RESEARCH OF THE HISTORICAL AND BATTLEFIELD ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE GALLIPOLI PENINSULA: THE OTTOMAN FORTRESS AT SEDDULBAHIR


Aslan C., Thys-Senocak L., Çelik R. N.

TUBA-AR-TURKISH ACADEMY OF SCIENCES JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY, vol.11, pp.105-120, 2008 (Journal Indexed in AHCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Title of Journal : TUBA-AR-TURKISH ACADEMY OF SCIENCES JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY
  • Page Numbers: pp.105-120

Abstract

The Seddulbahir fortress stands at the end of the Gallipoli peninsula and was built in the 1701 century by Hadice Turhan Sultan, the mother of Sultan Mehmed IV, to help protect the entrance to the Dardanelles from Venetian naval invasions. The fortress has been an important Ottoman naval fortification of the western Aegean frontier of the Ottoman Empire; the strategic location of the fortress made it the first point of attack by Allied forces during the Gallipoli campaign of World War I. The deaths of Turkish soldiers there, and the commemorative monument that has been erected at the entrance to the fortress also makes the site an important symbol for the Turkish nation. Today the fortress at Seddulbahir is in a critical state of deterioration. As part of a larger scale project for the conservation, re-usage and presentation of the fortress for visitors, a joint team from Koc University's Archaeology and History of Art Department and Istanbul Technical University's Geodesy and Photogrammetry department have been. investigating the architectural history of the fortress from the 1711 through the 20(th) centuries also considering the nature of the destruction that took places during the bombardments of the site during World War One. In order to do this we are employing a variety of methods to research and document the site. Archaeological excavation is one research strategy that has been conducted during the 2005 and 2006 seasons. Our other main undertaking has been to go through the documents in die archives covering the two centuries concerning the construction and repair activities that took place in the fortress so as to understand the later history of the Seddulbahir castle. Oral testimony from village residents has been collected and used to shed light upon the intangible heritage of the region and the past memories as well as the present concerns of residents who currently live at the historical site. Finally, new technology such as 3D laser scanning has been used to insure that an extremely accurate set of measurements exists for long term conservation monitoring of the structural changes that may occur at the fortress, and to help in presenting accurate virtual representations of the many stages of Seddulbahir's past.