Isaura (Zengibar Castle) Surveys

Isaura (Zengibar Castle) Survey

Zengibar (Zengibar) Castle is an important settlement area of the Isauria Region, which covers an important part of the Central and Western Taurus Mount with its borders occassionally stretching into the Mediterranean. At present time, the ruins site located close to Bozkır district of Konya city was discovered and presented to the science world by the British Geologist W.J. Hamilton in 1837.

With his important discovery in the region, it is understood that the above mentioned ruin site in the Zengibar Castle is the city Isaura, hitherto sought after near Beyşehir and mentioned in ancient sources. There has been a debate for a long time going on as to which one of the cities, namely Isaura Vetus and Isaura Nova mentioned in Strabon, this site refers to; however, based on the studies done till 1930s, it is argued that the city in the Zengibar Castle refers to Isaura Vetus.

Nevertheless, we hold the view cautiously that argues that the ancient city in question is Isaura Vetus as a result of the archaeological surveys that we have been conduction for 3 years. We will deal with the topic in an elaborate way in our further studies.

Studies are carried out for the “Surface Analyses of Zengibar Castle (Isaura)”, which were started by the courtesy of Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 2010 and which significantly progressed with the works of 2016, to continue as an “Excavation and Restoration Project” in the forthcoming years. Under the presidency of the Konya Directorate of Museums, cleaning operations were also carried out in the ancient city during the 2013-2014 studies of the surface analyses which continued for 6 years.

Surface analyses and cleaning operations were concentrated on approximately 265 hectares of land, and in some cases, the works were also conducted in the areas out of this field where the ruins of the ancient city were scattered at a large scale. In the project, particularly the quality of the architectural structures in the ancient city was determined to a large extent. Furthermore, a basis for the further extensive studies was created by conducting mapping and imaging studies. Many public places, especially in Hacılar District, were used for the physical infrastructure of the studies by being improved.