Pisidia Region comprise a diverse set of landscape zones that are characterized by great altitude variations. Various studies have been carried out over many years in order to understand the human-environment interactions in and around this region. It is not possible to fully grasp the lives of communities without delineating the relations with their environment, local environmental conditions and local animal and plant species. These are also mutually interdependent with the socio-economic and socio-cultural structure of communities, as well as land use determination, a direct result of the socio-economic and cultural structures. Palaeoecological studies, supported by excavations and surveys, are being carried out in and around Seleukeia Sidera. Studies reveal that processes related to climate-environment-human interactions, detected in Southwest Anatolia, can also be observed in the Kuleönü plain and diachronic patterns can be clearly followed in human-environmental interactions within these area. The presence of a lake area was discovered in this area, called ‘Paleo-Kuleönü Lake’, around which settlements have been established for thousands of years.
The settlements and archaeological finds around Paleokuleönü Lake are examined with a holistic approach. We aim to reveal the interrelated indicators of human-environment interaction in the area, and to synthesize our results while taking into account the practices of palaeoecology and intangible cultural heritage studies. The advantages offered by the natural geographic features of the Kuleönü Plain provided shared space for the surrounding settlements. In addition to the lake, several perennial and seasonal streams flowing from the surrounding mountains met the water needs of the settlements in the plain. One of the important topics of the network, “historical evidence of human-environment interactions”, will be examined in the Paleo-Kuleönü Lake area and its surrounding settlements, while taking into account the above-mentioned perspectives and historical processes. From the start both Seleukeia Sidera excavations and the Isparta Archaeological Survey projects has been studying the long-term development of socio-ecological systems within its research area, which is roughly the territory of the Seleukeia Sidera.
Bilge Hürmüzlü studied Classical Archeology and received her PhD degree from Ege University in 2003. During her doctoral studies she obtained several prestigious fellowships, including from the German Academic Exchange Program (DAAD), Alexander S. Benefit Foundation and American Research Institute. During her doctoral study she focused on the Klazomenai Akpınar Necropolis (7th-4th century BC) and the examination of the Ionian burial customs. Part of this work was done at Ruhr University Bochum and British Institute of Archeology Athens. In addition, she also participated in the excavations of Klazomenai, Miletos and Katophana (Chios). After obtaining her PhD, she founded the Department of Archeology at Süleyman Demirel University in 2007. In 2008 she received a Research fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to work in with Prof. Dr. Andreas Furtwängler at Martin Luther Unviersity Halle-Wittenberg/Germany and DAI Berlin. Hürmüzlü directed the Isparta Archaeological Survey (IAS) between 2008 and 2019 and is currently the Head of the Department of Archeology at Süleyman Demirel University and director of the Seleukeia Sidera excavations.
Currently she and her team, including Assistant Prof. Dr. Burak Sönmez and as part of his PhD. project Semih Togan, try to understand the economy and production mechanism in Roman Period of Seleukeia Sidera and the territories of the site. Palaeoecological studies, supported by excavations and surveys, are being carried out in and around Seleukeia Sidera. Our results revealed that processes related to climate-environment-human interactions, detected in Southwest Anatolia, can also be observed in the Kuleönü plain, where Seleukeia Sidera is located. In addition, we have discovered a lake, called ‘Paleo-Kuleönü Lake’, around which settlements have been established for thousands of years. In the next steps of the project, we will reveal the interrelated indicators of human-environment interaction in the area by combining the results of the archeological, palaeoecology and intangible cultural heritage studies.
Author: Bilge Hürmüzlü