McCord Centre for Landscape


Kilise Tepe Project

The Kilise Tepe Byzantine Project is directed by Mark Jackson (as co-investigator) under the umbrella of the multi-period Kilise Tepe Archaeological Excavation Project (directed by Prof. J.N. Postgate).

Kilise Tepe is a mound located in the Göksu Valley in southern Turkey which was excavated as part of a rescue project (1994-1998) and is now the focus of this new research excavation.

The site provides us with the opportunity to study an entire Byzantine rural settlement during the neglected period of profound change from late Antiquity to the 13th century AD.

In the new campaign of excavations, which began in 2007, we aim to provide new evidence and interpretation for the social dynamics of Byzantine rural life by focusing on well-preserved Byzantine vernacular buildings and their surrounding features.

We have employed both geophysical survey techniques and excavation to study the architectural character of the site within its topographical setting. The project has focused on the retrieval of faunal remains and palaeobotanical samples as well as refining the local ceramic sequence.

We seek ultimately to address questions about local Byzantine rural life and to contribute to broader questions of continuity and transition in south-central Anatolia during the Byzantine period.

In 2018 and 2019 Mark Jackson and teams of students from Newcastle University continued museum-based research at the Silifke Museum to quantify and record artefacts from the Byzantine contexts at Kilise Tepe. We also carried out further sampling for radiocarbon dating in conjunction with the Silifke Museum and TUBITAK.