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Excavations at Medieval Kinet (Turkey): A Medieval Port Town

Thursday, April 21, 2016, 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm

The citadel mound of the ancient site of Issos, the site known today as Kinet Höyük on Turkey's Mediterranean coast, was excavated for 20 years by a team from Bilkent University directed by Prof. Marie-Henriette Gates. At the top of the layer cake of different periods of occupation lay a fortified medieval settlement which lasted from the mid 12th to the early 14th centuries: the time of the Crusades. Initially in this     period, Kinet lay in the border region between the Franco-Norman Principality of  Antioch and the Kingdom of Armenian Cilicia, an area that was initially controlled by the Knights Templar. Later it seems to have fallen under direct Cilician Armenian control before being conquered by the Mamluks. As a minor port along a major trade and invasion route, the material culture of Kinet displays a wide range of goods from around the medieval Mediterranean. In addition to serving as a port and stronghold, Kinet participated in the lively trade of the era, mainly through the production of glazed earthenware vessels known as Port Saint Symeon ware, and iron objects. This talk aims to use Kinet to examine the continuities as well as changes in a small port  settlement at a time of great upheavals.

Scott Redford is the Nasser D. Khalili Professor of Islamic Art and Archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He has published       extensively on the archaeology, art history, architecture, and epigraphy of the medieval eastern Mediterranean, especially Anatolia. His latest book, Legends of Authority: The 1215 Seljuk Inscriptions of Sinop Citadel, Turkey, was published by Koç University Press in 2014. He is currently working on the final publication of the medieval levels from Bilkent University excavations at the site of Kinet Höyük in Turkey's Hatay province.