Antik Güney Marmara Limanları

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Bursa Uludağ University, Turkey

Approval Date: 2015

Thesis Language: English

Student: Serkan Gündüz

Co-Supervisor: Mustafa Şahin, MUSTAFA ŞAHİN


From prehistoric times to modern times, Anatolia has been home to many civilizations. It has hosted many cultures and many different languages have been spoken on this very piece of land. Since the 19th century, these lands attracted the attention of western archaeologists. Then, in the middle of the 20th century, it started to attract the attention of underwater archaeologists. Underwater research is particularly concentrated on the south and west coasts of Anatolia. While underwater research has been carried out around Marmara Island, at the lake of Küçükçekmece at the Marmara Sea, the only underwater research carried out in 2008 happened at Kyzikos (Erdek) at the south coasts of Marmara Sea. Around 7,100 years ago, after the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea connected, the importance of the Marmara Sea increased. After this period, it had officiated as a bridge between the civilization of the Northern Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. With the Neolithic Period, signs of life started to be detected around Marmara Sea and then with the colonization movements, the area hosted many cities. Mediterranean civilizations entering the Marmara Sea through the Dardanelles started to establish colonial cities at the coasts of Marmara. The south coasts of the Marmara Sea waited to attract the attention of researchers for long years. This can be seen clearly when, compared with the other parts of the Anatolian lands, the Marmara coasts were neglected. For this reason, the southern Marmara region's harbors were chosen as the area of this research. Four different provinces (Çanakkale, Balıkesir, Bursa, Yalova) had borders at the coasts of the Marmara Sea. The Turkish Ministry is providing a working permission for each province, at each period. As it was impossible to investigate the coastline of a province at a period, the research was limited to ancient harbors with the border of Bursa Province. Apart from the 135m areas at the coastline of Marmara Sea, the coasts of İznik and Uluabat lakes were also investigated. Information about the area was gathered from ancient resources, late antique travelers and modern research. The writing of the ancient authors, who gave information about the harbors of the region and harbor cities (including Strabo, Herodotus, Pseudo-Skylaks, Apollonius Rhodius, Xenophon, Pliny the Elder, Dio Chrysostom, Claudius Ptolemy, Stephanos Byzantinos, Pomponius Mela and Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus) were examined. Moreover, writing of the travelers such as Seyyid Muradi, İbn Battuta, Polish Simeon, Evliya Çelebi, Jean Thevenot, Richard Pockocke and Charles Texier were collected and considered as an adviser during the research. In all these resources, particular emphasis was laid on coastal cities and harbor structures. Since the period when maritime trade began, harbors become the most important points in the segmentation of the cities. Because they are the places where trade originated in the city, they were directly integrated into daily life. Harbors are natural or artificial places where the ships find shelter, load and unload goods, and board and drop off passengers. The first and last thing that a merchant coming to the city saw was the harbor. However, despite being in such an important position, they have not received enough attention from researchers over the years. The number of studies on the harbors of Anatolian coasts demonstrates that thus far. At the Bursa Province coastline, no research was held until today. The earliest sea-faring vessel made by humans dates back to 6000 BC, and the earliest harbor structure dates back to 3000 BC. According to the growing needs of people, water vessels also grew in size, and people needed places to protect these vessels. As a result of the size of the vessels becoming too big to be pulled to the coast easily, as well as the invention of hydrophilic cement allowing constructions underwater, harbors structures were constructed. Harbors were constructed in different ways depending on where they were found in the city. It is possible to divide harbors in two groups, according to the places where harbors were constructed and their respective functions. According to location, harbors are divided into sea harbors and freshwater harbors. Because of the diversity of coastline, sea harbors can be further categorized into natural and artificial harbors. Because lake and river coastlines are flat, all the freshwaters harbors are artificial. The main factor that determines whether the harbor is artificial or natural is the construction form of harbor's basin. Because natural harbors were constructed at bays, the natural basin of the bay would be used to form the harbor. Artificial harbors are constructed with the support of water basins, breakwaters and moles. Additionally, ancient harbors are divided even further, according to their functions: military harbors, trade harbors and private harbors. Harbor research around the world started in the 20th century AD.