Liman Tepe is a hoyuk (höyük), leaning on the rocky area at the tip of the headland at north and spreading out like a hill-like formation, made up of cultural layers belonging to different time periods. Some settlements established with regard to economic, commercial and strategic advantages, due to its location may later be abandoned because of several reasons, such as political or religious events, natural or non-natural catastropes and epidemics. When such settlements are constantly abandoned and re-inhabited, each culture leaves its own characteristic remains behind and a cultural accumulation, extending from the oldest to the most recent occupation of the settlement is formed. It is possible through archaeological excavations to enter a time capsule and understand the world of each cultural layer and live in that world. This is one factor that makes archaeology such an enjoyable pursuit.
Up to the present time, three important cultural layers apart from those of the classical period have been
encountered at Liman Tepe. Among these, the topmost and therefore the latest layer belongs to the Late Bronze Age and covers the time period from the 14th to the 13th century B.C. According to many experts, this is the time of the Trojan War. One
can get to know the cultural milieu of beautiful Helen and Paris and contemplate the events
surrounding them from a different angle at Urla.
The second cultural layer consisting of five phases belongs to the Middle Bronze Age and dates from the first half of the 2nd millenium B.C. At this time, the first political union was formed in Anatolia, resulting in the Hittite state. This event, so important for the history of Anatolia, can be felt at each relevant layer uncovered at Liman Tepe.
The third cultural layer belongs to the Early Bronze Age and dates from the 3rd millenium B.C. So far, three phases of this layer have been excavated. The number of phases will no doubt increase as the excavations proceed. At the beginning of this period the first processes of urbanisation are evidenced in the Sumerian culture of Mesopotamia. Although different from Mesopotamia, one can discover and observe the evidence for the first urbanisation on the west coast of Anatolia, both economically and architecturally at Urla.
As a result of excavations of a few test trenches, evidence for the presence of Chalcolithic remains at Liman Tepe has been discovered. Consequently, along with classical remains, Liman Tepe reflects a history of 4000 years. This characteristic of Liman Tepe makes it the oldest, as well as the longest inhabited center of the Aegean coast of Anatolia.
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