A landscape-oriented approach to urbanisation and early state formation on the Konya and Karaman plains, Turkey

Massa M., Bachhuber C., Şahin F., Erpehlivan H., Osborne J., Lauricella A. J.

ANATOLIAN STUDIES, vol.70, pp.45-75, 2020 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 70
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/s0066154620000034
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, L'Année philologique, Anthropological Literature, Art Source, Index Islamicus, Linguistic Bibliography, MLA - Modern Language Association Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.45-75
  • Çukurova University Affiliated: Yes


This paper synthesises the data and results of the Konya Regional Archaeological Survey Project (2016-2020) in order to address the earliest evidence for cities and states on the Konya and Karaman plains, central Turkey. A nested and integrative approach is developed that draws on a wide range of spatially extensive datasets to outline meaningful trends in settlement, water management and regional defensive systems during the Bronze and Iron Ages. The significance of the regional centre of Turkmen-Karahoyuk for a reconstruction of early state polities between the 13th and eighth centuries BCE is addressed. In light of this regional analysis, it is tentatively suggested that, during the Late Bronze Age, Turkmen-Karahoyuk was the location of the city of Tarhuntassa, briefly the Hittite capital during the reign of Muwatalli II. More assuredly, based on the analysis of the newly discovered Middle Iron Age TURKMEN-KARAHOYUK 1 inscription, it is proposed that Turkmen-Karahoyuk was the seat of a kingdom during the eighth century BCE that likely encompassed the Konya and Karaman plains.