Defensive Walls of Old Smyrna
1Ege Üniversitesi, Edebiyat Fakültesi, Arkeoloji Bölümü, Bornova-İzmir/TÜRKİYE
2Ege Üniversitesi Edebiyat Fakültesi, Eski Çağ Dilleri ve Kültürleri Bölümü, İzmir/TÜRKİYE
Keywords: Ionia, Iron Age, Fortification Wall, Lydian, Defense System.
Old Smyrna entered the process of a period of rapid change with the communities which reached from the Greek Mainland to West Anatolia at the end of the Bronze Age. This change, which began in the city in the 11th century BC, begin to make itself strongly in the 10th century BC. It is understood from imported ceramics which are found during the excavations that Old Smyrna harbor started to use actively in the 9th century BC. Undoubtedly as of this date, the settlement where surrounded by fertile Hermos Valley from the east, and a harbor that opened to the Aegean basin in the West started to be attractive to rivals. The first move that would make the old Smyrna strong against its rivals was the commencement of the construction of the mud brick defense wall surrounding the city in the mideighth century BC approximately. This first city wall, which is one of the earliest examples of Hellenic defense structures, continued its development in four main phases to the end of the Classical Period, until the end of the settlement in the city. The city’s fortification walls were subjected to a comprehensive study with systematic archaeological research that started in 1948-51 in Old Smyrna, but the results left new questions to answer. In 2016, a re-investigation of the city’s defense systems began, and it aimed to eliminate the lack of historical data in the old research conducted especially on the defensive walls, and to renew the existing data together with stratigraphy. This study aims to interpret the research results conducted on the Ancient Smyrna defensive structures and update the data on the defensive walls.