Yazilikaya/Midas Valley Akpara Kale Tombs

Tamsü Polat R.

OLBA, vol.26, pp.261-283, 2018 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 26
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Journal Name: OLBA
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.261-283
  • Keywords: Highlands of Phrygia, Yazilikaya/Midas Valley, Akpara Kale, Arcosolium Tombs, Chamber Rock-cut Tombs
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


The area between cities of Eskisehir, Kutahya, and Afyonkarahisar is defined today as "Mountainous Phrygia / The Highlands of Phrygia". There are some deep valleys located in this geographical area in the south and southeast of the Highlands of Phrygia. Yazilikaya-Midas Valley and Kumbet Valley are seated approximately 70 km south of Eskisehir, while Kohnus and Karababa Valleys are seated further south at approximately 30 km north of Afyonkarahisar. There are also some smaller valleys such as Findik Valley in the southeast of Eskisehir near the Findik Village, one of the central villages of Kutahya, and Inli Valley in close proximity to the village of Ovacik. Phrygian settlements are located on high rocky plateaus that surround the valleys, while rock tombs are found in the skirts of rocky plateaus along with rock monuments -dedicated to Matar the Mother Goddess- that reflect the most unique examples of Phrygian Culture and spiritual architecture. Thus, these valleys are identified with Phrygians and called as "Phrygian Valleys" although inhabited by different cultures at different periods. Among Mountainous Phrygia, the Yazilikaya-Midas Valley contains the most monumental and unique examples of the Phrygian Civilization. Rock cut monuments here were inhabited from the Prehistoric Period until the Ottoman Period. Akpara Kale, one of the fortress-like settlements, resides in the farthermost point of this valley. Akpara Kale is at the gate of the Yazilikaya Valley and is inhabited from Phrygian Period into the Byzantine Period. The focus of this paper are the rock tombs built on the rocky skirts of a small hill at the north of Akpara Kale. The area contains two different types of tombs, those featuring arcosolium tombs and those with chamber tombs carved in the rocks.