Kane

Historical background

By E. Laufer, F. Pirson

 The ancient site of Kane or Kanai is known by literary sources and by only few inscriptions. The sources indicate a Greek colony of Aeolian origin, which had been a polis at least in Classical and Hellenistic period (Oldfather 1919; Stauber 1996a: 273-283). According to Pliny the city was abandoned in his lifetime, like most neighbouring sites along the northern Pergamene coast (nat. hist. V 122,1). The identification of the ancient remains at modern Bademli as the ancient Kane, confirmed for the first time by Schuchhardt (Schuchhardt 1887, 1209), is very convincing due to all indication of the written sources (e.g. the topographical position opposite the southern corner of Lesbos) and the lack of other unidentified urban sites along the coast of the Kane-Peninsula.

Kane, view of the peninsula with the ancient site (from SW) Kane, view of the peninsula with the ancient site (from SW) (DAI, Pergamongrabung)

Archaeological background

By E. Laufer, F. Pirson

The ancient remains near modern Bademli were mentioned by Schuchhardt in a few sentences only (Schuchhardt 1887: 1209; Schuchhardt 1913: 118). Later on, only Stauber (Stauber 1996a: 273-283 and Stauber 1996b: passim) published a summary of the written, epigraphic and numismatic sources, combined with some brief remarks about the topography.

In 2014 and 2015 the site of Kane was studied by an international team of archaeologists, architects, geophysicists and geoarchaeologists led by F. Pirson (German Archaeological Institute department Istanbul, director of the Pergamum Excavation) (Pirson 2015a; Laufer forthcoming). An archaeological survey was focussed on the promontory with the ancient remains along the beach and in the shallow water; most of them belong to housing areas or to infrastructure buildings related to the harbour zone. The documentation of the architectural remains was supported by a survey of the ceramics. Geophysical research was conducted in the central urban area as well as (by boat) in the small western bay, where the seismic measurement enabled to create a 3D-model of the bay with its presumable harbour basin. The geoarchaeological work was concentrated on corings in an alluvial zone east of the city, to reconstruct the ancient maritime topography. The work in the city Kane lasted five weeks in 2014 and was finished in 2015, when the area of research was extended to other sites of the Kane Peninsula (cf. Pitane).

Kane, slope of the peninsula at the eastern bay, with remains of ancient housing area (view from N) Kane, slope of the peninsula at the eastern bay, with remains of ancient housing area (view from N) (DAI, Pergamongrabung)

The „Kane Regional Harbour Survey” is part of the Portus Limen Network and funded by the ERC.

Archaeological Survey: members of German Archaeological Institute, University Bochum, University of Cologne, Technical University Regensburg, University Munich, University Izmir; Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Geodesy).

Geophysics: Kiel University, University Southampton/British School at Rome.

Geoarchaeology: University of Cologne.

Geomorphological background

By E. Laufer, F. Pirson

Kane is situated in the northwestern corner of a mountainous peninsula (also named ‚Kane’ in antiquity, today Karadağ Peninsula) of volcanic origin, ca. 30 km west of Pergamum. The ancient city covered a promontory of limestone rock with a length of ca. 400 m (north-south) and a width of ca. 150 m. It is flanked by two bays to the east and west. A third bay, also used for cabotage until today, is situated in a distance of ca. 1 km to the south. Its northern end (close to modern Bademli) is silt up today. Geoarchaeological corings in the alluvial transect to the eastern bay have recently confirmed that a former euripos existed between the two bays. In conclusion, the small peninsula with the promontory of the city Kane once had been an island. The chronological analysis of the process of silting is ongoing work by geoarchaeologists from Cologne University (Brückner – Seeliger forthcoming); according to the Ottoman map of Piri Reis, the marine connection between the bays did not exist any more in the 16th century. This preliminary result is very important not only for the topography of ancient Kane but also for the discussion on the famous Arginusae islands (two of which are situated further to the south), and it has attracted attention in Turkish, Greek and worldwide press in autumn 2015 (Pirson 2015b).

Kane, harbour area in the western bay with a submerged wall (quay?) Kane, harbour area in the western bay with a submerged wall (quay?) (DAI, Pergamongrabung)

Importance in the Roman harbour network

By E. Laufer, F. Pirson

The „Kane Regional Harbour Survey”-Project offers the chance to study a coastal micro-region, with a hierarchy of major and minor ports and bays suitable for cabotage in antiquity. According to ancient sources, harbours like Kane were connected to regional maritime routes in north-south and in east-west-direction, while others – for example minor bays on the coast of the peninsula – may have been of rather local importance. The region is also a good example to study the obvious changes in the importance and frequentation of harbour sites during the Roman period compared to the Greek. The interdisciplinary research on Kane in 2014-2015 can also confirm the importance of collaboration between archaeology, geophysics and geoarchaeology for research on ancient coastal sites.

References

  • Brückner – Seeliger forthcoming: H. Brückner – M. Seeliger in: F. Pirson, Pergamon – Bericht über die Arbeiten in der Kampagne 2015, Archäologischer Anzeiger 2016/2 (forthcoming).
  • Laufer forthcoming: E. Laufer, Survey auf der Kane-Halbinsel (Kane Regional Harbour Survey) 2014, in: F. Pirson, Pergamon – Bericht über die Arbeiten in der Kampagne 2014, Archäologischer Anzeiger 2015/2 (forthcoming).
  • Oldfather 1919: Paulys Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft vol. X (Stuttgart 1919) 1849-1853 s. v. Kanai (Oldfather).
  • Pirson 2015a: F. Pirson, Pergmon, Türkei. Die Arbeiten des Jahres 2014, e-Forschungsberichte des DAI, 2015 Faszikel 3, 177-180, (07.12.2015).
  • Pirson 2015b: F. Pirson, Geoarchäologen finden dritte Arginusen-Insel (16.10.2015), (07.12.2015).
  • Schuchhardt 1887: C. Schuchhardt, Vorläufiger Bericht über eine Bereisung der pergamenischen Landschaft, Sitzungsberichte der Königlich Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin, Phil.-hist. Klasse 53, 1887, 1207-1214.
  • Schuchhardt 1913: C. Schuchhardt in: A. Conze – O. Berlet – A. Philippson u. a., Stadt und Landschaft, Altertümer von Pergamon vol. I,1 (Berlin 1913).
  • Stauber 1996a: J. Stauber, Die Bucht von Adramytteion vol. I, Inschriften griechischer Städte aus Kleinasien vol. 50 (Wien 1996).
  • Stauber 1996b: J. Stauber, Die Bucht von Adramytteion vol. I, Inschriften griechischer Städte aus Kleinasien vol. 51 (Wien 1996).

 

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