The excavations have started here in 2001 after a protocol signed by Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ege University and Municipality of Kuşadası. The final aim of the project is to restore the castle. This castle and the tumulus where it rests on has been igonered for such a long time though it has been surrounded by the summer houses despite of its history of 6 thousand years. It started to gain her importance while being eroded by the nature and being sacked by the thieves. That’s why the efforts of the Municipalty of Kuşadası  was quite vital..

  In the nineth season of the excavations (summer 2009) the below mentioned   experts  have been working actively under the management of Prof. Dr. Zeynep   Mercangöz,  the head of the excavation: Ass. Prof.   Emine Tok  and  from Ege   University Art  History Department, Ass. Prof. Ahmet Uhri from 9 Eylül University,   Lecturer Yalçın  Mergen and  Lecturer Mehmet Kahyaoğlu from Dokuz Eylül   University, M.A Sinan  Mimaroğlu,M.A Filiz İnanan  and Archaeologist Levent   Kutbay . In adiditon to above  mentioned experts many undergraduate and master   students are in the excavation  team.

A castle lost in the concrete jungle of the summer houses and only 8 kms south of Kuşadası has been called as “Kadıkalesi” by the natives. It has been identified with Anaia, a satelite of Samos and a hoop within Bynzatine cirle of defense against the Turks built in the 12th century on a tumulus dating back to the prehistoric ages.
The site has been excavated since 2001 by a team from Ege University with the supports of Kuşadası Municipality and Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the mistries of the castle have been brought to light one bye one.
The Kadıkale tumulus should have had quite a different landscape in the early antiquity. The findings show that the earliest settlement started here in the early bronze age (3rd millenium B.C.E.).
The bronze statue of  a Hittite god or a warrior found in 2002 will bring new ideas for the history of the region for the 2nd millenum B.C.E. Both the Hittite statue and the legends telling that the city of Anai was founded by an Amazon queen tell us that this town was quite a strategic spot for the Hittites.
The number of the protogeometic pottery received through excavations claim that  Kuşadası Kadıkalesi/Anaia was an importatn center in the Greek colonization period starting from 1050 B.C.E. Pottery findings dated to the following periods also show the long term contiunity of the habitation in the town.
We first meet the name Anaia within the tax paying towns to Attic-Delos Union in the 5th Century B.C.E. She also played an important role in the Peloponnessos war in the second half of the same century. Though she was of less importance during the Hellenistic period (3rd-2nd Century B.C.E.), the tomb stones indicates the presence of a temple dedicated to Hera in the Roman period (2nd-3rd century C.E.)
According to the sources, Anaia remained as an important town as a bishop seat after Christianity became official relegion (4th Century C.E.). Located on a strategic spot, Anai always attracted all the great powers which had advantages in the Aegean Sea. The attacks of the Turks to the Western Anatolia should have led the Komnenian Emperors to protect the town with a castle. But the town could not stay within the Byzantine Empire for long since it was given to the Genoesians with the treaty fo Nymphaion signed in 1261. Through the following 50 years the area was occupied by the Genosians, the Venetians, the Catalans and the Turks.According to the historians Anaia was captured by the Turks in the early 1300s. In the 14th century the area was under the rule of Aydınoglu Emirate and then in the 15th century it became under the rule of Ottomans. We don’t know exactly when the town changed her name into Anya and her location to today’s Soğucak village but getting a lesser harbour to Kuşadası from 16th century and on could have been caused by her harbour filled up and got shallow sharing the same destiny with Ephesos.

In fact the aim of the excavations started in Kadıkalesi in 2001 was to do some clearing and let the castle seen with all its magnificense. However the excavations here will also brought some light to some unknown parts of its history. In addition to its contribition to the archaeology of the region, it will become a major higlight  of Kuşadası which get hundreds of thousands people in the summer time when still existing castle is being conserved and restored.


Prof.Dr. Zeynep MERCANGÖZ

Ege Üniversitesi Edebiyat Fakültesi Sanat Tarihi Bölümü
                                                                      Bornava / İZMİR

Tel :   +90 232 388 40 00   Dahili: 1323
e-mail :

Karaova mevkii, Kadıkalesi mahallesi,Nazilli Sitesi
                                                                   Kuşadası / AYDIN

Tel :   +90 256 633 49 73
Kuşadası Contact :   Arkeolog Levent KUTBAY
Tel :   +90 536 355 81 71
e-mail :