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Archaeological identification and significance of ÉSAG (agricultural storage pits) at Kaman-Kalehöyük, central Anatolia

  • Andrew Fairbairn (a1) and Sachihiro Omura (a2)

Abstract

Evidence for the presence of storage pits described in Hittite texts by the Sumerogram ÉSAG is presented from Kaman-Kalehöyük, a multi-period tell site in central Turkey occupied during the second and first millennia BC. Small earthen pits matching the description of ÉSAG were part of the normal suite of domestic installations at the site throughout the period. Similar to pits seen across western Eurasia, they were probably used to store seed corn or seed for trade. Large earthen pits (>7m in diameter) were also present that matched the description of the ÉSAG form, and in some cases contained archaeological cereal remains. Evidence from Kaman shows ÉSAG were part of Anatolian life for at least 4,000 years and suggests that the term was generic for lined, earthen storage pits. The presence of so many small pits at Kaman-Kalehöyük showed that it was an agricultural production site for much of its existence. The appearance of the large pits, confined to the Hittite period, reflects centralised control of grain supply, probably by the Hittite Kingdom, and fits a pattern seen at other sites in the region during the second millennium BC.

Hitit metinlerinde Sumerogram ÉSAG ile tanımlanan depo çukurlarının varlığına dair kanıt, Orta Anadolu'da M.Ö. ikinci ve Birinci binde iskan edilmiş çok dönemli bir yerleşim alanı olan Kaman-Kalehöyük'ten tanınmaktadır. Küçük toprak çukurlar ÉSAG' in tanımlamasına uygun olarak bu dönem süresince normal ev düzeninin bir parçası olarak karşımıza çıkmıştır. Çakurlar, Batı Avrasya'daki benzer çukurlar gibi olasılıkla ticaret maksadı ile mısır tohumu ya da tohum muhafaza etmişlerdir. ÉSAG formunun tanımına uyan büyük toprak çukurlara (çapi 7m. den büyük) rağmen bunların tahıl depolama ile ilgili bağlantıları tam olarak belirlenmemiştir. Kaman'daki delil, ÉSAG' in en az 4,000 yıldır Anadolu yaşamının bir parçası olduğunu ve bu sözcüğgün sıvanmış toprak çukurlar için kullanıldığını işaret etmektedir. Kaman-Kalehöyük'te ele geçen birçok küçük çukur, yerleşimin varlığını sürdürdüğü sürecin büyük bir bölümünde zirai üretim yapıldığını göstermektedir. Hitit Döneminde büyük çukurların ortaya çıkması muhtemelen Hitit Krallığı tarafından gerçekleştirilen tahıl tedarikinin merkezi kontrolünü yansıtmakta ve M.ö. İkinci binde bu bölgedeki diğer yerleşim alanlarında görülen şekle uymaktadır.

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References

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