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Yumuktepe is a tumulus in Mersin that dates back to 6000 B.C. There are 23 levels to the mound, though there are no existing structures visible above ground. The top of the mound, and a few places along the sides of the tell, have been excavated.

Originally, Yumuktepe was a coastal settlement along the Mediterranean Sea, but the sedimentary deposits left by the Müftü River have slowly moved the coast southwards, where it is now 2.35 km from the site. It was one of the first fortified settlements in the world, where it guarded the southern end of the Cilician Gates (the pass from the Anatolian Plateau to the Mediterranean coast)*.

During historical era, Yumuktepe was a part of Kizuwatna a vassal kingdom of Hittite Empire. In a document of 1440 BC, the city of Pitura had been mentioned. Pitura might be the ancient name of the settlement. It seems, like most Hittite lands, sea people from Europe plundered Yumuktepe in 13th century BC. A second blow was from Assyrian Empire from Upper Mesopotamia. During Roman Empire, Yumuk was a relatively unimportant city named Zephyrium . But Emperor Hadrian (reigned 117-138) renamed the city as Hadrianapolis. During early Byzantine Empire, the nearby settlement of Soli (10 kilometres (6.2 mi) at the west) flourished and Yumuk was abandoned.*

In the summer of 2014, excavations began to unearth an ancient palace on the west side of the mound. The unearthed palace remains seems to date back to 4500 B.C. The complete outline of the palace was revealed, and over 200 cups and ceramics were found.*

Steps leading up the mound

Steps leading up the mound


If you visit Yumuktepe now days, you will find a great place to have a small picnic and find shade for a restful afternoon. In order to get to the top, you will have to climb a bit, but there are concrete stairs from the bottom to the top. Along the stair route, there are walking paths that go around the mound that can also be used for sitting and picnicking in the shade of the trees that cover the hill.

On the West side of the tell, between it and the Müftü River, there is both a dirt and paved walking/running/biking path that lines the river going all the way down to the sea.

See the map below for directions. The entrance to Yumuktepe is on the south side of the mound.

While here:

Yumuktepe is centrally located to most of Mersin. You can go West on the 2. Çevreyolu and in 10 minutes you can be at the Forum Mall, where there are Starbucks and Caribou Coffee shops, as well as most other modern accouterments that you could want. While at the mall, you can ask how to get to Özkan Tantuni, in my opinion the best Tantuni restaurant in Mersin (and thus Turkey).