Situated in the town of Yeşilova in the province of Aksaray (part of the world-renowned Cappadocia region), Acemhöyük is one of the largest ancient settlements in Central Anatolia.
Acemhöyük is one of the largest ancient settlements in Central Anatolia. The site has been under excavation since 1962.
The earliest findings in Acemhöyük are dated back to the Early Bronze Age (3000BC-1200BC) which makes this settlement at least 5000 years old. This site supposedly served as the capital city of the Kingdom of Burushaddum, one of the local kingdoms that ruled the area during the Assyrian Trade Colonies Era. As the historical sources suggest, the kingdom played an important role in commerce between Anatolia, Syria and Mesopotamia.
In the middle of the 17th century BC, due to an unknown reason, Acemhöyük was decimated in a fire. Soon after the catastrophe, the residents of the settlement permanently deserted Acemhöyük. After a long period of absence, the town was resettled in the Iron Age and until the Roman era, it went on as a small community.
The modern-day Turkish town of Yeşilova, where Acemhöyük is located, was founded by 3 nomadic groups that were brought to the area from South Azerbaijan (modern-day Iran) following the Çaldıran Military Campaign which was initiated by the Ottoman Sultan Selim I.
The notable remnants
The palaces of Sarıkaya and Hatipler are the two most notable spots to see in Acemhöyük. Sarıkaya Palace was used for administrative purposes, whereas Hatipler Palace had more of a royal use. During the excavations on the ruins of the Hatipler Palace, a kitchen with 14 ovens and residential units were unearthed. Sarıkaya Palace excavations revealed that the ground floor of this double storey structure had 50 rooms in total, which marked it as the largest Early Bronze era strurcture unearthed in Anatolia.
Moreover, the seals, bronze&silver ingots, vessels recovered in the are which greatly illimunate the social life in Acemhöyük can be seen today at Aksaray Museum.
Acemhöyük does not have specific visiting hours. However, I would suggest you visit the site in standard work hours which are from 9am to 5pm.
There is no entrance fee to the site.
Acemhöyük is surrounded by fences to protect the site, however, there is no full-time security. When I entered the area, Hüseyin, the son of the guard, approched to welcome and guided me along my visit.
You can park your vehicle right in front of the entrance of Acemhöyük for free.
Where is Acemhöyük?
Acemhöyük is located in the town of Yeşilova, 19km (a 20-minute drive) away from downtown Aksaray.