Yesemek is the largest known sculpture workshop in the ancient Near East. The quary was in use in the Hittite Empire period (15th-12th century BCE), and during the Neo-Hittite period (9-8th century BCE).


  • Workshop or industry
  • visible
  • Location ± 0-5 m.
(see also PELAGIOS)



Çolaklar Bridge

Çolaklar Bridge


Surroundings (Panoramio)


Yesemk Hitite basalt quarry and workshop lies on the eastern slope od Yesemek village 7 km east from Tilmen Höyük and ca 30 km from Hitite Yadiya -Sam'al near modern Zincirli village. Yesemek site was first spotted by Felix Von Luschan while he was excavating at Zincirli in 1890s.1Yesemek Sculpture Workshop dates back to 900-800 BC. within the Late Hittite States period. The sculpture were manufactured during the sovereignty of the Samal Kingdom which was a powerful state in the Islahiye district during the first millennium BC. In Zincirli are still visible basalt sculptures from Yesemek. After the collapse of the Sam`al Kingdom in the 8th century B.C., the quarry and workshop were closed and the workers left the site.

At Yesemek Quarry there are many block samples that were made ready to be sculptured and a lot of unfinished sculpture.


  1. Ayse Tugcu,Yesemek Stone Quarry and Sculptural Workshop, 2012 -
  2. Özgür Harmansah, Cities and the Shaping of Memory in the Ancient Near East, Cambridge University Press 2013, pp. 179-181,


  1. Ayse Tugcu,Yesemek Stone Quarry and Sculptural Workshop, 2012 -