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Acemhöyük (Aksaray)


Acemhöyük is een archeologische vindplaats in centraal Turkije.

De heuvel (höyük) is gelegen 13 km ten noordwesten van Aksaray aan de zuidoever van het zoutmeer Tuz Gölü. Opgravingen zijn begonnen in 1962 onder leiding van Nimet Özgüç en worden sinds 1989 voortgezet onder Aliye Öztan van de Ankara Universiteit.

De plaats was een belangrijke stad in de tijd van het Oud-Assyrische handelsimperium, net als Kültepe en is waarschijnlijk te identificeren met de stad Purushanda (Burushattum). Purushanda werd veroverd door de Hethitische koning Labarna. Hattusili I heeft de stad vernietigd na de opstand van de Prins of Purushanda ca. 1650 v. Chr.

Er zijn bullae gevonden van onder anderen Shamshi-adad I van Assyrië, Aplahanda van Carchemish, Anum-Hirbi van Mama en een dochter van Zimri-Lim van Mari.


Acemhoyuk is situated in a fertile plain 13 km north-west of Aksaray at the south edge of the Tuz Gölü and on the main north-south and east-west routes.

This site (ancient Purushanda/Burushattum) consists of a large mound (700 x 600 m) and lower city. The mound itself consists of four high points, with flat areas between, and has occupation going back into the 3rd millennium, but the lower city was occupied only in the Assyrian Colony period. Both areas were abandoned at the end of that time. Levels I and II were disturbed and excavation has concentrated on level III, the burnt level contemporary with Kültepe Karum II, which has produced two palaces on the high points of Sarıkaya and Hatipler and the West Building on the third high point, as well as other buildings in between. The cemetery was some 500 m from the mound. 

Excavations at the site began in 1962 under the direction of Prof. Dr. Nimet Özgüç (AU-DTCF) and have continued since 1989 under Prof. Dr. Aliye Öztan (AU-DTCF).

Around 1950 B.C., traders from the northern Mesopotamian city of Ashur established karums, or merchants' colonies, at a number of Central Anatolian cities, among them the site of Acemhöyük. Assyrian merchants lived in a restricted area of these cities, trading textiles and tin from the southeast for silver but operating under the rule of local kings. Acemhöyük is a large mound located south of Ankara near the Turkish town of Aksaray on the Konya Plain. It lay on a route linking Anatolia with the East and seems to have been an important center for the copper trade and industry. In 1965, a Turkish archaeological expedition found sealed bullae, inscribed clay tablets, ivories, and other objects outside the karum of Acemhöyük in two burned palaces on the highest part of the mound.

A group of ivories given to the Museum in the 1930s is thought to have come from Acemhöyük because of close similarities in style and subject to those known to have been found there. Ranging in color from white to gray blue and a pinkish orange, they have been carved to represent the fantastic composite creatures important in the mythology of the ancient Near East. This small female sphinx is a form borrowed from the Egyptians. Her large almond-shaped eyes and spiral locks ultimately derive from the Egyptian goddess Hathor. As with the later ivories from Nimrud, this sphinx, one of four in the Museum, was carved as furniture decoration.




  • http://www.arts.cornell.edu/dendro/93adplet.html
  • (http://cat.une.edu.au/page/acemhoyuk).
  • rubens.anu.edu.au-acemhoyuk
  • http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ho/03/waa/hod_32.161.46.htm 
  • http://www.mcah.columbia.edu/cgi-bin/dbcourses/item?skip=8160

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Last modified: 2023-08-06
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