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Sinop Landscapes

Sinop Landscapes: Exploring Connection in a Black Sea Hinterland

Owen P. Doonan
Copyright Date: 2004
Pages: 200
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  • Book Info
    Sinop Landscapes
    Book Description:

    The Black Sea coast is different from the rest of Turkey. For more than 5,000 years Sinop, the central point on the Turkish coast, has seemed more remote from the rest of the Anatolian land mass than from Greece, Italy, Africa, the Crimea, Istanbul, and Rome. How was Sinop connected to them? The Black Sea Trade Project explores the perception of connectedness: how connected did people feel to those in other upland villages, coastal villages, ports, the big port of Sinop, and to distant shores? How did economic, infrastructural, and political institutions bind local populations to larger systems, and how were various institutional processes situated in landscapes? In this first volume from the Sinop Regional Archaeological Project, Owen P. Doonan rigorously explores connection through Sinop and its hinterland, from precolonial Greek settlements through ages of empires, Roman, Russian, and Ottoman conquests to the present day.

    eISBN: 978-1-934536-27-8
    Subjects: Archaeology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Figures
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Tables
    (pp. xii-xii)
  5. Foreword
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    Fredrik T. Hiebert

    Prehistoric remains on hilltops, early churches draped with thick vegetation, walls of ancient towns submerged along the coast, intact ships found in the deep anoxic seawaters—all of these features are tantalizing evidence of a rich culture history along the Turkish Black Sea coast.

    This volume offers the first overview of one of the most important coastal regions of the Black Sea: the isolated peninsula of Sinop, Turkey. The port of Sinop is the northernmost point of Anatolia, located on a forested plain jutting into the Black Sea, practically an island along the coast. The peninsula is surrounded on three...

  6. Preface
    (pp. xv-xviii)
  7. Chronology
    (pp. xx-xxii)
  8. 1 The Sinop Hinterland Exploring Connection around the Black Sea
    (pp. 1-22)

    Looking north from the windy height of Boztepe you can peer far into the mists of the Black Sea with no land in sight (Figures 1-1 and 1-2). When a storm comes up from the west, you might make out a few dolphins skimming alongside the small craft racing around Boztepe to port in the inky blackness of the sea. Beneath your feet the modern town of Sinop (Greek and Roman Sinope) sprawls up the slopes of Boztepe just as its Ottoman and Seljuk Turkish, Byzantine, Roman, and Greek predecessor has done for 2,600 years (Figure 1-3). The Greeks from...

  9. 2 Landscape Archaeology in Sinop
    (pp. 23-50)

    The various processes that together comprised the Sinop promontory’s complex role in the Black Sea cannot be studied by excavating a single site, conducting a survey of a city’s agricultural holdings, or assembling a body of relevant historical texts. Systems of communication, production, consumption, and identity production are situated in networks of places rather than in single places and so are best studied in a framework encompassing multiple places. Since 1990 multi-sited research designs have become more prominent in studies of complex cultural processes like globalization, diaspora formation, and trade (Appadurai 1990; Marcus 1995; Doonan 2001).

    Of course, any archaeological...

  10. 3 Sinop before Colonial Times
    (pp. 51-68)

    People have lived in the Sinop promontory for 10,000 years or more, since before the Black Sea had even come to its present form, possibly in the 6th millennium BCE (Ryan et al. 1997; Hiebert 2001). The diversity of archaeological evidence in different parts of Sinop promontory suggests that the early cultures and economies of the promontory were as diverse as in later times. However, we will consider the cultural horizons before the expansion of Hellenistic settlement (3rd century BCE and later) together for two main reasons. First, the rudimentary state of the relative ceramic chronology defies sufficiently close discrimination...

  11. 4 Colonizing the Lands of Sinop
    (pp. 69-92)

    The process of colonization is one of the most persistent themes in the history of Sinop port and promontory. Over the past 2.5 millennia settlers from outside the region have repeatedly set up enclaves there. Settling populations included Greeks (late 7th, late 5th and 4th–3rd centuries BCE), Romans (mid-1st century BCE), Turks (12th century CE) and various immigrants from the Balkans and Caucasus (19th–20th centuries CE). Colonies have often formed the basis for Sinop/Sinope’s linkage to other Black Sea communities and beyond. In most cases the port was colonized in association with the appearance of new regional authority...

  12. 5 An Industrial Hinterland
    (pp. 93-118)

    The colonization of the coasts set the stage for closer engagement between the port and hinterland (Figure 5-1). The development of an industrial hinterland began during the Hellenistic period, and it is not easy to establish a clear break between the Hellenistic and Roman administrations. Sinope was made the capital of the Pontic Kingdom by Pharnaces following his capture of the city in 183 BCE. Mithridates VI was born in Sinope and had a magnificent palace there (Strabo XII.iii.11; Diodorus, Historical Library 14.31.2).

    The port flourished as a major center of commerce and production under Roman administration, and settlement expanded...

  13. 6 Sinop in the Ages of Black Sea Empires
    (pp. 119-144)

    Thus far we have seen how Sinop and the promontory became entangled with the economic and political spheres of the Mediterranean from the 7th century BCE to the 7th century CE. The middle Byzantine period (8th to 11th centuries CE) was relatively unstable, with Arab and Turkish invasions along the central coast of Black Sea Anatolia (Bryer and Winfield 1985:71). The Seljuks under Izzedin Kaykavus took control of Sinop in the early 13th century. After this Sinop was dominated by the Seljuks of Kastamonu, the Comneni of Trebizond (Trabzon), and other rival regional powers until the conquest by the Ottomans...

  14. 7 Synthesizing Places and Landscapes
    (pp. 145-160)

    We have now walked together through many landscape palimpsests and landscapes on the Sinop promontory. Palimpsests are the accumulations through time of human-influenced features in a locale or group of locales. Landscapes are the sets of places that are seen as belonging together by inhabitants in a particular cultural-historical context. Returning repeatedly to a few specific places (Boztepe, Demirci, the Karasu valley) we have seen how inhabitants of diverse locales have been connected with others in distant and near places through social and economic processes. By dividing our discussion along chronological horizons we have been able to make some preliminary...

  15. Epilogue: Miles To Go
    (pp. 161-166)

    Our survey and research by other colleagues in the Sinop region to date allows us to start weaving stories about the landscapes, peoples, and cultures of Sinop promontory, but we are a long way from the end of our exploration. Many outstanding questions remain to be addressed, and surely more will be encountered as we find ways to solve existing puzzles. This brief epilogue sketches some of the larger outstanding issues that have emerged through our research and lays out some of the ways in which we hope to address them.

    A firmly grounded chronology for local ceramic types needs...

  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 167-184)
  17. Index
    (pp. 185-189)