Outer Town excavations

September 16, 2012

The largest continguous exposure of architecture at Titris Hoyuk was made in the Outer Town, which comprises the entire northern half of the site. In this area, extensive magnetic field gradiometry survey generated a detailed map of the late Early Bronze Age city. The remains of house foundations, courtyards and potsherd-paved streets lay less than a meter below the modern surface, giving our team immediate access to broad areas of coherent architecture.

Excavations in 1994, 1995, 1998 and 1999 exposed some 1,500 square meters of architectural remains comprising a large section of domestic housing bounded on the eastern edge of the excavation by a city fortification wall. The builders at Titris Hoyuk employed uncut limestone blocks, quarried north of the site, as foundations. Each house would have had a mudbrick superstructure. The mudbrick has now all eroded away. The floors of these buildings were made of packed mud, except the open courtyards which were paved with rough cobbles. Most structures had evidence of several distinct phases of occupation. Several buildings also had subterranean burial crypts with multiple inhumations.

One of the most important aspects of the architecture at Titris Hoyuk in the late Early Bronze Age was the standardization of the domestic architecture. The houses were situated on regularly-sized plots of land, often sharing party walls or terrace walls. The internal walls of the houses align across streets, suggesting that they were built as a single operation during a massive reorganization of the city.

The typical plan of the houses had a central courtyard which was open to the sky. Surrounding this courtyard was a number of smaller rooms which probably had simple mud roofs in the Early Bronze Age. The courtyards would have provided light to the interior rooms. The buildings each had a single entrance onto the communal streets.

Duncan Schlee directs excavations.