Tilmen Höyük - Ancient Khashum
Tilmen Höyük is located in the Gaziantep Province in southeastern Turkey, at the bend of Karasu River, among vast wetlands. The peaks of the Amanus and Kurt mountain ranges are visible far away, on the horizon.
In 1955, Professor Uluğ Bahadır Alkım from the University of Istanbul started a research project in the İslahiye Valley, including extensive surveys which identified the site of Tilmen. Excavations began in 1959 under the auspices of the Istanbul University, the Turkish Historical Society, and the Ministry of Culture and lasted until 1972. After a 30-year break, work at Tilmen Höyük resumed by Professor Refik Duru. In 2002, he started preliminary restoration works at Tilmen aided the following year when a research consortium was established, with Nicolò Marchetti from the University of Bologna. During the campaigns, extensive excavation and renovation works were carried out with the main research focus on the Middle Bronze Age occupations. The studies also identified occupation during the Late Bronze Age, as well as Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods.
Most of the structures currently visible in the area of the Tilmen Mound date back to the 2nd millennium BCE. It was the period of the biggest prosperity of the settlement.