The settlement was founded by the Phrygians in the 7th century on the Kerkenes Mountain to the northwest of the Şahmuratlı village in Sorgun district of Yozgat. The first surveys began in 1993, and since 2001 excavations and surveys have been ongoing under the direction of Geoffrey D. Summers. The city walls, about 7 kilometers long, surround a settlement area of 2.5 square kilometers. It is likely that this is the city that was recorded as Pteria in ancient sources. The same sources indicate that Pteria was completely destroyed by the Lydian King Croesus during the campaign against the Persians around 540 BCE. Findings from Kerkenes excavations confirm that the city was destroyed by a huge fire. It is estimated to have had a population of at least 30 thousand people at its peak. There was no settlement in the city after the Phrygian period.
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The Cappadocia Gate is one of the seven gates of the city. It is the most impressive in terms of monumental architecture. This name was given because it overlooks the Cappadocia region in the southeast.
A statue base found at the back of the Cappadocia Gate. The block with the relief of a pair of sphinxes is 1.8 meters long and weighs about 2 tons. The mortise hole on top of the statue base still has a white stone piece that must have broken off from the statue that once stood on it.
A Phrygian idol, which was reconstructed from multiple fragments found in the inner courtyard of the Cappadocia Gate. This idol shaped semi-iconic stele was once crowning a stepped monument. The condition of the stele and the steps were poor as a result of both the fire and the collapse of the upper stone wall. The reconstructed idol is is currently in the Yozgat Museum. The column bases that are exhibited on both sides of the idol in the museum were found at the same location with the statue fragments.
One of the many Phrygian idols found in pieces at the entrance of the building called the palace complex near the Cappadocia Gate is reconstructed and exhibited in the Yozgat Museum.
A statue that is found in pieces at the entrance of the palace complex. It is not clear whom it does represent.
Some of the pieces of a monument with Old Phrygian inscription (K‑01) which were found at the same location with the statue fragments. The drawing shows the approximate design of the monument. G. D. Summers suggests that this monument may have been the base of the statue.
Draycott, C. M., G. D. Summers, & C. Brixhe. 2008. Kerkenes Special Studies 1: Sculpture and Inscriptions from the Monumental Entrance to the Palatial Complex at Kerkenes Dağ, Turkey, Oriental Institute Publications 135, Chicago.
Summers, G. D. 2006. 'Phrygian Expansion to the East: Evidence of Cult from Kerkenes Dağ', Baghdader Mitteilungen 37, 647-658.
Summers, G. D. & F. Summers. 2012. 'Kerkenes Dağ', in Phrygians, In the Land of Midas, In the Shadow of Monuments, eds. T. Tüfekçi-Sivas & H. Sivas, 162-183, İstanbul.
Yozgat İl Kültür ve Turizm Müdürlüğü
Kerkenes Project (kerkenes.metu.edu.tr), 2010-2011
C. M. Draycott et al., 2008