Past Projects

Atskouri Project

The Joint Georgian-Canadian Samtskhe Archaeological Expedition is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Archaeological Research Centre of the Georgian Academy of Sciences. Excavations have been conducted from 1993 to 1997 within the village of Atskouri, located on the upper course of the Mtkvari river - better known by its Russian name of Kura - which flows down from the Armenian plateau towards the Caspian Sea.

Gre Dimse

Norbert Karg excavated at Gre Dimse from 1999 through 2001.


Research in the plain of Elmalı and excavations on the mound of Hacımusalar, 17 kms. south of Elmalı in the central Lycian plateau of Turkey, were conducted between 1993 and 2014, under the direction of İlknur Özgen, emerita of the Department of Archaeology. In addition to team members from Bilkent's Department of Archaeology, students and colleagues from several US-based institutions have also participated in the project.

Hacımusalar Höyük is a large rounded mound (300 x 350 m) whose occupation extended from at least the Early Bronze Age (4th millennium BCE) to the Byzantine period, with a gap in the Late Bronze Age (2nd millennium BCE), perhaps due to adverse environmental conditions. Ceramic finds of the Anatolian early Iron Age and Greek Archaic period indicate a reoccupation of the mound in the early 1st millennium BCE continuing without a break until the end of the 1st millennium CE. Epigraphic evidence suggests that Hacımusalar Höyük was the site of the ancient city of Choma, which became a member of the Lycian League in Roman times.

Excavations on the north edge of the mound have revealed elements of a substantial settlement of the Early Bronze Age: houses and one monumental structure paralleled at Karataş Semayük. On the east rim of the mound was excavated remains of a substantial Early Iron Age circuit wall whose rubble foundation and mud-brick superstructure are preserved to a height of several meters; the wall can be traced on the surface around the entire perimeter of the mound. Several trenches were opened on the flat summit of the mound, revealing some Hellenistic, Roman, and especially Late Roman and Byzantine occupation. Most outstanding among these were two Byzantine churches built from spolia originating from Roman era buildings, including several inscribed blocks. Finally, in the last two seasons excavations were begun at the base of the mound on its south edge. Evidence suggests the presence there of the civic centre of the Roman city: a 100 m long retaining wall, a second wall parallel to it 35 meters to the south, an elevated terrace, and a large putative bath establishment beyond the mound further south.

For more information: Özgen, İ. & Baughan, E., 2016: "Hacımusalar Höyük / Choma Erken Tunç Devri'nden Bizans Dönemi'ne Kuzey Likya'da Bölgesel Bir Merkez - Hacımusalar Höyük / Choma. A Regional Center in Northern Lycia, from the Early Bronze Age to the Byzantine Era", in İşkan, H. & Dündar, E., Lukka'dan Likya'ya Sarpedon ve Aziz Nıkolaos'un Ülkesi - From Lukka to Lycia the Land of Sarpedon and St. Nicholas (Istanbul: Yapı Kredı Yayınları): 318-335.

Roman Gordion

This project, directed by Dr. Andrew Goldman, of the Gonzaga University History Department (Spokane), with Julian Bennett of Bilkent among his assistants, is devoted to exploring the Roman Imperial levels at Gordion.


The Tihau Excavation Project is jointly directed by Julian Bennett of Bilkent and Coriolan Opreanu, of the Institute of Archaeology, Cluj-Napoca, and will begin in 2005. The objective is to excavate, over a five-year period, about one sixth of the fort's total area, to resolve three principal questions concerning the site and its immediate region.

Bilkent University Main Campus
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06800 Bilkent -- Ankara, TURKEY
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