Antandros Antik Kenti

Brief History of the Research

Research on the detection of the Antandros ancient city began when Heinrich Kiepert discovered an inscription referring Antandros (Αντανδρον) on the wall of the Avcılar Village Mosque in 1842.

Research on the detection of the Antandros ancient city began when Heinrich Kiepert discovered an inscription referring Antandros (Αντάνδρiων) on the wall of the Avcılar Village Mosque in 1842.

Heinrich Kiepert
Heinrich Kiepert (1818 - 1899)

Based on this inscription, Kiepert located the city of Antandros on his 1:100,000 scale map. Kiepert, together with Fabricius in 1888, found a second inscription on his way back to Antandros as well as Antandros coins with the letters ANT on them, revealing that his earlier finding was correct. 1 Kiepert climbed Dervent Hill, Antandros (modern name: Kaletaşı Hill), together with Fabricius, and found pieces of marble and ceramics which confirmed the settlement of a city there. After the barometric measurements he performed there, he determined that the peak was 215 meters high.

Elevation curves map reveals that the summit of the hill is over 200 meters high. Meanwhile, Heinrich Schliemann also passed through the same route in 1881 and he, not only saw Kiepert's original inscription but discovered the existence of an ancient city at Dervent Hill, where he predicted the width and height to be 1000 meters. The fact that the villagers found many silver Antandros coins in this ancient city attracted Schliemann’s attention and claimed that the name Dervent is derived from the ancient name of Antandros. However, J. M. Cook, who visited the city twice in 1959 and 1968, pointed out that Dervent, as Kiepert had already noticed, is a name often used for passages, suggesting that the name is pointing to a later date. Indeed, the Kaletaşı Hill, on which the city is located, ends with a steep slope towards the sea. Modern asphalt road was built by cutting down the skirts of the hill. Before modern asphalt was built, transportation took place along the narrow, pebbly coast between the sea and the hill. As a result of his examinations in 1959 and 1968, Cook concluded that there were no findings on the east slope and that the main settlement should be on the west slope of the hill. 2

Kaletaş Tepesi 1911
Lumber from Mount Ida is waiting to be loaded on board. Kaletaşı Hill (1911)

Eight years after Kiepert, Judeich conducted research on the hill. As a result of his research, he said the city was composed of two parts; the upper and lower Antandros, and concluded that Antandros was not a city too large.

Leaf, who visited the city in 1911, found out that a company belonging to rich Turks of Altınoluk who owned the western part of the hill, opened up a grave there and discovered the base of a sculpture originally mounted to honour a priestess but reused later for other purposes. On the basis of this, he figured that the necropolis of the city to be on the west slope of the hill, the garrison at the peak of the hill, the commercial centre and the port to be at the east slope of the hill. 3

When, as a result of zoning, the coastline to the west of the Kaletaş Hill was open to built-up, construction works started in 1989. During these works, ancient graves were found, thus Museum Rescue Excavations were initiated in 1991. The related studies showed that this area was used as a necropolis from the 7th century BC to the 2nd century BC. The Museum Rescue Excavations continued at intervals and after 1995, excavation works were terminated. 4

1991-1995 yılları arasında yapılan Müze kurtarma kazıları
Museum rescue excavations between 1991-1995

In the year 2000, a surface survey was conducted by a team under the leadership of Professor Gürcan Polat of Ege University Faculty of Letters, Department of Classical Archaeology. As a result of this research, the existence of a settlement surrounded by a wall was discovered at Kaletaşı Hill. The materials obtained from the work done on the hill covered with pine trees indicated that this settlement was used from the late 5th century BC to the 4th century BC. The data obtained from the survey conducted on the west slope of the hill revealed that this area had been inhabited for a long time including the Byzantine period, starting from the 6th century BC. The research made both at the western part of Karakazan (Kundakçınar) River, which flows into the sea to the west of the hill and also at the eastern slopes of Kaletaşı Hill, yielded no sign for settlement in those areas.

The excavation works jointly carried out by Ege University Faculty of Letters, Department of Classical Archaeology and Balıkesir Museum between 2001 and 2006, turned into academic excavations directed and leaded by Professor Gürcan Polat as of 2007.