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An Overview of the 2nd Millennium BC and Iron Age Cultures of the Province of Sinop in Light of New Research

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image of Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia

Archaeological research conducted to date has shown that the earliest settlements in the province of Sinop date to the Late Chalcolithic period. However, despite these Late Chalcolithic period cultural strata, identified during the Kocagöz Höyük and Boyabat-Kovuklukaya excavations, the stone bracelet fragments from Maltepe Höyüğü and potsherds supposedly from Kıran Höyük and Kabalı Höyük (but hitherto unpublished) indicate that the settlement process of the region may have started in the Early Chalcolithic or even Late Neolithic period. In the Early Bronze Age, following the Late Chalcolithic period, the number of settlements increased in parallel with the population. A number of settlements identified during the excavations at Kocagöz Höyük and Kovuklukaya, as well as during surveys, indicate that the Early Bronze Age was a very active period in the province of Sinop. Finds from the ensuing Middle Bronze Age, pointing to the fact that the Sinop area was one of the northern extremities of the commercial network of the Assyrian Trade Colonies period, centered at Kültepe/Kaneš, have come to light from the Gerze-Hıdırlı cemetery and its settlement at Keçi Türbesi Höyüğü. As is the case with the neighboring province of Samsun, it is understood that the province of Sinop probably did not host any settlements in the late phases of the Middle Bronze Age. All along the Black Sea coast of Anatolia no centre or even find dating to the Early Iron Age (1190-900 BC) has been identified to date. However, settlements become more frequent in the inland part of the central Black Sea region during the Middle Iron Age (900-650/600 BC), and by the Late Iron Age (650/600-330 BC) they are seen both inland and along the coastline. Evidence to confirm this pattern has been obtained from the city centre of Sinop and Kovuklukaya.


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