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Notion, Turkey

Director: Christopher Ratté

Notion is a well preserved and almost completely unexcavated Greek city on the western coast in Turkey. The name, Notion, “the place to the south,” refers to its relationship with ancient Kolophon, only 15 kilometers inland. Notion is also close to Claros, Ephesos, and Teos. The site was occupied from the early first millennium BCE until the Middle Ages, and it played an important role in the history of the surrounding region in all periods, from the Ionian migration to the fall of the Roman Empire.

Notion covers an area of approximately 35 hectares, enclosed by 3-kilometer-long fortifications. The major monuments of the Classical city, such as the theater and the street grid, are clearly visible in satellite imagery. The first goals of a new program of archaeological research at Notion, begun in 2014 with the sponsorship of the University of Michigan and Brown University, are to make a new map of the site and to begin to develop a long-term conservation plan. The mapping of the site will use a battery of different techniques, including low-altitude photogrammetric survey, geophysical prospection, and documentation of standing architectural remains. The goals of the site management plan are to secure the preservation of the site and to pave the way for responsible development of its touristic potential, in connection both with neighboring archaeological resources and with attractive harbors on both sides of the ancient city.

Notion is an ideal laboratory for the study of the long-term history of a Graeco-Roman city in Anatolia, from the late Bronze Age through the medieval era. Archaeological research at the site will contribute valuable new information on major issues of contemporary west Anatolian archaeology and secure the future of this invaluable cultural resource.