25 February 2009

The Paleolithic of Turkish Thrace: PART 3- The Paleolithic of Tekirdağ Province

This is a part from "The Paleolithic of Turkish Thrace: Synthesis and Recent Results".

The Paleolithic of Tekirdağ Province
In 2000, one of the authors (BD) discovered the Paleolithic site called Yatak by coincidence. Since that time the author has visited this site many times, and collected some surface material. The existence of this site showed that, contrary to prior ideas about destruction of Paleolithic sites in western Turkish Thrace, some Paleolithic sites might still be preserved and accessible in the region (B. DİNÇER 2001c). In 2004, during one of the author’s visits to Yatak, we located a second site with Paleolithic artifacts. The local name of that area is Kuştepe. In 2005, the third Paleolithic site, called Balıtepe, was located, again by chance, by the author. The fact that the sites were found during by chance and not through systematic survey demonstrates the potential richness of the region for the Paleolithic. A systematic survey would certainly result in the discovery of many more sites and a better understanding of their distribution.

All three of the sites are located on a high plateau on northern slopes of Ganos mountain, which extends over nearly 75 km from the west of Tekirdağ city to the east of Keşan. The area is characterized by higher elevations and different drainage patterns from the rest of Turkish Thrace, which could explain the preservation of Paleolithic sites in the region. Raw material, in the form of rounded river cobbles from ancient drainages, is plentiful in the province of Tekirdağ. Our interviews with the local people also point to the availability of raw materials in the Malkara district and the vicinity of Yatak and Kuştepe.

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