Origins of Ancient Asia Minor Settlers Discussed in Archaeology Lecture at Lawrence University

Yasar Ersoy, assistant professor of archeaology at Turkey’s Bilkent University, will discuss the latest research regarding the origins of the 1st millenium B.C. Ionian settlements of western Asia Minor Monday, April 3 in an Archaeological Institute of America address at Lawrence University.

Ersoy presents the slide-illustrated lecture “Early Iron Age Archaeology and Culture of the Eastern Aegean” at 7:30 p.m. in Lawrence’s Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public and includes an informal reception with the speaker following the address.

While previous scholarship suggested the settlements along the western coast of what is now modern Turkey were founded by people from the Athens area of southern Greece, Ersoy says new material evidence points to immigrants more likely arriving from central and northern Greece and even from Troy in northwest Asia Minor.

His presentation will focus on recent archeaological investigations in the ancient cities of Clazomenae, which is near the present-day city of Izmir, Turkey, Ephesos, an important commercial center on the mouth of the Cayster River, considered by scholars to be among the most beautiful cities of the ancient world and Troy, the legendary gateway between Europe and Asia that enjoyed a 4,000-year existence.

A specialist in the Aegean Bronze Age and Greek art and archaeology, Ersoy taught at Ege University in Izmir before joining the faculty at Bilkent in 1997. He is the assistant director of excavations at Clazomenae and is currently working on the stratigraphy and artifactual assemblages of industrial districts of Archaic Clazomenae.

He earned a master’s and doctorate degree in classical archaeology from Bryn Mawr College in 1993.