IRON AGE DEFENSIVE STRUCTURES IN ARDAHAN'S GÖLE DISTRICT

Zekeriye AKKURT

Sami PATACI

In this article, the geography of Göle District, its research history, the origin of its name, and also the Iron Age defensive structures detected during the surveys carried out in the region between 1995-1997 and 2016-2018 were discussed. Göle is surrounded by the high mountains of Northeastern Anatolia due to its location; For this reason, the residential area is higher and has a colder climate than the city center to which it is connected. The first researches in the region were carried out at the beginning of the 20th century and these studies focused on the medieval ruins. Surveys on behalf of antiquity started in 1995-97. Thanks to these surveys carried out in Göle, new data have emerged that will facilitate a better understanding of the Iron Age of the Northeast Anatolia region. At the same time, these new data enabled some connections to be made about the names of the regions in the cuneiform texts belonging to the Urartu Kingdom, which was an important civilization of the Middle Iron Age in Eastern Anatolia, and the name origin of Göle.  The lake was called by different names during the Middle Ages, in Christian cultures and after the Turkish conquests during the Ottoman period. Recent research in the region has uncovered archaeological sites in Göle that include features of Iron Age defensive architecture and pottery traditions. These archaeological sites are located in the immediate vicinity of modern settlements such as Kayaaltı, Çobanköy, Kuzupınarı, Durucasu, Bellitepe, Balçeşme.

Key Words: Ardahan, Göle, Iron Age, Castle, Watchtower