Karatepe-Aslantaş Archaeological Site
Karatepe-Aslantaş Archaeological Site is part of the Tentative list of Turkey in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
Karatepe-Aslantaş comprises the remains of an ancient walled settlement of the Late Hittite Period dating back to the 8th century BC. Stone statues (including that of lions) and reliefs have been found. The site also holds the “Karatepe Bilingual”, inscriptions on stone with the same text in Phoenician alphabet and Hieroglyphic Luwian, which enabled the decryption of the Anatolian hieroglyphs.
Map of Karatepe-Aslantaş Archaeological SiteLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
One of my favorite spots in Turkey. It also seems to Iike a hidden gem. Previously the attempt was to inscribe along the national park which is now excluded, I don't see anything special about the forest anyway, and sadly this led to the authorities logging a big area of it.
When you get very close to the archeological site you will be in tranquility though. There is a picnic area first which may be popular in summer, but if you are here for the site it is beyond all that. Entrance is a measly Euro and includes a very small museum and the site itself of course.
I recommend going anticlockwise as you climb up first and have a break at the gate and lookout anyway. The statues and tablets from the late Hittite period are marvelous and I'm so happy they tried to place it into the original positions. There are also excellent signs to explain each major one. There is a small path to the peak of the hill but there are no remains to be seen. You can just enjoy the forest up there. As you continue the regular path you will get to the second gate with equally great statues and stone tablets. Hittite culture is so interesting.
While not a huge site the two gates alone are totally worth it, plus you get to spend time in the forest alongside the lake and maybe you also get spared the occasional loud noise from the village across the water.
FYI the path to the lake has a locked gate eventually and the houses nearby are for research only, but if you walk past them there is a small lookout with benches, not much better than the ones near the museum or the first gate but just wanted to point it out.
Successor to former TWHS Karatepe - Aslantas National Park (1984 - 1996)
2020 Added to Tentative List
The site has 1 locations