Newly Discovered Fortress of the Pontic Kingdom with a Stepped Tunnel in Kazova (Dazimonitis): The Dereköy Fortress
1Tokat Gaziosmanpaşa Üniversitesi, Fen Edebiyat Fakültesi, Tarih Bölümü, Tokat/TÜRKİYE
2Tokat Gaziosmanpaşa Üniversitesi, Fen Edebiyat Fakültesi, Sanat Tarihi Bölümü, Tokat/TÜRKİYE
3Tokat Gaziosmanpaşa Üniversitesi, Fen Edebiyat Fakültesi, Tarih Bölümü, Tokat/TÜRKİYE
Keywords: Dazimonitis, Kazova, Dereköy Fortress, Stepped Tunnel, Pontic Kingdom.
Dazimonitis, which Strabo describes as a fertile plain through which Iris flows, was the name of today’s Kazova in Antiquity. Although Dazimonitis was included within the borders of the Pontic Kingdom at the beginning of the Hellenistic Period and within the borders of Rome towards the end of this period, it continued to be the property of the semi-autonomous Komana temple state during that period. However, it appeared that Dazimonitis also had a role in the struggle between the Pontic Kingdom and Rome. During the Third Mithradatic-Rome War, Mithradates VI was known to try to destroy the food supply provided by the plain, thus weakening the Roman army. A fortress, which has not been scientifically studied so far, located in the mountainous part of south Kazova and on a hill on a strategic road connecting Pazar district to Sivas province via Artova, revealed that Dazimonitis did not only serve that purpose.
The fortress, located in Dereköy and named after the village, allowed us to examine during our archaeological study in 2019 in Pazar district, situated on Kazova, attracting attention with its stepped tunnel. Thus, discovering a new fortress of the Pontic Kingdom in Dazimonitis led to a hitherto unknown part of the network of fortresses, the arteries of the defense system of this period revealed in the region’s history. This study aims to show the place, importance, and function of the fortress in that period.