This year a joint project between Liverpool University, FETAV and Fethiye Museum, funded by the EU, has seen various activities including a panel discussion on the origins of Lycia.
Fortunately for non-Turkish speakers, the Liverpool presence in the project, Dr. Alan Greaves (obscured by the microphone above), gave a very interesting presentation on the origins of Lycia, and did so in both Turkish and English.
Alan has been involved in archaeological work in Turkey for many years and, from 2008 – 2010, surveyed a settlement mound in Çaltılar on the yayla road to Antalya.
Alan explained that the reason not much is known about later Lycian life is because all the Lycian cities from the period after 1000BC, were hidden beneath more recent Hellenistic and Roman remains.
Hence the project to survey the Lycian settlement at Çaltılar which was occupied from 4000 – 1000BC, with settlement at its peak in the Bronze Age roughly 2000 – 1000BC.
The project collected 35,000 artefacts from surface surveying only. These are primarily pottery and flint, with very little obsidian.
Whilst the settlement mound may only have been a small place, it did lie on the main trade route from the Mediterranean coast to inland Anatolia, and they found many examples of pottery from other places including mainland Greece.
In 2012 the project team turned their attention to another settlement mound in Eceler near Seki, for comparative purposes.
These two mounds at Çaltılar and Eceler are the only known settlement mounds in the region.
The survey of the Eceler mound revealed that this had been a much larger settlement than the one at Çaltılar, but it did not produce the range of artefacts found at Çaltılar.
Eceler did have Roman artefacts which were missing from the previous site, indicating that the settlement there continued after Çaltılar was abandoned.
But Eceler lies a way off the main trade route and would seem to have been a large agricultural settlement meeting its own needs in a self sufficient fashion.
The EU-funded project was called ‘Illuminating the Land of Lights’ and Alan Greaves’ presentation certainly lived up to the project title.