Rural Settlements Survey in The Chora of Diocaesarea




Rough Cilicia, Rural Settlements, Diocaesarea, Uzuncaburç, Chora


The ancient city of Diocaesarea located in the village of Uzuncaburç nearly 30 km north of Silifke in Mersin province. The objective of this study was to determine the character of the ancient city and to review the changes it underwent throughout different periods, as well as to learn its layout and plan. To achieve this, it was aimed to explore the settlements around the ancient city of Diocaesarea in order to derive results regarding the connection between the ancient city and its chora. The ancient city of Diocaesarea developed around the temple to Zeus Olbios and was the administrative and religious center of the region in the Hellenistic period attaining its monumental character in the Roman Imperial period. In the course of our surveys in the chora of Diocaesarea numerous settlements of varying sizes and dating to various periods have been documented. Most of them stand out with their well preserved remains. Remains recorded at settlements belong to a time span from the Hellenistic period through late antiquity. Settlements of Hellenistic character within the survey area are parts of a common defense and settlement system. The polygonal masonry observed on some structures of these rural settlements indicate that these settlements came into use in the Hellenistic period. These settlements remained inhabited after the Hellenistic period. Furthermore, many more settlements of rural character were also founded during and after the Roman period. With the Roman period a new settlement pattern arose in the region, and the Hellenistic settlements lost their defensive functions yet remained alive as rural settlements, which actually increased in number