it is spread from the Eskisehir Plain to the Çanakkale Region. The fired level of the mound yielded S-profiled bowls and ring lugged forms. Omphalos bottomed bowls were also found. Although the human faces on these incision and painting decorated vessels resemble the ones on the vessels of Troy II; T. Efe claims that they are identical to the anthropomorphic vessels of the Konya Plain. Also found are basins on three legs; long spouted pitchers; spouted pitchers and vertically lined cups. Amazingly; no depas and tankards were found. In total six libation vessels are captured during the excavation carried out in 2009 in the building which is almost in the center of the mound and have a megaron plan. Among the vessels captured are rython and spouted pitchers, and among the pottery samples found are jars, bowls, pots, rythons, depases, spouted pitchers, tripod vessels, lids, miniature vessels and trays [Bilgen et al. 2011:373]. Among the pottery recovered in 2011, there are pithoi, jars, bowls, depas, spouted vessels, vessels with pod base, lids, composite and miniature vessels [Bilgen et al. 2013:204-205]. Clay: Loomweights; spindle whorls; two brush handles in terra cotta were recovered [Topbas 1992:pic.10; 13]. Casts and cast-formed vessels which show that the cast technique is used which is one of the pottery production techniques are found in studies carried out in 2009 in the rooms that are believed to be workshops. It was observed that the vessels made of clay are burnished by wiping after they are formed. The baked earth ware pieces captured are believed to be used in coating the pottery [Bilgen et al. 2011:372]. Ground Stone: A marble idol with a broken head was carved like a torso [Topbas 1992:pic.12]. The trench C 15 yielded a stone sledgehammer [Topbas 1992:pic.16b]. A small schematic idol depicting the eyes and the eyebrows was recovered [Topbas 1994:pic.12/3]. Bronze axe, burnishing stone and drills are captured during the surveys carried out in 2009 [Bilgen et al. 2011:373]. Metal: Dagger, earing, needles, digger-puncher tools and rings are found during the surveys carried out in 2009 [Bilgen et al. 2011:373]. Other: Idols and loomweights in marn (green colored clayed rock) are interesting [Topbas 1992:pic.10; 13].
Interpretation and Dating: Seyitömer excavations were mainly concerned with the late periods of the mound. The information about the EBA settlements is poor. It is noted that particularly the settlement of EBA III didn't yield good evidences while the EBA II is represented by the levels underwent a massive fire. T. Efe and R. Ilasli who examined the pottery industry collected from these levels date it to the end of EBA II depending on the finds. The excavations carried out in 2012 show that the layout of the settlement follows a regular plan in all EBA phases [Bilgen et al. 2014:352].

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