Early Bronze Age artifacts found in Panaztepe
In archaeological excavations in Panaztepe, located in the Menemen district of the western province of İzmir and is believed to have been a settlement from 3,000 B.C. to the Byzantine period, structures from the oldest period of the city have been unearthed.
The excavations started in Maltepe district in 1985 under the leadership of Professor Armağan Erkanal, and today continue under the chairmanship of Sivas Cumhuriyet University archeology department member Ümit Çayır.
Panaztepe, which is thought to have been an island settlement and port city in the Bronze Age, is about 10 kilometers from the coast today. It has increased its historical importance with new finds.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, Çayır said Panaztepe, with its connections to the Eastern Mediterranean, Western Aegean and even the Caucasus, was an important center for the region, especially in the 2000s B.C., and was located at the intersection between the Mycenaean civilizations in the west and the Hittite civilizations in the east.
Çayır stated that they aim to reach data describing the cultural structure of the period in the excavations and said that this year they found settlement layers from the Early Bronze Age to the classical periods.
Noting that they knew the existence of the remains of the period, known as the Early Bronze Age, in Panaztepe, but the architectural remains showing that it was a settlement could not be reached before, Çayır said: “We were actually expecting to find a burial ground in the work there. Because a tomb, destroyed by illegal diggers, was unearthed there in 2014.”
“Surveys and geophysical-georadar examinations revealed the existence of an ancient period in that region. Accordingly, it was understood that there could be a settlement or a cemetery in this area. We initiated the excavation work in this area for the first time in 2020. We came across an interesting situation. There is also a settlement area belonging to the late periods. Below that, we found structure layers that may belong to the Middle or Late Bronze Age, and below them, a settlement belonging to the Early Bronze Age. That’s why this work was so important. Because we can say that we found the settlement area belonging to the earliest period of Panaztepe. In other words, this is a settlement area dating back to approximately 5,000 years ago. We plan to continue our work both in the newly excavated area and in the acropolis and its outskirts,” he added.
Çayır emphasized that finding the Early Bronze Age settlement on the plain will bring very important results for both Panaztepe and the archeology of the region.
“The fact that the settlement area was identified with architectural remains from the Early Bronze Age will add a new dimension to the cultural history of the region. The wall remains from the residences of the mentioned period and the stone fishing net weights, found together with the ceramic finds, indicate that the settlement was a port city in that period and probably in the following periods. Preliminary reports of geographical studies conducted in the region and Panaztepe also support this view,” he said.