A couple of days ago, at the invitation of an Francesca, I visited the site of Kilik Mishik. She told me her fellow Italian friends (who were working at the site as archaeologists) told her it was easily accessible by taxi. It was... but only after a slight mishap. The driver (who must have thought that two foreigners couldn't possibly be headed for the village/hill of Kilik Mishik) took us to Ishik College. About 25 minutes later, we pulled off to the side of the road where we were met by the mound visible in the photo immediately below (separated from us and the road by a chicken-wire fence).
We climbed to the top of the mound where people were busy at work digging through the layers of walls built upon the walls of those who lived there before... small rooms with fire pits built from stones taken from the foundations below? The foundations below assembled on top of Babylonian era walls? Unfortunately, the European archaeologists found too much erosion to be able to answer all of our questions... but the finds looked exciting to me! Big shards of pottery being unearthed everywhere...
F (?) points out a wall cross-section typical of Assyrian construction... A temple to Ishtar, perhaps?
After returning to the university, I shared my experiences with several of my student who just laughed.
"Kilik Mishik? Why would you want to go there?" someone asked. "It's just a village... a hill."
Seems they were not only tickled by the fact I found such a place fascinating. My pronunciation and the fact that 'kilik mishik' means 'mouse's tail' were also the cause of some hilarity. But as for me, I hope the Italians and French (who were present as part of an initiative from the Sorbonne) return again soon with more concrete speculations as to the history of the site and with news of other locations to explore.