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Karababa Vadisi

It lies parallel to Göynüş Valley on the southeast. There are two Phrygian rock monuments discovered in the valley; a large shaft monument and a niche.

Değirmen Yeri Monument
This monument unfortunately no longer exists. It was discovered by Haspels in Karababa Valley in Kayıhan town of Afyonkarahisar province in 1950. Haspels identified two rock blocks with monumental decoration above the ground in the location called Değirmen Yeri (Mill Site), just south of Karababa Tekke. The area around the monument was cleaned and excavated. All drawings and photographs of Haspels are from that period. During the subsequent visits to the region, the location of the monument could not be found. From the statements of Haspels, it is understood that the Afyon-Eskişehir highway, the construction of which was started around that time, passed over the monument. Today, this road passes right by Karababa Tekke. It is believed that the monument is under the road or it was destroyed during the road works.
The monument had been heavily damaged even when it was discovered by Haspels. Architecturally it was a Great Façade as well as a shaft monument such as Maltaş, Deliklitaş and Bahşayiş. However, unlike any Phrygian monument, it had a unique bordered courtyard that surrounded it on four sides.
Geometric patterns decorated the façade as well as the inner and outer sides of the courtyard walls. The niche on the façade is half a meter high from the courtyard floor. There is a 35 cm-wide hole on the back side of the niche wall that connects it to the shaft. Two square-shaped 8-cm wide small holes on the right and left of the upper part of the niche that also lead to the shaft appear to be original. It is likely that the central hole was originally also a small one but widened by treasure seekers. This monument lead researchers to think that in other shaft monuments too, the original holes were much smaller and were widened in later periods by treasure seekers. Berndt-Ersöz (1998) suggests that these shaft monuments might have been used for divination purposes by priests who would hide in the shaft and speak for the deity through the small holes.
The slots on the courtyard walls may have been used for a wooden structure that covered the roof of the courtyard. The main entrance of the courtyard is on the front wall facing the façade. However, on the right and left walls there are also openings of 1 m and 36 cm wide respectively. The wide groove that runs on the courtyard floor from the right wall to the left and continuing outside may have been added in later periods. The monument is dated to the first half of the 6th century BCE.


Click on the pictures for larger images.

Haspels, 1971 Haspels, 1971 Haspels, 1971 Haspels, 1971 Haspels, 1971 Haspels, 1971 Tüfekçi-Sivas, 1999

Idol
It was discovered by Ramsay in 1886. Later in 1950, Haspels rediscovered it and classified as an idol. It is located on the northern end of the Karababa Valley, a few hundred meters east of the Afyon-Seyitgazi highway. The pointy conical shaped rock on which the relief was carved was destroyed by treasure hunters in 1993. When D. Berndt visited the site in 1997, the relief was still visible on a piece that was broken from the rock. In later years the relief completely disappeared. D. Berndt stresses the similarity of the relief to the images of Cybele mostly depicted in niches. Berndt-Ersöz classifies it as a niche, but notes that it looks more like a relief than a niche because it is only 4 cm deep. Even before the destruction, it was quite weathered and eroded.

Haspels, 2009 D. Berndt, 1997 D. Berndt, 1997 D. Berndt, 1997 D. Berndt, 1997 D. Berndt, 1997

Avdalaz (or Avdılas) Kale
It is 2.5 km east of the Karababa Valley and 1.5 km north of the Ayazini town, which was once a Phrygian settlement. Avdalaz Kale is a Phrygian fortress built on an isolated rock mass with multiple rooms in multiple stories and cisterns. Almost all of the living spaces carved into the rock belong to the Byzantine period. It must have had strategic importance in the Phrygian period, as it controlled both the Karababa and Ayazini valleys and was the southernmost fortress of the Phrygian highlands.




Literature:
Berndt, D. 1997. D. 'Das Relief im Karababa-Tal', MDOG 129, 143–151.
Berndt-Ersöz, S. 1998. 'Phrygian Rock-Cut Cult Façades: A Study of the Function of the So-Called Shaft Monuments', Anatolian Studies 48, 87–112.
Berndt-Ersöz, S. 2006. Phrygian Rock-Cut Shrines. Structure, Function and Cult Practice, Leiden.
Haspels, C. H. E. 1971. The Highlands of Phrygia. Sites and Monuments, Princeton.
Haspels, C. H. E. 2009. I am the Last of the Travellers, Midas City Excavation and Surveys in the Highlands of Phrygia, Ed. D. Berndt with contributions by H. Çambel, İstanbul.
Ramsay, W. M. 1888. A Study of Phrygian Art I, Journal of Hellenic Studies 9. 350-382.
Tüfekçi-Sivas, T. 1999. Eskişehir-Afyonkarahisar- Kütahya İl Sınırları İçindeki Phryg Kaya Anıtları, Anadolu Üniversitesi Yayınları No:1156, Eskişehir.

Image sources:
C. H. E. Haspels, 1971
C. H. E. Haspels, 2009
D. Berndt, 1997
T. Tüfekçi-Sivas, 1999


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