“The Ankara Tumuli: Lasting urban remnants of a historical landscape”

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Aral H. E., Güneri Söğüt G. D., Ergun Kocaili B.

ARCHITECTURE and ENDURANCE European Architectural History Network Thematic Conference, Ankara, Turkey, 30 September - 02 October 2021, pp.22-23

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Ankara
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.22-23
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Evidence shows that Ankara was first founded as a Phrygian city beneath today’s traditional city center. Phrygians migrated from Thrace to Anatolia around 1200 BCE , settled in the northern and western Black Sea regions and then moved to Central Anatolia where they established their own cities. The Phrygian cultural zone covered extensive lands in the middle-western Anatolian plateau. Ankara was part of a system of Phrygian settlements located along the water courses in the Inner Anatolia. As the characteristic elements of the Phrygian burial tradition, tumuli signified specific location principles on the topography and were landmarks to be viewed from roads and settlement areas. Along with many tumuli in this region, a number of Ankara Tumuli were known to be placed on the northern and western heights around the settlement. The Ankara Tumuli have been documented and researched since the late 19th century. At the very beginning of the Republican period, the series of archaeological excavations of the tumuli revealed many valuable relics. Even though research and excavations continued in the following years the tumuli started to disappear. Later after the 1950’s, a tremendous urban expansion rendered all the northern and most of the western tumuli lost within the urban scene. Recent research on the Ankara Tumuli has revealed that many northern and western tumuli that are lost today, were visible on the early maps and aerial photographs of Ankara (Alanyalı Aral, 2017). Furthermore, continuing research reveals more tumuli in the areas unknown before (ODTÜ BAP Proje ID: 10265). This article will elaborate the Ankara Tumuli with regards to their significance as elements of endurance both throughout the city’s long history and as indicators of an early appropriation of Ankara’s very special landform, which is very relevant even today for the future integration of the city with the landscape.