Çorum Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism

Historical Sites and Excavation Areas

THE HISTORY OF ARCHEOLOGICAL EXCAVATION AND RESEARCH IN ÇORUM  

The location between two continents, its geography, the possibilities gained by the richness of having mines provided Anatolia’s having the every step of human development evolution of middle-east humanbeings history and having a relationship between east and west cultures permanently. However, the search of this peninsula’s monuments and cities began very late compared to its neighbour countries. Even though the big historical and art centers of middle-east, eastern Mediterranean , Western Anatolia were unearthed in very early times, the rich cultural sites of Anatolia remained in the dark.The researches in Anatolia was not enough
despite the fact that scientists, researchers, intellectual voyagers visit Boğazköy and Alacahöyük, and take the gypsum copies of reliefs and also they made short period excavations in Boğazköy, Alacahöyük .  

         In 1834, Archeolog and architect Charles Texier began an expedition of discovery in Middle Anatolia. While he was searching for Galata tribe Trokmis’ capital Tavium which antique writer Strabon mentioned, he came to Boğazköy on 28th July. Texier stayed here for ten days and made a city plan by measuring the ruins of the city. He drew the doors and the walls of the city. The thing that made him excited the most is the reliefs in Yazılıkaya. There were the descriptions of armed men, long dressed women, lions, panthers, and depictions of mythical creatures on a rock near the city. There were also mystic  signs of an unknown hieroglyph writing. Upon Texiers publishing what he saw in 1839, many discoverer and scientists came to Boğazköy to make research and observation. As a result of these studies, the first scientific excavations were initiated by Theodor Makridi Bey and Hugo Winckler on behalf of İstanbul Archeology Museum. There were treaty drafts and letters written by Ramses II and Hattuşilli III among the found tablets. It was found out from these documents that this place was the Hittites capital Hattis.

One year later, Texier came to Boğazköy directly in an expedition of Anatolia with English Willan Hamilton who was a geography and geology enthusiast between 1835-1836. After his studies here, he discovered another city full of monuments. This city “Euyuk” , that is Alacahöyük which is 34 km from Boğazköy.

The excavation teams who began their studies after these discoveries sped up their excavations in the middle of 20th century. H.H Von der Osten and Boğazköy excavation president Kurt Bittel performed a wide archaeological surface survey in Çorum.

In 1930, the research of other earlier cultures who led Hittites culture were initiated in the light of information gained about the culture of the Hittites in Turkey. We owe Atatürk about the foundation and development of archeology as a discipline in universities ; and also the search of Hittite culture and the earlier cultures with the organized excavations . Alacahöyük excavations initiated by R. Oğuz Arık in 1935 and continued by H.Zübeyr Koşay and Mahmut Akok is the first enterprise of this scientific interest. Alacahöyük is  the first symbol of loyalty to Atatürk's legacy. These excavations proved the presence of a high culture between BC 2300-2000 in the Hittites core region before Hittites. The discoveries which shed light on prince management in the area including Çorum in this age represents Alacahöyük prince and princess tombs .

          As a result of the researches made with Alacahöyük excavations , the excavations were initiated in Pazarlı Historical site which is in Çikhasan village 30 km away from  northern Alaca (1937-1938), Kaletepe in Büyük Güllücek village started to be administered by Çorum center (1947-1949), and Kuşsaray village on behalf of Turkish Historical Society. The excavations continued in Alaca Eskiyapar historical site led by Raci Temizer. Tahsin Özgüç performed a short term drilling in Demirciçeşme (Yeniköy) 3 km in the west of Mislerovacığı in 1946. P. Meriggi in 1963, T. Özgüç in 1980 and H.David French who were making a research on Roman roads and milestones published their results. In the near history, Aygül Süel between 1988-1990, Tunç Sipahi and Tayfun Yıldırım 1996-2003 continued their surface researches and began their archeological excavations.