Excavated in the late 1920's and 30's the site is an important archaeological landmark for the Iron Age in central Anatolia. The majority of excavated artefacts are held in the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago.
Satellite image of site
Stone gateway at Bogazkoy
The site of Çadır Höyük is located in the Kanak Suyu basin, southeast of Sorgun, in the area of proposed flooding for the Gelingüllü Dam. It was located during the 1993 survey by the Alishar Regional Project. Test trenches and surveys were carried out from 1994 to 1998, when full-scale excavation began. The mound has a long period of occupation, with Chalcolithic and Early Bronze deposits easily accessible on the south slopes, Middle and Late Bronze ones on the east slope and Iron Age (12th-8th centuries BC) and Byzantine (6th-11th centuries AD) at the summit. The excavations are directed by Ronald L. Gorny.
Chalcolithic levels were excavated this year on the lower south slope where there was a gate and enclosure wall. It now appears the wall went around the entire site. Two levels transitional to EB I were revealed, as well as pithos burials.
In the step trench, deposits from the early Karum period to the Iron Age were investigated. A casemate wall of the early Karum period was built on terracing and was destroyed by fire in the Karum IA or Old Hittite period. It was replaced with casemate walls twice, once in the Middle Hittite and once during the Empire. Quantities of pottery were found in the packing fill.
On the north slope, work continued on the Hittite gateway and the slope leading up to it. On the northeast terrace three phases dating to the Byzantine period were uncovered, as in previous years. The second can be dated by a coin of Justin II to the 6th century.
A small amount of work also took place at the open-air sanctuary on Çaltepe, across the valley from Çadır. It continues to support the identification of Çaltepe as Mt Daha and, therefore, that of Çadır Höyük as the Hittite city of Zippalanda.
In the Byzantine area on the summit, Building A went through three phases (6th century to 9/10th century), dated by well-preserved coins. This was a fortified area and many animal bones were discovered. These animals had not been butchered and they may have been penned here when the site was abandoned. Excavation also started on a new building, Building B.
In Area 1 on the eastern slope two levels of the karum period have now been revealed and work in 2005 concentrated on the Old Hittite layer. A large bell-shaped pit produced a number of interesting finds, including an eight-knobbed pot, bone inlays and a bone flute. In Area 6 on the north slope, work concentrated on the Hittite gate. The original entry was 5 m wide, although it was narrowed in the Iron Age and later blocked. As on the south slope, this stone gate and wall, which date to the 14th century, were built on an earlier (15th century) mud brick wall.
Surface investigation of Çaltepe (a mountain across the valley from Çadır) revealed a large 40 x 80 m enclosure just below the summit, with a courtyard compound to the east. These structures will be further investigated in 2006 but Gorny has proposed that this is a temple area and that Çaltepe is Mt Daha, a cult centre associated with the Hittite city of Zippalanda.
In 2004 trenches were excavated on the east, south and north slopes, on the summit and on a terrace. The Late Chalcolithic and EB I deposits produced more evidence of small houses. With EB I there is a change in masonry techniques and orientation, a change reflected also in the pottery where a coarse, chaffy ware appears in the transitional layers. This replaces the black burnished Late Chalcolithic wares, which included omphalos bowls with pairs of white painted diagonal lines from the rim.
The step trench produced material from Early Bronze to Byzantine but it was very mixed. A building of two rooms is probably Middle Bronze Age. The bichrome red and yellow pottery is not exactly paralleled at other sites but can be compared to Kültepe Karum Ib.
Later material included a Middle Iron Age gateway (reused in the Late Iron Age), and three phases of Byzantine occupation, the earliest perhaps belonging to a religious community as a threshold stone bore an incised cross. Also found was a lead sealing of the Emperor Romanos, who was defeated at Manzikert.
Ronald L. Gorny, "The 2002-2005 Excavation Seasons at Çadır Höyük. The Second Millennium Settlements", Anatolica 32 (2006), 29-54
With the assistance of Dr Uwe Müller