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Writer: Yavuz İşçen
May 2009

Called Tuvanuva during Hittite Period
The ancient city is located in the territory of Kemerhisar borough, which is 20 km southwest of Niğde. The name of the city during the ancient period was Tyana but its name was given during the Hittites as Tuvanuva. It is known that the center of Late Hittite City States, established in region covering today’s Nevşehir, Kayseri and Niğde was Tuvanuva.

Called Tyana during Roman Period
During the ancient times the connection road of south was passing through the biggest centers like Ankara, Konya, Aksaray and Kayseri and as well as Tyana and then over Gülek Gullet towards Taurus Mountains. Later on during the spreading out the Christianity this road became famous as ‘Pilgrims Road’, the road to Jerusalem. In Cappadocia three centers of Roman domination period are taking attention. These are Kayseri (Casearea), can be accepted as the center of Cappadocia province, Kemerhisar (Tyana) and Avanos (Venessa). Roman and Byzantine periods are the most glamorous periods of the city. The name Tyana was given to the city during this period.  Water arches and Roma Pool as well as Jove Temple ruins, close to the city were constructed during this period.

Called Tyana during Byzantine Period
During the period of Julianus Apostata, the Roman Empire (361-363), in order to decrease the influence of Basileos, Archbishop of Kayseri, various oppressions were organized. Because of not having satisfactory results from the oppressions, the Empire Valents, divided Cappadocia province into two in 372 as north and south. The idea of this division was again to reduce the influence of Basileos in Kayseri. After the division, the capital of north Cappadocia was Kayseri and the capital of south was Tyana. In this way Tyana became a center of archbishop. It is known that during this period, centers like Aksaray, Nazianzos (Bekarlar Village) and Mokisos (Viranşehir) were connected to Tyana in terms of religion.

Called Kilisehisar during Ottoman Period
As the Arab invasions started to Anatolia, Tyana became an everlasting conflict topic between Byzantines and Arabs and it passed through various hands. In this period, Tyana damaged quite alot and conquered on 810 by Harun Reşit, the Caliph of Abbacies and on 830 by Memun the Caliph. That period, a mosque was constructed in the city. We know that Tyana started loosing its importance by the death of Memun and then collapsed by the Arabian invasions later on. After that, Niğde and Bor became more important within the region. Tyana, named Kilisehisar during Ottoman period, afterwards called as Kemerhisar because of the attractive water arches.

Archeological Excavation is going on in Tyana...
Today’s Kemerhisar completely constructed upon the remains of the old city. That’s why it seems impossible to bring out the whole city to the light. Since 2001, Italian excavation teams have been working in Tyana ancient city. During these studies, Prof. Dr. Rosada, the team leader of the excavation, found out a Roman Bath and a church of 5th century. The excavations are continuing in the region.

Note: This article has been published in Peribacası Cappadocia Culture and Publicity Magazine, May 2009 issue. It is under protection of the copyrights of the magazine. No part of this article may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by electronic, mechanical or other means without prior permission from the owner.

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Reading Reading: 4034 Eklenme Tarihi Date: 2009-06-23

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