Seyitömer Höyük Excavation Project

American Archaeological Institute Project Page

Location and Project Description

The archaeological site of Seyitömer Höyük is located within the Kütahya region of western Turkey, 350 kilometers south of Istanbul, at an important juncture between the Mesopotamian and Mediterranean worlds. The development of advanced metal technology fueled commerce between these distant regions as early as 3,000 B.C., leading to the establishment of important trade centers linking east and west.

The best-preserved example of such a center is Seyitömer Höyük, where thousands of artifacts and dozens of pottery and textile workshops paint a vivid picture of village life from the Early Bronze Age through the Roman period. The 2014 field season will offer students an opportunity to learn archaeological method and theory in a hands-on environment, while excavating part of this extraordinary Early Bronze Age settlement.

This program seeks to introduce students to archaeological fieldwork by teaching them essential methods and theories of excavation at a remarkable archaeological site in Turkey during the summer of 2014. This program will provide intensive instruction in excavation techniques, complemented by lectures and laboratory practicums led by established scholars, lecturers, and professors from UB and Dumlupinar University, in Turkey. Students will engage in a rich, multicultural experience while living, dining, and studying at the Excavation House and Laboratory complex, where they will interact with Turkish students and scholars on a daily basis.

Excursions and Extracurricular Activities

This field school will introduce students to the vibrant cultural landscape of Kütahya, past and present. Students will learn about the exquisite glazed ceramics that this region is famous for during an excursion to the Kütahya Tile Museum, and will view a spectacular panorama of the modern city from the Kütahya Castle. They will visit the Kütahya Archaeological Museum to see artifacts found at Seyitömer Höyük, and will take day trips to the Eskisehir and Ayfon archaeology museums, to gain a broader perspective on cultural activity in the region. Students will also visit the ancient Roman city of Aizanoi, with remains of a temple, stadium, and bath complex.

Qualified guides and lecturers will lead all excursions, offering expert education and insight into the history and culture of Turkey. The lecture program consists of presentations, seminars, and discussions with local and international specialists and includes all facets of archaeology, anthropology, and history. Students will be exposed to the rich and fascinating culture of Turkey, and have the opportunity to meet scholars and students as they participate in this truly international, interdisciplinary and multi-cultural program.

Cultural Heritage Management

The archaeological site of Seyitömer Höyük is situated on top of a 12 million ton coal reserve. Beginning in 2015, a private company will extract this coal, and the archaeological site will be permanently destroyed. Students in this field school will have the opportunity excavate and document archaeological material from this threatened site, which will make a lasting contribution to archaeology. In addition, they will gain firsthand experience with the ethical issues surrounding cultural heritage management.



During their time in Turkey, students will live and dine at the Excavation House adjacent to the archaeological site, which is 10km away from the city of Kütahya. Turkish cooks will prepare 3 delicious, traditional Turkish meals per day. Students will have the opportunity to make regular trips to Kütahya for shopping and cultural activities, in addition to the scheduled excursions.