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Altars in Dümrek  

There are 12 rock altars identified at the site known as Kalebaşı, 1 km east of Dümrek village in Mihalıççık district of Eskişehir. The site is located on a high rocky plateau extending from the west to the east towards the Sakarya River. The monuments are built at close distances to each other. Apart from these altars, there are no rock monuments on the plateau. A Phrygian settlement could not be identified at the site, which is approximately 23 km northwest of Gordion. Therefore, it is believed that this place was mostly used as a sacred cult area. Dating to the 9th or 8th century BCE, these altars are some of the earliest Phrygian monuments along with those in Midas City.

Altar 1 (Berndt-Ersöz No: 101; Tüfekçi-Sivas No:1; Tamsü Cat. No: 27)
It was the first monument to the left of the road that leads to the plateau from the west. It had a stylized idol and 5 steps. The stylized idol was 70 cm high and supported with two quarter-circle discs on each side. There were also armrest extensions in front of them. As such it really resembled a throne, as many researchers suggest. This monument was completely destroyed by treasure hunters in 2010s.

Click on the pictures for larger images.

Penn.museum


Altar 2 (Berndt-Ersöz No: 102; Tüfekçi-Sivas No:2; Tamsü Cat. No: 28)
It is about 100 m northeast of Altar 1. There is a stylized idol and 3 steps. The height of the idol is 26 cm.

Sivas, 1999


Altar 3 (Berndt-Ersöz No: 103; Tüfekçi-Sivas No:3; Tamsü Cat. No: 29)
It is approximately 170 m northeast of Altar 1. It has 4 steps, but no idol. The steps are heavily weathered and eroded.

Sivas, 1999 Sivas, 2003


Altar 4 (Berndt-Ersöz No: 104; Tüfekçi-Sivas No:7; Tamsü Cat. No: 33)
It is approximately 190 m east of Altar 1. It has a stylized idol and 3 steps. There are armrest-shaped extensions on both sides of the 35 cm high idol. The monument is partially buried in the ground.

Sivas, 1999 Sivas, 2003


Altar 5 (Berndt-Ersöz No: 105; Tüfekçi-Sivas No:6; Tamsü Cat. No: 32)
It is about 200 m east of Altar 1. It has a stylized idol and 3 steps. On the top step, there are two armrest like extensions. The steps are quite eroded. Only the trace of the first step is visible.

Altar 5, Sivas, 1999


Altar 6 (Berndt-Ersöz No: 106; Tüfekçi-Sivas No:5; Tamsü Cat. No: 31)
It is about 250 m east of Altar 1. It has a stylized idol and a single step. The single step also serves like a platform in front of the idol. There are quarter-circle extensions on both sides of the 42 cm high idol.

Altar 6, Sivas, 1999


Altar 7 (Berndt-Ersöz No: 107; Tüfekçi-Sivas No:4; Tamsü Cat. No: 30)
It is about 350 m northeast of Altar 1, and has a stylized idol and 3 steps. First step is eroded.

Altar 7, Sivas, 1999


Altar 8 (Tamsü Cat. No: 34)
It is about 250 m east of Altar 1. It has a stylized idol and 3 steps. There are small extensions in the form of quarter circles on both sides of the idol. The first step is eroded.

Altar 8, Tamsü, 2004


Altar 9 (Tamsü Cat. No: 35)
It is about 200 m east of Altar 1. It has a stylized idol with 5 steps. The top step forms a platform in front of the idol. To the left of the altar is a libation pit on the same rock mass.

Altar 9, Tamsü, 2004


Altar 10 (Tamsü Cat. No: 36)
It is about 190 m east of Altar 1 and southwest of Altar 9. It has a stylized idol and a single step. On the top step in front of the idol, there are two armrest like extensions.

Altar 10, Tamsü, 2004


Altar 11 (Tamsü Cat. No: 37)
It is about 270 m east of Altar 1. It has a stylized idol and a single step. The idol is embossed on the back wall of the rock.

Altar 11, Tamsü, 2004


Altar 12 (Tamsü Cat. No: 38)
It lies on the southern slope of the fortress, about 500 m northeast of Altar 1. It has a stylized idol and 3 steps. There are armrest like extensions on both sides of the idol.

Altar 12, Tamsü, 2004




Literature:
Berndt-Ersöz, S. 2006. Phrygian Rock-Cut Shrines. Structure, Function and Cult Practice, Leiden.
Tamsü, R. 2004. Phryg Kaya Altarları, (Eskişehir- Afyon-Kütahya İlleri Yüzey Araştırması Işığında), Unpublished MA thesis, Anadolu Ün,versitesi, Eskişehir.
Tüfekçi-Sivas, T. 1999. Eskişehir-Afyonkarahisar- Kütahya İl Sınırları İçindeki Phryg Kaya Anıtları, Anadolu Üniversitesi Yayınları No:1156, Eskişehir.
Tüfekçi-Sivas, T. & H. Sivas. 2003. 'Eskişehir, Kütahya, Afyonkarahisar illeri yüzey araştırması arkeolojik envanter raporu', TÜBA-TÜKSEK Kültür envanteri dergisi/Journal of cultural inventory 1, 2003, 2–32.

Image sources:
Penn.museum
T. Tüfekçi-Sivas, 1999
T. Tüfekçi-Sivas & H. Sivas, 2003
R. Tamsü, 2004


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