Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


10 November 2013

Domestic architecture in the Early Bronze Age of western Anatolia: the row-houses of Troy I

Mariya Ivanova Anatolian Studies 63 (2013): 17-33.


Excavators have put forward opposing interpretations of the architectural sequence at the Early Bronze Age site of Troy. C.W. Blegen suggested that freestanding ‘megaron’ houses determined the visual pattern of the earliest settlement, while M.O. Korfmann compared Troy I to the circular layout of the Early Bronze Age site at Demircihüyük (the ‘Anatolian settlement plan’). Post-excavation analysis of the archaeological record from the excavations (1987-1992) in ‘Schliemann’s Trench’ at Troy suggests a modification of the views of both Blegen and Korfmann. The local building tradition at Troy I was characterised by flat-roofed, long-room dwellings arranged in rows and sharing lateral walls. This peculiar settlement layout, recurrent at coastal and inland sites in the western part of Anatolia during the early centuries of the third millennium BC but unfamiliar at this lime in the neighbouring regions of central Asia Minor and the Aegean, can be described as an Anatolian ‘row-house’ style. The present study applies the concept of vernacular architecture to the architectural record of Troy I and other contemporary ‘row-house’ sites to elucidate the social and cultural factors that shaped the domestic architectural traditions of early third-millennium western Asia Minor.


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