Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Country / Turkey

Duluk Baba Tepesi

Info Sections
Duluk Baba Tepesi

About the site

Corridor: Diagonal Road
Country: Turkey, Gaziantep
Type: Cultural Landscape
Epoch: Middle Ages, Antiquity
World Heritage:
Middle AgesAntiquityCultural Landscape

The site of Doliche (modern Duluk) is located about 10 km north-west of Gaziantep. It is being excavated by Engelbert Winter and a team from the University of Munster. From 1997 to 2000 the expedition investigated two Mithraeums at Doliche, and it is now working at Duluk Baba Tepesi, 3 km from Doliche.
Since the summer of 2001 the Forschungsstelle Asia Minor, University of Munster, has been investigating the hill top of the Duluk Baba Tepesi in the vicinity of the ancient town of Doliche. Although suspected for a long time, it has now been established with certainty that the main sanctuary of the god Jupiter Dolichenus was located here. Substantial architectural remains clearly belong to the temenos of Jupiter Dolichenus. A bronze votive tablet inscribed with the words "to the god from Doliche who is listening ..." and a further dedication to "Jupiter Optimus Maximus" attest to a cult of Jupiter Dolichenus on the Dülük Baba Tepesi.
Numerous finds from the 6th and 5th centuries BC close the previously existing gap between attestations to the worship of the Iron Age god Tesub-Hadad and the Roman cult. Among these 473 pearls and amulet-stones stand out, as well as 91 stamp seals and 22 cylinder-seals. These were found in a layer of ash associated with sacrificial rituals that date to a period before the Hellenistic-Roman phase of the sanctuary. Several finds, such as the head of a small bronze statue of Osiris, miniature grotesques of Syrian-Phoenician origin, scarabs from the Levant and Attic black-figure pottery of the 6th and 5th centuries, which had not been attested in Commagene before, reveal the "international" role of this religious centre.
The Duluk Baba Tepesi is one of very few cult sites in northern Syria and south-eastern Anatolia where uninterrupted sacrificial activity is attested from the early first millennium BC to the destruction of the sanctuary by Sapur I in AD 235/36 - a stroke of luck that sheds much light on the continuity of cult and the religious history of the region. Moreover, finds of the Christian and Islamic periods suggest that the prominent site was in use even after the pagan cult had ceased to exist.

Expert Network