Boğsak Archaeological Survey: Processed Ceramics, 2015

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By Günder Varinlioglu1, Nicholas Kregotis Rauh2, Stanislav Pejša3

1. Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University 2. Purdue University 3. Purdue Libraries

The dataset contains data from the pedestrian survey of the collected ceramic artefacts for the the Boğsak Archaeological Survey in 2015.

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Version 1.0 - published on 15 Sep 2020 doi:10.4231/08XY-XJ30 - cite this Archived on 15 Sep 2020

Licensed under Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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The Boğsak Archaeological Survey (Boğsak Village, Silifke district, Mersin Province, modern Turkey) is directed by Dr. Günder Varinlioğlu, Associate Professor at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul, Turkey. The project is investigating an ancient maritime littoral landscape extending from modern-day Silifke to Yeşilovacık (Silifke District, Mersin Province). in what was eastern Rough Cilicia during Antiquity ( The project has been ongoing since 2010 and focuses on a number of ancient island settlements and harbors along this shore, including Boğsak Island, Dana Island (ancient Pityoussa), Tahtalimanı, and the Ovacık Peninsula (ancient Aphrodisias). Professor Nicholas Rauh of Purdue University joined the project in 2015 and has conducted pedestrian survey to collect ceramic data for the project.

Approximately 7ha in size, the Turkish island of Boğsak is situated 300m off-shore of the modern village of Boğsak,  approximately 15 km. south of Silifke, the modern-day site of the ancient city, Seleucia ad Calycadnum. Under the direction of Günder Varinlioğlu, the BOGA survey is meticulously mapping the archaeological remains of the remarkably dense Late Roman settlement on the island. 

The pedestrian survey is intended to complement the work of the architectural investigation by furnishing it with datable archaeological contexts as provided by surface ceramics collections.  The difficulties posed by the island’s uneven surface is compounded by loose layers of wall fall, dense patches of garrigue scrub brush, and the equally hazardous challenges posed by snakes and scorpions. Throughout the island, dense concentrations of highly fragmented surface pottery lie strewn amid the brush-covered ruins. To conduct the pedestrian survey, team members designated transects or collection areas capable of sampling surface remains at various quadrants of the island (along each of its shores as well as on the high ground near the main church complex at its center). Within each transect team members selected a specific “locus” to investigate, be that the interior of a ruined building or an open area amid the surrounding brush. When selecting “loci”, the guiding principle was to maximize output by focusing on surfaces exhibiting high visibility. Each designated area was assigned a transect and locus ("unit" in the datasets) number recorded with GPS coordinates. Within each locus team members conducted grab collections of diagnostic sherds. Each sherd was quickly processed and photographed in the field. Particularly useful sherds were returned to the field laboratory where they were cleaned, measured, re-photographed, and drawn. All sherds were then returned to the island. . In this manner some 52 loci were inspected across 5 transects in 2015 (SEE MAP). Participants on the pedestrian team included Adam Freeburg (Purdue U.), Hilal Küntüz (Mimar Sinan U.), and Beste Eyupoğlu (Mimar Sinan U.). 

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