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Soli Hoyuk


According to Strabo, Soli Pompeiopolis is located on the border between Plain Cilicia (Cilicia Pedias/Campestris) and Rough Cilicia (Cilicia Trachea/Aspera) which are two geographically distinct regions (14. 5. 8). The excavations that are being conducted since 1999 reveal that the city was one of the most important harbours in the eastern Mediterranean region since the 2nd millenium BC. The theater of Soli- Pompeiopolis which was re-founded in 66/65 BC adjoins to the northwest slope of the mound.

Soli Hoyuk

Late Bronze Age
Cukurova region was located within the borders of Kizzuwatna in the 15th century BC, during the Hittite Imperial period. The case-mate fortification walls that surrounded the mound which was located on the border between Kizzuwatna and Tarhuntassa regions in the 15th century BC reveal the extensive defense system.

The Muwazi bulla dated to the 15th century BC, a hieroglyphic seal impression on a pottery handle belonging to the city lord Targasna dated to the 14th century BC and a seal impression which belonged to a soldier, Parnapi, found within a cremation urn type grave dated to the 13th century BC may be seen as evidence of a hierarchical society at Soli in the Late Bronze AgeMonochrome ware with potmarks, string-impressed wares, cross-hatched decorated pottery, wavy line pottery, Cypriot White Slip milk bowls, Red- Lustrous Wheel made ware (pilgrim flasks and arm-shaped vessels) are among the most characteristic ware of the period. The presence of a mould made of sandstone consisting of an axe and a sickle is a clear indicator of the metal craftsmanship in the city. There are different suggestions on the ancient name of the city. The name of Soli in the 2nd millennium BC might have been Ura or Ellipra.

Parnapi Seal Impression, 13th century BC

Juglet, Hittite Imperial Period

 

The Iron Age
The Iron Age at Soli Hoyiik is represented by a rich ceramic repertoire in parallel with Tarsus. Most of them are dated to the Middle to Late Iron Age. Body fragments of concentric circles with or without metopes and those with horizontal bands, monochrome (purple, black, brown) or bichrome ware (black on red) are examples of the Iron Age repertoire and most of them are locally produced or related to Cyprus.

The Archaic Period
The architectural terra cottas excavated in the western and eastern slopes of the mound are the main group that represents the Archaic period. Architectural plaque fragments with depictions of sphinx and male figures, roof tiles with lotus-palmette decoration, fragments of antefixes with volute-palmette decoration, sima fragments with meander reliefs and waterspouts are unique finds in Cilicia. Their presence at the acropolis of Soli seems to strengthen the arguments on the East Greek colonization (apoikia) and its borders. Bird bowls from the 7th century BC, oinochoe sherds in Wild Goat Style, wavy lines from the 6th century BC, Ionian bowls, East Greek lebetes and Corinthian pottery sherds are other clear indicators of the close relations of Soli, a Rhodos- Lindos colony, with the Greek world in the 7th and 6th century BC.

Fikellura Krater Fragment, Archaic Period

Terra Cotta Plaque, Archaic Period

The Classical Period
The classical period is represented by fewer examples. A red-figure pottery sherd with a nude female together with an Eros figure holding a box and flax and other sherds with Dionysus- Menad decoration maybe cited among the finds from the 5th and 4th century BC.

Coin of Soli, 5th century BC

The Hellenistic Period
Most of the pottery from the Hellenistic Period come from the thick ash filled layer under the Roman theater: glazed and roulette-palmette impressed pottery, moulded bowls (Megarian bowls), West Slope pottery, terra cotta lamps, stamped amphora handles from Rhodos, Knidos, Thasos and Cyprus, unguentarium, pyramidal or disc shaped weights, Tanagra type terra cotta figurine heads are among the most remarkable Hellenistic examples. The presence of a mould of a seated goddess (Kybele?) provides evidence of the production of this kind of figurines at Soli.


The Roman Period
The latest remains and finds of Soli Hoyuk are a defense tower which destroyed most of the levels in the mound, a broken block with inscriptions of the names of the mayors of Pompeiopolis, terra sigilatta pottery, and the theater of the city which adjoins the mound. A villa dated to the Byzantine period is located on the southern slope of the mound.