Tavşan Adası

Number: 77
Latitude, longitude: 37.419750, 27.216217

The island of Tavşan Adası is located about 13 km southwest of Miletus. According to Engin Akdeniz, who conducted a surface investigation in the area, the island used to for a peninsula. A sea level rise isolated it from the shore. Systematic excavations began in 2006 by François Bertemes of the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg. The island lies at a distance of about 150 m from the mainland and it reaches 6.5 meters above sea level. Its size is 180 x 90 m. So far, seven settlement layers have been determined. The oldest date back to the late Neolithic/Early Chalcolithic, while the youngest date to the Ottoman era. Ceramic types before the Middle Bronze Age strongly resemble western and inner Anatolian ware (Hacılar and Kuruçay in Pisidia). The range of ceramic types shows that the place was intensively used. Remains of a Middle Bronze Age artisan district were found, where workshops were arranged around a paved courtyard. The material culture includes Kamares type sherds, cups, dishes and cooking ware, a ceramic stove of Cretan type, Minoan loom weights, spindle whorls, purple snails and a stone Minoan-type mold for producing a double ax (Labrys) – all this supports the assumption that during the Old Palace Period (MM IB/II) Tavşan Adası was a Minoan settlement. A 15.5×15-meter large formerly two-storey building also contained Cretan material culture from the New Palace Period (MM III and SM I). The imports include a pottery fragments with signs – most likely Linear A – engraved before firing. Taken together, finds from Tavşan Adası imply an important commercial and transaction point at the coast of Asia Minor in Minoan times.