Naomi's Gordion projects

New movie!
Goat to Sweater

New! Walking Tours around Gordion
Download webpages to your electronic device, or bring a printout of the pdf; wifi will not be available out in the field.
Gordion Landscape Overview, the view from Tumulus P [Download pdf]
Gordion: Tumulus MM Circuit, for the views inside and outside the great Tumulus [Download pdf]
Gordion: The Historical Landscape, a longer walk gives a better sense of the landscape; try to go early in the morning or late in the afternoon [Download pdf]
Gordion Citadel Mound Circuit, a supplement to the excellent signage posted at the site [Download pdf]

Yeni! Gordion Çevresinde Yürüyüş Turları
Tur sırasında kablosuz internet bağlantısı olmayacağı için sayfayı elektronik cihazınıza indirmeniz veya önümüzdeki gelen ekteki pdf dökümanlarının birer çıktısını alıp yanınızda bulundurmanız tavsiye edilir.
Gordion Peyzajı, Tümülüs P'den görünümü
Tümülüs MM Turu, büyük tümülüsün hem içini hem de dışını yakından incelemenizi sağlar.
Gordion: Tarihi Peyzaj, uzun bir yürüyüş peyzajı daha iyi anlamamıza yardımcı olur; bu tura sabah erken saatlerde veya akşama doğru gitmeniz tavsiye edilir.
Gordion İçkale Höyüğü Turu, sit alanındaki bilgilendirme levhalarını tamamlayıcı bir turdur. Önümüzdeki gelen tur

Gordion watercolors:

Gordion Tumulus update: irrigation continues; in addition to destroying the tumuli, it is also changing the water balance so that the endemic steppe plants are disappearing rapidly.







Glimpse the future:

If you have a couple of hours to kill, there are two Gordion lectures available on line:
Past, Present and Future of the Landscape in the Land of King Midas: Gordion, Turkey (March 4, 2009, Oriental Institute) and
Gordion: Open-Air Archaeological Site as Garden, Historical Landscape as Park (March 2, 2011, University of Pennsylvania Museum)

Also, here are some Penn Museum blog posts about Gordion:


Gordion (ca. 800 B.C.) landscape reconstruction

Read all about it in Arkeoloji ve Sanat, no. 93 (1999), pp. 12-17 ("Erosion, Biodiversity, and Archaeology: Preserving the Midas Tumulus at Gordion/Erozyon Bioçeşitlilik ve Arkeoloji: Gordion'daki Midas Höyüğü'nün Korunması")

Here's a link via to Gordion: Managing an Open-Air Archaeological Site as a Garden, which is the unabridged version of "Working with Nature to Preserve Site and Landscape at Gordion," in The Archaeology of Phrygian Gordion, Royal City of Midas, edited by C. Brian Rose, pp. 243-258. University of Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia (2012).

Plants of Gordion, a work in progress

Mudball: the Movie, an experiment in building conservation

Penn Museum blog post of Angora goats

My Gordion-related publications


Miller, Naomi F.
2010 Botanical Aspects of Environment and Economy at Gordion, Turkey. Gordion Special Studies 5. University of Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia.
If you have the book, but the accompanying CD is corrupted, you can download all the data and color photos from the tDAR 'The Digital Archaeological Record' website. It's a little tricky to figure out, so don't be discouraged.

Gordion was the capital of ancient Phrygia and reputed home of King Midas (c. 800 B.C.). Its monuments include the Midas Mound (Tumulus MM), over a hundred smaller burial mounds, and the ancient city of Gordion itself. In 1988 and 1989, excavations directed by Mary M. Voigt concentrated on a deep sounding that uncovered deposits dating between the Late Bronze Age and the Medieval period. This volume includes discussion of the wood charcoal and seed data from those excavations. Substantial supporting documentation of the archaeobotanical remains and the present-day vegetation of the region are duplicated in digital format on the accompanying CD-rom, which also has some attractive photographs of landscape and plants. This book provides detailed discussion of and all the archaeobotanical data supporting Miller, Zeder and Arter (2009), description below.

Miller, Naomi F.
2015 Gordion. In The Archaeology of Food: An Encyclopedia, vol. 1, eds. Mary Beaudry and Karen Metheny, pp. 239-241. Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland. [Download pdf]

Marston, John M. and Naomi F. Miller
2014 Intensive Agriculture and Land Use at Roman Gordion, Central Turkey. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany.

This paper argues that the Roman period saw unsustainably intensified agricultural production.

Miller, Naomi F.
2011 Managing Predictable Unpredictability: The Question of Agricultural Sustainability at Gordion. In Sustainable Lifeways: Cultural Persistence in an Ever-changing Environment, eds. N.F. Miller, K.M. Moore, and K. Ryan, pp. 310-324. University of Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia.
[Download pdf]

This paper argues that environmental variability has always been a factor in agricultural decision-making in the Sakarya valley. Rather than the current regime concentrating on irrigation agriculture, a more sustainable future would include a diversified base of agriculture, animal husbandry, and ecotourism.

