About the Mound

Hacımusalar is a mound (höyük in Turkish), which is a multi-period archaeological settlement in southwest Turkey. The mound is only 12 km to the town of Elmalı. Elmalı is about 100 km west of Antalya metropolitan city. It takes about 1,5 hrs to get to the excavation house at Elmalı from the International Airport at Antalya by car.


Hacımusalar Mound measures 300x350 meters (approx. 10,5 ha) and rises 13 meters above the Plain. Elmalı Plain was visited by travelers in 19th century and the first systematic archaeological research on the Plain was conducted by Machteld J. Mellink in 1960s. Archaeological research at Hacımusalar Mound started in 1994. Between 1994 and 2003, Hacımusalar was a field school with the contributions from Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) in the USA. Between 2003 and 2018 various teams worked at the site. The first phase of the research, 1994-2018 was carried out by Bilkent University (Ankara).


The new phase of archaeological research at Hacımusalar Mound, started in 2022, focuses on the past human – environment dynamics. The research team, led by Istanbul Technical University, will build an interdisciplinary field school that will reconstruct the past environmental conditions across the Plain through geology and geoarchaeology. Concurrently, the research on the Mound will focus on resource extraction, patterns of resource use, development of ancient technologies as well as changes in socio-economic development and organization at the site through time. 

Istanbul Technical University Elmalı Field School

The ITU Field School at Elmalı aims to train undergraduate and graduate students from diverse but related fields to archaeology in field methods. Archaeological excavation is at the core of the field methods. There are nine complementing branches, each of which will be covered in the Field School by experts and academicians. 


This field school represents the new paradigm in archaeology where complex and inter-related human-environment dynamics will be assessed from a multitude of perspectives. In order to unravel the time-transgressive patterns in these dynamics, it is important to correlate human behavior in its natural context.


The ITU Field School will bring together experts and students for an intensive collaboration at the intersection of earth sciences and behavioral sciences. Wide variety of earth sciences methods to be employed to answer questions concerning human decision-making processes and natural processes will guide our assessments of cultural evolution. 


Training the new generation of researchers with interdisciplinary knowledge and perspective is imperative for sustaining the research on human-environment relationships. The ITU Field School will provide the ultimate environment where young researchers will be exposed to such diverse applications of scientific methods.


The new phase of archaeological research at Hacımusalar Mound will emphasize how past climatic and environmental conditions were across the Plain, how these conditions changed through time, to what extent anthropogenic impacts due to farming and herding were responsible for such environmental changes. Additionally, the new research will attempt to understand which resources human groups focused on and how these resources changed through time. Inter-regional demands as well as technological innovations may be responsible for these changes in resource use and extraction patterns.