Iron Smithing in Issos (Kinet) throughout Ages

Kinet Hoyuk (with its more famous name Issos) where is located on a narrow corridor between coast of East Mediterranean Sea and South Taurus mountains, is an archaeological site bearing 20 historical levels starting from Early Bronze Age. Kinet which used to be the biggest antique settlement of Eastern Cilicia, is also famous with the Issos war of The Great Alexander. The archaeological excavations had been operated by Bilkent University (Turkey) in the mound of Kinet between 1992 -2007.

As excavations indicate; the settlements at Kinet Hoyuk had faced many military campaigns and changed hands several times, because of small but fertile Issos plain, the strategic position and availability of rich mining and forestry resources. Iron smithing was one of the least things which had not changed during the transformations of the land. Starting from Neo-Assyrian period, in all levels iron smithing hearths and smithing slags had been excavated. Written records of trades and letters from medieval times are proofs of iron smithing as a popular industry at Eastern Cilicia.

The main objective of the project is to follow the technological background and changes in iron smithing activities at the mound of Kinet in where Issos was situated. The objects which has been analyzed during project were selected from Neo-Assyrian and Persian periods. The object types from which sampling were done, are mostly knife fragments, iron rods and slags etc. During research DBM archaeometrical research facilities (such as metallographic, thin section examinations, SEM-EDX, XRD and ICP-MS analysis) has been used determining iron smithing techniques (forge welding, carburization, tempering and quenching etc.) and iron production techniques (the efficiency in bloomery and refining processes). And the results will be compared with the existing information of the medieval metallurgy in the region to obtain a chronological history of iron smithing starting from Neo-Assyrian period in the area.


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Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum und Winkelmann-Sipendium


Bilkent University, Ankara

Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University