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Some examples of imported Cypriot glazed ceramics found in the Alanya Castle excavations
The large quantity and the wide variety of imported wares that have been uncovered in excavations at Alanya since 1985 indicate that during the Middle Ages the city continued and gained in wealth from trade. The imported wares consist of Port St. Symeon wares, Chinese celadon, Italian proto-majolica, Zeuxippos wares and Cypriote painted sgraffito wares, mainly dated to the 13th-15th centuries.

The present article studies 32 examples selected from the imported wares uncovered at the Seljuk palace and church inside the Citadel (İçkale), at the Seljuk Hammam just outside the Citadel, at the chapel known as “Arap Evliyası (Arab saint)” in the fortress and from the area behind the shipyard (Tersane); the typological and stylistic evaluation of this material is followed by an attempt to identify the chronology and the production centres. The examples examined parallel Cypriote pottery in respect to form, paste and stylistic features. Thus, the Zeuxippos wares with incised decoration under monochromatic glaze and Zeuxippos wares with incised decoration and slip under monochromatic glaze and Zeuxippos wares with bichromatic painted incised-sgraffito decoration are dated to the first half of the 13th century based on excavation data and from parallel examples from Paphos-Saranda Kolones; the painted sgraffito wares are dated to the 14th-15th centuries from excavation data and parallel examples from Enkomi, Lapithos, Lemba, Chrysoplitissa and Episkopi.

The glazed pottery trade from Cyprus to Alanya in the Middle Ages began, according to excavation data, together with Zeuxippos and Port St. Symeon wares, in the first half of the 13th century. Interestingly no finds from the 11th-12th centuries were recovered from the excavations of Alanya but finds increase from the 13th century onwards and this indicates that the city revived with the Seljuk conquest. In Alanya, which gives the impression from these excavations of being an abandoned city throughout the 11th and 12th centuries, the port then seems to have revived as attested from the increasing amount of finds from the 13th century onwards. Therefore, the Seljuk conquest of Alanya in 1221 can be proposed as a Terminus ante quem for the dating of imported medieval Cypriote wares (13th-15th centuries).

Imported wares found at Alanya carry importance as they provide evidence of the intensive commercial relations between Alanya and Cyprus beginning in the 13th century and continuing, probably to the late 15th century. However, the Cypriote wares of the 14th-15th centuries are not only found at Alanya but also at Antalya, Anamur, Kyaneai, Hoyran, Sillyon and Kelenderis, all along the Mediterranean coast of Anatolia and this fact may be linked with the role of the Lusignan Cypriot Kingdom in Mediterranean trade and their short period of sovereignty along the Anatolian coastline.

*Yrd. Doç. Dr. S. Bilici
Gazi Üniversitesi G.E.F. Güzel Sanatlar Bölümü, Ankara.
E-mail: sbilici@gazi.edu.tr

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