Some Phrygian Plant and Insect Remains from Kerkenes Dağ, Central Anatolia (Turkey)

Alexia Smith, Scott Branting


During the 1996 and 2000 seasons of excavation at Kerkenes Dağ, a large single‐period Phrygian mountain‐top city located in central Turkey, a small assemblage of archaeobotanical remains and an insect were recovered from two specific archaeological contexts dated to the 540s B.C. This report documents a well‐cleaned Triticum durum/aestivum grain cache retrieved from a baking area, along with hand‐picked remains of Cornus mas, Cerasus cf. avium, and a Brachycerus sp. weevil.


Kerkenes Dağ; Turkey; Phrygian; Iron Age; Archaeobotany; Archaeoentomology

Full Text:



Branting, S. 2004. Iron Age Pedestrians at Kerkenes Dağ: an Archaeological GIS-T approach to movement and transportation. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York.

Branting, S. 2010. Agents in Motion. In Agency and Identity in the Ancient Near East: New Paths Forward, edited by S. R. Steadman and J. C. Ross, pp. 47-59. London: Equinox.

Davis, P. H. 1972. Flora of Turkey and the East Aegean Islands. Vol. 4. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

DeVries, K. 1990. The Gordion Excavation Seasons of 1969–1973 and Subsequent Research. American Journal of Archaeology 94:371-406.

Dogan, Y., S. Baslar, G. Ay, and H. H. Mert. 2004. The Use of Wild Edible Plants in Western and Central Anatolia (Turkey). Economic Botany 58:684-690.

Dönmez, E. O. 2003. Urartian crop plant remains from Patnos (Ağrı), eastern Turkey. Anatolian Studies 53:89-95.

Dörfler, W., R. Neef, and R. Pasternak. 2000. Untersuchungen zur Umweltgeschichte und Agrarökonomie im Einzugsbereich hethitischer Städte. Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orientgesellschaft 132:367-380.

Draycott, C. M., G. D. Summers, and C. Brixh. 2008. Kerkenes Special Studies 1: Sculpture and Inscriptions from the Monumental Entrance to the Palatial Complex at Kerkenes Dag, Turkey. Oriental Institute Publications 135. Chicago: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

Fairbairn, A. 2002. Archaeobotany at Kaman-Kalehöyök 2001. Anatolian Archaeological Studies 11:201-212.

Hedrick, U. P. Editor, 1919. Sturtevant's Notes on Edible Plants. Report of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station for the Year 1919. II. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company.

Hillman, G. 1981. Cereal Remains from Tell Ilbol and Tell Qaramel. In The River Qoueiq, Northern Syria, and its Catchment Studies arising from the Tell Rifa'at Survey 1977–79. BAR International Series 98 (ii), edited by J. Matthers, pp. 503-507. Oxford: B.A.R.

Kislev, M. E., A. Hartmann, and E. Galili. 2004. Archaeobotanical and archaeoentomological evidence from a well at Atlit-Yam indicates colder, more humid climate on the Israeli coast during the PPNC period. Journal of Archaeological Science 31:1301-1310.

Longford, C., A. Drinnan, and A. Sagona. 2009. Archaeobotany of Sos Höyük, Northeast Turkey. In New Directions in Archaeological Science, edited by A. Fairbairn, S. O'Connor, and B. Marwick, pp. 121-136. Canberra: ANU-E-Press.

Marston, J. M. 2010. Evaluating Risk, Sustainability, and Decision Making in Agricultural and Land-Use Strategies at Ancient Gordion. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles.

Marston, J. M. 2012. Agricultural Strategies and Political Economy in Ancient Anatolia. American Journal of Archaeology 116:377-403.

Matthews, W., 1996. Preliminary Report on the Micromorphology of Depositional Sequences at the First Millennium BC Urban Settlement at Kerkenes Dağ, Central Anatolia. Available at: Accessed on 19 December 2013.

Miller, N. F. 2010. Botanical Aspects of Environment and Economy at Gordion, Turkey. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Musselman, L. J. 2000. Zawan and Tares in the Bible. Economic Botany 54:537-542.

Nesbitt, M. 1995. Recovery of Archaeological Plant Remains at Kaman-Kalehöyük. Bulletin of the Middle Eastern Culture Center in Japan 8:115-130.

Peña-Chocorro, L., A. Rigamonti, L. Castelletti, and A. Maspero. 2001. Preliminary Report on the Plant Remains from Ayanis. In Ayanis I. Ten Years Excavations at Rusahinili Eiduru-kai 1989–1998, edited by A. Çilingiroğlu and M. Salvini, pp. 391–396. Rome: CNR, Istituto per gli studi micenei ed egeo-anatolici.

Przeworski, S. 1929. Die Lage von Pteria. Archive Orientálni 1:312-315.

Schmidt, E. F. 1929. Test Excavations in the City on Kerkenes Dagh. The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures 45:221-274.

Smith, A. 2007. Plant Use at Çadır Höyük, Central Anatolia. Anatolica 33:169-184.

Summers, G., and F. Summers, eds. 1996. Kerkenes 1996 Preliminary Report. Available at: Accessed on 19 December 2013.

Summers, G., F. Summers, S. Branting, and D. Langis-Barsetti, eds. 2011. The Kerkenes Project. A Preliminary Report of the 2011 Season. Available at: Accessed on 19 December 2013.

Summers, G., F. Summers, and D. Stronach. 2001. Kerkenes News 4. Ankara: Metu Press. Available at: Accessed 19 December 2013.

Summers, G., F. Summers, D. Stronach, and M. Özcan, eds. 2000a. Kerkenes 2000 Preliminary Report. Available at: Accessed on 19 December 2013.

Summers, G., F. Summers, D. Stronach, and M. Özcan. 2000b. Kerkenes News 3. Ankara: Metu Press. Available at: Accessed on 19 December 2013.

Zohary, D., and M. Hopf. 2000. Domestication of Plants in the Old World. The Origin and Spread of Cultivated Plants in West Asia, Europe and the Nile Valley. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Copyright (c) 2014 Ethnobiology Letters

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.