ISSN: 1309-8780
e-ISSN: 2822-3985

Şevket Dönmez1, Mona Saba2

1İstanbul Üniversitesi, Edebiyat Fakültesi, Arkeoloji Bölümü Protohistorya ve Önasya Arkeolojisi Anabilim Dalı, İstanbul/TÜRKİYE
2İstanbul Üniversitesi, Edebiyat Fakültesi, Arkeoloji Bölümü Protohistorya ve Önasya Arkeolojisi Anabilim Dalı, İstanbul/ TÜRKİYE

Keywords: Achaemenid, Fire Cult, Iron Age, Oluz Höyük, Temple.


The excavations in Oluz Höyük, located 25 kilometers from Amasya city center in North-Central Anatolia, continuing since 2007 have completed their 16th year, in which ten settlements that have been unearthed from the Chalcolithic Period to the Middle Ages revealed that this important center has a religious structure in each layer. While the remains of burnt seeds found in the layers that witnessed the collapse of the Hittite Great Kingdom and which can be considered as evidence of religious rituals, and the Kubaba Altar, which constituted the center of the Phrygian Period settlement, signifies the religious findings of the early period of the site. With its archaeological evidence Oluz Höyük emerged as an important religious center in the period when Anatolia came under the rule of the Achaemenid (Persian) Empire.

It is observed that important and unique archaeological findings dating to the Achaemenid (Persian) layers in the 2B Architectural Layer (450-300 BC) point to Archaic Monotheism in Oluz Höyük, where a class of Persian origin who venerated the sacred fire as a singular point of worship and eschewed the idols of deities in their beliefs were settled. Dating to this period and in the same architectural layer, architectural evidence indicating the presence of this Archaic Monotheism are uncovered. This article argues this architectural evidence in the form of Atashkadeh where the sacred fire burns and the Hall of Worship where the believers honored their rituals and their co-relation in space and function. This new religious architecture emerged in the Anatolian geography with a new belief system in the Iron Age. It can be thought that the concept of sacred structure started in Persians and Anatolia with the Oluz Höyük 2D Architectural Layer temple. The subject of the article is the Sanctuary, the Worship Hall, and the Persian Road that brought these structures together, which were constructed by this group mentioned in the 2B Architectural Layer of Oluz Höyük.