Engin Akdeni̇z

Keywords: Büyük Menderes River Basin, Prehistoric Settlement, Aegean Region


Meander Valley is located in southwestern Anatolia, starting at the Dinar-Sandıklı region (Upper Meander Valley), it extends towards to the Aegean sea shore (Upper Meander Valley). Within the Meander Valley, prehistoric settlement of the different periods have been found. The various types of evidence belong to the very early cultural periods. The earliest cultural remains at Meander Valley are the pictures on rocks which were determined at Beşparmak Mountains. The first actual settling began in the Late Neolithic Period. However, the cultural structure of that period still keeps it uncertainty. This uncertainty lasted until the Late Chalcolithic Period. It can be said that, in the Late Chalcolithic Period when 30 settlements were documented, the Valley people got rid of migration to a large extent and established commercial relationships with other regions. In the Early Bronze Age I, which had been reached without any cultural deficiencies, there was a decrease of the number of settlements. The physical remains were of rather high quality. It's possible to name the culture of this period as "The Early Bronze Age I Culture of Meander Valley". Beycesultan, Kusura and Aphrodisias can each be described as subcultures of this culture. The number of settlements in the Early Bronze Age II increased to 81. There is a quality increase and a variety of the findings. As it happened widely in West Anatolia, this period ended with a great disaster in the Valley as well. In the Early Bronze Age III, on the other hand, the number of settlements decreased by half. In addition to this, the physical elements of culture began a distinct process. In The Middle Bronze Age, when settlements were determined in 42 centres, settlements which can be named as City States started to come into being in Anatolia and the mainland of Greece. Beycesultan is this kind of a settlement. In this period, the Valley had very intimate relationships with whether the Central Anatolia or Crete. In the Late Bronze Age, The cultural structure of the Valley faced great changes, and local culture groups increasingly came into being. The number of settlements increased to 56. At the upper parts of the Valley, the Hittite influence, and at the lower parts, the Mycenaeans influence is perceived. It is possible that part of the countries of Ahhiyawa and Arzawa, which were mentioned in Hittite texts, has been located in the Valley.