The archaeological landscapes of the Konya Plain have been the focus of research for over a century, beginning with a survey of ancient monuments published by William Ramsay and Gertrude Bell in 1909 (The Thousand and One Churches), which also included the Luwian-inscribed rock monuments at Kızıldağ and Karadağ. Systematic archaeological research did not begin in earnest in the Konya Plain until the mid-20th century, in particular with surveys based out of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara (BIAA). Since then the Konya Plain has been the focus of numerous additional archaeological surveys and several excavations, including at Sızma Höyük, Çatalhöyük, Konya-Karahöyük, Can Hasan, Alaeddin Tepe, Pınarbaşı and Boncuklu Höyük (figure 1). Since the 1970s, there has been considerable palaeo-environmental and palaeo-climatic research in the Plain and adjacent regions, shedding light on mid- and long-term climatic cycles, geology, ground hydrography, vegetation and landscape modification (figure 2).
One of the primary aims of KRASP is to reassess and synthesize this dense, varied, and often obscurely published dataset to arrive at an integrated and synthetic outline of longue durée, regional processes between the Aceramic Neolithic to the end of the Iron Age (ca 9000-300 BC).
In order to achieve this, the methodologies of KRASP include the digitalisation and systematisation of published survey data through a digital database and a GIS platform, using satellite imagery to accurately locate and estimate the spatial extent of known archaeological sites. We are also using high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (TandemX) to estimate the size of known mounded settlements. Currently, our database has grown to over 400 prehistoric and early historic (pre-Hellenistic) sites for the whole the Konya Plain.
Another component of our legacy sub-project includes the reassessment of ceramic and lithic assemblages collected by James Mellaart, David French and Ian Todd in the 1950s and 1960s and currently stored at the BIAA (figure 3). Through chrono-typological studies, techno-functional analysis and geochemical investigations, KRASP specialists are yielding insights into larger patterns of procurement, production and exchange in the Konya Plain between the Neolithic and the Iron Age (see Specialist Studies).