Tarsus and Hinterland: Roads and Cultural Heritage Effects


  • Deniz KAPLAN
  • Şener YILDIRIM


Tarsus, Hinterland, Roads, Effect, Cultural Heritage


Tarsus, the capital of Cilicia Region, was at every period of its history the chief political and economic center of the region. The main reason for this situation is to be found in the fact that Tarsus has a large and fertile territory, and possesses a port on the Mediterranean coast, through which the Kydnos River passes. The fact that Tarsus is located at the point where the most important main road connecting Anatolia with the Eastern Mediterranean and Syrian geography enters the plain also made the city important and because of this road, it is also important in cultural and artistic terms for the inner regions of Anatolia in addition to its commercial, military or political importance. It has made it a city open to interaction with. It is possible to identify and trace the traces of this artistic interaction in rural settlements in the hinterland of Tarsus, rather than in the city centre, where archaeological research is difficult and limited due to the fact that it is a living city. Side streets that connect to the ancient main street, dated to Roman Period, and rural settlements located along these streets house monuments that represent this interaction. The main reason for the artistic and cultural interactions with Phrygia and Lycaonia and Kappadokia Regions from the early period is the heavy traffic of the Via Tauri, transporting not only people and goods in their culture.