Danishmend/Seljuk Phase

Immediately beneath the Ottoman walls, almost inseparable from them especially at the center where the bedrock protrudes, are the walls of the Danishmend/Seljuk period. The structures expand all across the excavated sections of HTP01 and seem to have covered the entire upper section of Hamamtepe within the fortification walls.

The architecture of the Danishmend/Seljuk period is very similar to the Ottoman architecture described above. However, the archaeological context is completely different. The wall foundations of the buildings in this phase are similarly built with stones, irregular in shape and size, but larger and more varied in kind. They also are mostly 1 to 2 rows in height. The existing walls of the preceding levels were used where available. The foundations which were built specifically for this period measure between 67,78 cm and 91,97 cm.

The distinguishing character of these structures is the presence of tandır type ovens in the rooms. In addition to the ovens, there are storage pits, pithoi, rock-cut pits, and cess pits. Rather crude separations in rooms are also present; for example it is possible to come across a single row of stones arranged in a linear or circular fashion. Several ovens have seats before them built either of tiles or spolia.

The floors of the rooms are most likely destroyed or unrecognizable but a green clayish substance recovered on the bottom section of some of the walls where the walls meet the floor, and haphazard spread of this material within the layers burying the structures, suggest that at least the walls may have been plastered with a special clay.

The upper structure of the walls must have been adobe, few examples of molded clay in the form of bricks were recovered. There is no suggestion to the presence of timber posts as in the Ottoman houses and the entrances into the individual spaces as well as the building itself are not observed. Only in one space, few flat stones ascend into a another.

So far, it has been difficult to distinguish different units; the whole complex gives the impression of one large building with consecutive rooms. The site has a very complicated stratigraphy and the buildings of different periods are intertwined. In addition to these complications, there seems to be many repairs, rebuildings, replanning during these different phases which makes it even more difficult to identify units. Still, a group of rooms on the eastern section of HTP01 may represent one building.

So far, it has been difficult to distinguish different units; the whole complex gives the impression of one large building with consecutive rooms. The site has a very complicated stratigraphy and the buildings of different periods are intertwined. In addition to these complications, there seems to be many repairs, rebuildings, replanning during these different phases which makes it even more difficult to identify units. Still, a group of rooms on the eastern section of HTP01 may represent one building.

Overall, the function of the buildings is questionable. Since each room presents a similar appearance with the ovens and storage facilities, a domestic function is difficult to attribute to them. Previously, the buildings were identified as parts of a workshop. This identification will have to remain although the exact function of them are still not clear. M.N. Tatbul finished a PhD thesis on the functional identification of the Danishmend/Seljuk buildings through spatial distribution of archaeological and environmental data in 2017. In his study, he suggested that Komana was a multifunctional site as well as a typical settlement of the middle Byzantine period in the 11th-13th centuries. The fortifications, its location by the River Iris, on important trade routes controlling fertile agricultural and pasture land were identified as commonalities between sites dating to the same era. The detailed analysis of the samples taken from the ovens, pits and some from layer fills, revealed that the main identifiable activity was food preparation. While this is rather significant in terms of understanding the function of the ovens and pits, it does not exclude other types of production at the site since food preparation and consumption is a continuous need of human beings and it may take place in any context. In addition to food, production evidence on pottery, glass, metals and bone objects is present.

All of these indicate that on Hamamtepe, at Komana in the 12th through the early 14th century there was a considerable amount of production activity. This may mean that the hill which is surrounded by a fortification wall, built earlier but restored several times, was a central part of a rural settlement. The fortifications encircled production and storage facilities and there is a likelihood that somewhere on the hill was also administrative structures.
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