The historical archaeology of the Early Ottomans : a new perspective on arguments about the foundation of the Ottoman Empire
This dissertation aims to evaluate the socio-economic structure of the Early Ottoman Period, and is based on an archaeological approach to reconstructing the early Ottoman state and its foundation. In this context, the settlement patterns of the region between Eskişehir and Bilecik and their reflection on settlement distribution and modification from the Late Byzantine to Early Ottoman Periods will be analyzed and interpreted using archaeological and historical data through the reconstruction of the Early Ottoman landscape in the region. The dissertation first examines archeological evidence relating to the Late Byzantine and Early Ottoman periods, including pottery and architecture. In the second part, it presents the extant evidence for and critical analyses of the relevant historical data dating a period from Mantzikert to Bapheus Battles. Through these evidences, the collected data from archaeological survey in the research area in Eskişehir and Bilecik provinces are analyzed. In this analysis, the data is discussed in the methodology of historical archaeology, especially documentary archaeology based on examining archaeological artifacts and historical texts together. Lastly, this study investigates the settlement patterns of Early Ottoman State in the research area and its reflection of social and cultural phenomenon characterized by the frontier (uç) cultural atmosphere. The research area was the conjunction and interaction area for two main cultural complexes, which were newcomers Turkmens and local Byzantines. The effect of these two cultural complexes to the settlement pattern was based on settlement strategies in the topography and the frontier social and cultural phenomenon in the both societies. In this context, the restricted and problematic topography and the pastoralist system determined the cultural, political and economic landscapes.