Miller, Naomi F., Melinda A. Zeder, and Susan R. Arter
2009 From Food and Fuel to Farms and Flocks: The Integration of Plant and Animal Remains in the Study of Ancient Agropastoral Economies at Gordion, Turkey. Current Anthropology 50: 915-924.

Patterning in the archaeobiological remains from Gordion, Turkey, provides evidence of a continuum in agropastoral practice. At one end, high ratios of seeds of wild plants vs. cultivated cereal grains (calculated as count/weight) and high proportions of the bones of sheep, goat, and deer are signatures of a subsistence economy focussed on pastoral production. At the other, low wild:cereal ratios along with high proportions of the bones of cattle, pig, and hare indicate an economy more focused on agriculture. The highpoint of agricultural intensification occurs in the Middle Phrygian period, a time of great wealth, but the norm for the region shows shows that the most sustainable land use around the ancient settlement emphasized pastoral production. The signatures for agricultural or pastoral emphasis is remarkably similar to that seen on sites along the Euphrates, as reported in MRPS 1997.

Miller, Naomi F.
2004 Long-Term Vegetation Changes in the Near East. In The Archaeology of Global Change. The Impact of Humans on Their Environment, eds. C.L. Redman, S.R. James, P.R. Fish, and J.D. Rogers, pp. 130-140. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. [Download pdf]

This chapter includes Gordion in the context of a broader discussion.

Miller, Naomi F.
1999 Seeds, Charcoal and Archaeological Context: Interpreting Ancient Environment and Patterns of Land Use. TÜBA-AR. 2: 15-27. [Download pdf]

Between the Late Bronze Age and the Medieval period, the arboreal vegetation available to the people of Gordion changed. Although they always had access to woodland types, there was a gradual increase in the use of trees of secondary forest (e.g., hawthorn) and riparian types (e.g., willow/poplar).


Erder, Evin, Ayse Gürsan-Salzmann, and Miller, Naomi F.
2013 A Conservation Management Plan for Gordion and Its Environs. Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites 15 (3-4): 329-347.

Miller, Naomi F.
2018 Historic landscape and site preservation at Gordion, Turkey: an archaeobotanist's perspective. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany.

This paper is explains the evolution of the 'ecopark' project and suggests ways that others can develop similar projects appropriate to their own academic background and personality.

Miller, Naomi F.
2012 Working with Nature to Preserve Site and Landscape at Gordion. In The Archaeology of Phrygian Gordion, Royal City of Midas, ed. C.B. Rose, pp. 243-258. University of Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia.

This paper explains how an open-air archaeological site is best managed as a kind of specialized garden.

Miller, Naomi F.
2000 Plants in the Service of Archaeological Preservation. Expedition 42(1): 30-36.

Miller, Naomi F. and Kurt Bluemel
1999 Plants and Mudbrick: Preserving the Midas Tumulus at Gordion, Turkey. Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites 3: 225-237. [pdf on-line]

Learn how we set mudbrick to reduce erosion!

Miller, Naomi F.
1999 Erosion, Biodiversity, and Archaeology: Preserving the Midas Tumulus at Gordion/Erozyon, bioçeşitlilik ve arkeoloji: Gordion'daki Midas Höyüğü'nün Korunması. Arkeoloji ve Sanat 93: 13-17 + plate. [Download pdf; see also Ecopark]

Biodiversity preservation and archaeological conservation are coming together as we develop methods of reducing soil erosion on the Midas Mound (c. 800 B.C., Gordion, Turkey) by getting native plants to thrive on the steep slopes of this 53-m high monument.

Miller, Naomi F.
1998 Archaeobotanists Preserve Midas's Wealth. Anthropology Newsletter 39 (4): 14-15.

Miller, Naomi F.
1994 Some Botanical Considerations for the Conservation and Preservation of Tumulus MM at Gordion. In Anadolu Medeniyetler Müzesi 1993 Yıllığı, Sayı VIII, pp. 181-183. Ankara.


Miller, Naomi F.
2002 Drawing on the Past, An Archaeologist's Sketchbook. University of Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia.
To order: call (800) 537-5487 or visit website.

This book includes many of my Gordion watercolors.

Miller, Naomi F. and Ayşe Gürsan-Salzmann
2016 Goat to Sweater. [video]

This movie shows how Ayşe and I were able to turn angora goat hair to finished sweaters in about 4 years, from ordering the fiber to knitting it up!

Miller, Naomi F., Kimberly E. Leaman, and Julie Unruh
2006 Serendipity: Secrets of the Mudballs. Expedition 48(3):40-41. And don't miss Mudball: The Movie!

The serendipitous discovery that the default shape of a mudball is biconical inspired research into spindle whorls. It turned out that all things being equal, center-weighted spindle whorls are most suited fibers that need more twist; linen fibers need a lot of twist, and the crimped, scaly fibers of sheep wool need relatively little twist. Early west Asian ceramic spindle whorls are normally biconical. It may be no coincidence, therefore, that our first evidence for spindle whorls roughly coincides with our first evidence for spun fibers, i.e., flax!

Home Other Gordion links: Gordion Project John (Mac) Marston Gordion Research Bibliography online