Abstract: New Technologies for Exploring Ancient Cities: Geophysics and Computer Simulations from Kerkenes Dağ, Turkey

Lecturer: Scott Branting

For almost one hundred years the immense metropolis at Kerkenes Dağ in central Turkey has lain shrouded in mystery.  Scholars have puzzled over this large pre-planned city apparently built and occupied by the Phrygians, of King Midas fame, for a brief period of time between the fall of the Assyrian Empire and rise of the Persian Empire in the mid-6th century BC.  Over the past twenty years the site has been a showcase of new technologies useful in reconstructing the plan of the city and the activities and interactions of the people who inhabited it.  Technologies, ranging from geophysical equipment and remote sensing for mapping buildings below the surface of the ground to computer simulations used to breathe new life into the static city plan by putting virtual people back into the long dead city, have been extensively applied or even pioneered at this site.  These technologies provide us with new ways to better understand both ancient and modern cities and regions.

 

Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:

The main Kerekenes Dağ and Kerkenes EcoCenter projects website:  http://www.kerkenes.metu.edu.tr/

Downloadable issues of the annual illustrated report on the Kerkenes Dağ Project: http://www.kerkenes.metu.edu.tr/kerk2/02knews/index.html

Additional downloadable reports on each seasons work at Kerkenes Dağ appear in the Oriental Institute Annual Reports volume:  https://oi.uchicago.edu/research/pubs/ar/

Downloadable article on the Remote Sensing program at Kerkenes Dağ: https://oi.uchicago.edu/pdf/nn185.pdf

Downloadable monograph with illustrations of the remarkable sculpture and inscriptions from the entranceway to the Palatial Complex:  https://oi.uchicago.edu/pdf/oip135.pdf

 

To get involved with the project:  https://oi.uchicago.edu/getinvolved/donate/adoptadig/kerkenes.html

 

Additional more in-depth printed articles:

Branting, Scott (2007) "Using an Urban Street Network and a PGIS-T Approach to Analyze Ancient Movement" in Digital Discovery: exploring new frontiers in human heritage: CAA 2006: Fargo,United States, edited by J. T. Clark and E. M. Hagemeister, pp. 99-108. Archaeolingua, Budapest.

Summers, Geoffrey D., and Françoise Summers (2010) "From Picks to Pixels: Eighty years of development in the tools of archaeological exploration and interpretation, 1927-2007, at Kerkenes Dağ in Central Turkey" in Proceedings of the 6th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, edited by Paolo Matthiae, Frances Pinnock, Lorenzo Nigro, Nicolò Lorenzo, pp. 669-683. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden.

 

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