The two hills of Doliche

Our excavation house is situated at the fringes of a small village called Dülük. The Village is situated just north of Gaziantep the 6th biggest city of Turkey and the centre of the wider region south of the Taurus mountain range and north of the Syrian Border. In the past years Gaziantep has grown ever closer to Dülük, so much so that as of now a new industrial district has been formed around the village itself.

The name Dülük derives from the ancient Doliche which was the name for a city situated right next to the modern village on a small hill. That hill, the Keber Tepe, is one of our ongoing excavation projects. Here the ancient Roman city was abandoned and never built over, as the hill had been used as agricultural land since. At the moment we are excavating here on two different fields. Both an ancient church from the 4th century A.D and a Roman bath complex from around the 2nd century A.D. have been unearthed so far.

The excavations on the Keber Tepe are ongoing, and we are currently focusing on the eastern part of said church. To be able to plan for possible future excavations we are also conducting a survey of the surroundings and a geo-physical prospection of certain areas of interest on the hill itself. More on those topics in the future…

To the south of the village lies the Dülük Baba Tepesi a 1211 m high mountain on which the ancient sanctuary and a later monestary where located. This was the home to the ancient god of Jupiter Dolichenus, aptly named after his city of origin. The Dülük Baba Tepesi was the main excavation site of the project from the early 2000s until 2014. Right now the excavations have mainly finished, however a considerable restoration project is currently ongoing. This serves two different causes. Firstly to prepare the site for a possible opening to the public in the future. And secondly to keep the sites archaeological remains in good condition.

As our campaign this year moves along, we will keep you updated with news and exciting information directly from our field teams. For now, we will show you our working methods starting with the next post. If you are interested in more information about our project in general check out our website. Stay tuned and subscribe for more insights about this our project!

by Fynn Riepe

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