This paper, "The Kerkenes Dag
Project" by Geoffrey and Françoise Summers, originally appeared as Chapter 16 in Ancient
Anatolia: Fifty Years’ Work by the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara,
edited by Roger Matthews and published by the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara
in 1998. The volume, ISBN 1 898249 11 3, is available from Oxbow Books, Park
End Place, Oxford OX1 1HN. I am most grateful to Dr. Matthews and the BIAA for
permission to reproduce the chapter here.
The text is unaltered but the original colour illustrations have been replaced by links to
superior images in other sections of this web site.
There have been two major changes to our understanding of Kerkenes since this paper was
1. Clearance of
the Cappadocian Gate in 1999 revealed that the defences were built entirely of stone with
wooden parapets on the towers and buttresses. The circuit of defences was completed and
was deliberately destroyed when the city was sacked.
2. It is now
though highly likely that the foundation of the city predated the peace treaty between the
Medes and the Lydians. The city was most probably the base from which the Medes conducted
their side of the war between the Medes and the Lydians. If this interpretation were
correct the foundation date would be raised by a few years, perhaps to around 600 B.C.