Klazomenai Ancient City

Urla / İzmir

Klazomenai Ancient City

Part of the ancient city of Klazomenai, one of the 12 Ionian cities, is on the Karantina Island where Urla Kemik Hospital is located. The city spreads from Limantepe across the quarantine island to the foothills of Ayyıldız and Cankurtaran hills in the west. The classical period necropolis (cemetery) of the settlement is located to the west of the chain formed by Ayyıldız Tepe and Cankurtaran Tepe and in the region where the ancient road Klazomenai-Hypkremnos-Erythrai passes. Reflecting the prehistoric and classical periods of the ancient city of Klazomenai, Liman Tepe is divided into two in the İskele District of Urla via İzmir-Çeşmealtı. Limantepe was first identified and introduced by Ekrem Akurgal in 1950, and drilling excavations started by Güven Bakır in 1979. Excavations continued by Hayat Erkanal since 1980. Excavations continue by Yaşar Erkan Ersoy since 2020.

The history

In the excavations carried out so far, the layer placed at the top of the 2nd half of the 2nd millennium BC, defined as the Archaic and Classical Ages and later the Late Bronze Age, is located. In the Early Bronze Age layer dated to the 3rd millennium BC, it is possible to see the first urbanization event in the western Anatolian coastal region in economic and spiritual terms in Urla. Traces of the Chalcolithic Age dating to the 4th century BC were found at Limantepe. Reflecting a history of at least 4000 years with the classical ages, Limantepe is the oldest known and long-term settlement of the Aegean coastal region.

At the end of the excavations, a part of the palace structure that represents the political and economic authority, defined as the house with corridors in the Aegean world, which is dated to the Early Bronze Age, was unearthed. The city wall of the same period, with a protection height of 6 meters, was unearthed. Round single-room houses (oval houses), many ovens and hearths dating to the Middle Bronze Age were found with small finds. The importance of the city is that there is an olive oil workshop dating back to the 6th century BC. It is not yet known when the wild olive plant was improved in Anatolia. During the excavations, the water contained in the olives and the earthenware used in the separation process and used to separate the olive oil with hot water; Hand mortars and grinding stones that can be used to crush olives were found. These were simple portable tools that met the household oil requirement rather than large-scale oil production. However, those unearthed in Klazomenai are directed towards large production. There is a workshop with 15 pits with different functions carved into the rock.

The olive oil workshop, which has been excavated in Klazomenai, proves that the technology used in the world today was developed in this region for the first time 2600 years ago. In the 1st Phase of Klazomenai, production was aimed at meeting the needs of the city and its immediate surroundings. In Phase 2, exports seem to have gained importance. The belt decorated amphoras unique to Klazomenai found in the excavations were used for the storage and transportation of olive oil and wine, which is proof that the foreign trade of the city was developed in the 6th century BC. Klazomenai, along with other Ionian cities, participated in the establishment of a trade center called Naukratis in the Nile delta in Egypt, and also in the establishment of the Ionian colonies that spread along the entire Black Sea coast with Miletos.

With the contributions of Unilever Komili firm, it is planned to transform the Klazomenai workshop into the First Age Olive Oil Technology Museum.


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