Kınık Höyük
Archaeological Project

Introduction


Mappa Anatolia

The site of Kınık Höyük lies in the southern fringes of ancient Cappadocia, in the modern province of Niğde. In ancient times Southern Cappadocia represented the main intersection of the roads to the Taurus passes, which connected the Central Anatolian plateau to the Mediterranean Sea and the Northern Levant. Given this strategic position, the region was continuously occupied and traversed since Prehistory, becoming especially crucial to the history of Hittite, Neo-Hittite, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman and Medieval periods. During the Middle Iron Age (9th-8th BCE), believed to be the height of the activity at Kınık Höyük, the settlement was located at the heart of the kingdom of Tuwana, a poorly understood Neo-Hittite polity documented so far by monumental inscriptions in Southern Cappadocia and some references in contemporary Assyrian records. The particular position of Kınık also makes it a potentially attractive stop on modern tourist itineraries. In fact, just to the north are found the most traditional destinations of Cappadocia; e.g. Göreme, Avanos, Üçhisar and the Underground Cities. Despite such a high potential from both a historical and cultural point of view, Southern Cappadocia was still an underexplored region until the 2011, when a joint American, Italian and Turkish excavation project started at Kınık Höyük. In the three years since, the potential of the site has been realized and the team's initial findings have proven very promising for better understanding this crucial region.