Çattepe ve Başur Mound

Çattepe was a port that did not lose its importance for centuries between Eastern Anatolia and Mesopotamia on the point where the Tigris and Botan River overlap. The city has been protected by monumental city walls since the Roman Period. Islamic geographers described this city which as Tell-Fafan, as a province in between the Tigris and Botan, where life is cheap with its covered bazaars and abode houses.

Botan River is connected with Tigris River close to Çattepe (Tilli/Tili/Til) Village in Kurtalan district of Siirt province. Çattepe Höyük (Çattepe Hill Town) is on a natural peninsula located on a point dominating both two rivers where two rivers are connected. Despite the fact that the surface of the hill nowadays seems to be inclined from north towards south, it is more because of the intensive use of the northern side as a settlement rather than the typography of the natural rise on which the settlement lies. The depth of cultural fillings is 3 or 4 metres in south part of the hill town whereas it ranges between 10 or 15 metres on north. Another reason why cultural textures on north were protected is the city walls of Late Roman-Early Byzantine Period that are located on north part of the settlement. The high city walls prevented the soil of the hill town to flow into Tigris or Botan, and cultural fillings on south where city walls are destructed or are at lower levels, eroded more in comparison to north.

Written sources tell that Tell-Fafan that was an active port city, could not protect this feature beginning from 11th century A.D. and became an ordinary village. Çattepe has been inhabited again in 11th and 14th centuries A.D. Seljuk ruler constructed bridges and inns done on Botan Watercourse and its branches with the purpose of keeping the strategically important roads between Van Region and Northern Mesopotamia. The city walls on Tigris part of Çattepe, which were amended belong to this period.

The settlement, which is located along Çattepe, lost its strategic importance after Seljuk Period and remained a village that was inhabited.

Today, the discharged village and hill town are waiting to be flooded by the dam waters.

The Valley of Botan, which is to be mostly flooded following the completion of Ilısu Dam’s construction, is one of the valleys carrying water into the Tigris. Başur Höyük was at the conjunction of roads coming from north, west and south to Siirt, a point that was significant from both cultural relations and commercials aspect due to its geopolitical position, located at an area where agricultural lands begin at the end of Bitlis Valley on south. Artefacts from the Uruk period, and hundreds of artefacts (toys, guns, figurines, etc.) found in necropolis (graveyard) area from the Bronze Age, all display the extensive importance of Başur Höyük in 4000 B.C.