The Gordion Archaeological Project


First Active Penn Museum Archaeological Site Named in UNESCO World Heritage List

The announcement occurred during the 45th World Heritage Committee meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, officially recognizing Gordion’s longstanding cultural and archaeological significance.

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  • Gordion’s History

    Gordion is one of the most important archaeological sites in the Near East, occupied for more than 4,000 years from the Bronze Age to modern times.

  • Bronze Age

    People began living at the site of Gordion in the Early Bronze Age, at least as early as ca. 2500 BCE.

  • Iron Age

    1200 B.C.
    Gordion’s heyday came in the Iron Age, following the breakup of the Hittite kingdom.

  • Seat of King Midas

    695 B.C. — 676 B.C.
    Gordion is also linked with Midas, the Iron Age king, who in later Greek mythology is cursed with the “golden touch”

  • Alexander cuts Knot

    334 B.C. — 333 B.C.
    Alexander the Great cut the famous Gordian Knot and fulfilled a prophecy to become the ruler of Asia.

  • Galatians

    277 B.C. — 189 B.C.
    The Galatians moved into Anatolia from ancient Thrace in eastern Europe and ultimately settled in the Gordion region

  • Gordion abandoned

    189 B.C.
    The inhabitants of Gordion abandoned the site in the face of a Roman punitive expedition into Galatia led by the consul Manlius Vulso.

  • Körte Excavations

    Alfred and Gustav Körte excavated five tumuli and two locations on the citadel mound.

    A drawn plan of Gordion showing the location of mounds and the Nekropole.
  • Young Excavations

    1950 — 1973
    First series of excavations by the University of Pennsylvania, directed by Rodney S. Young.

  • Voigt Excavations

    1988 — 2006
    Excavations resumed once again in 1988 under the direction of Mary Voigt of the College of William and Mary.