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Archaeology in Turkey - 2017 in review

2017 certainly was a much better year for Turkey than the previous year in many aspects. After a disastrous 2016, Turkish travel industry was slowly recovering, as the number of foreigners visiting the country increased steadily, to reach more than half a million in July only. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism put a lot of investment to make Turkey an even more attractive destination for the visitors interested in archaeology and history. Moreover, many fascinating discoveries were made in the area of Asia Minor in 2017, and several cultural assets of Turkey made it into UNESCO lists. Below, you will find the most interesting pieces of news from 2017.

Hasankeyf
Hasankeyf

December 2017 in Turkish archaeology

The end of 2017 was a very intensive period for archaeologists working in Turkey. The biggest news was undoubtedly the discovery of a hidden chapel covered with marvellous frescoes in the famous Sümela Monastery. Moreover, an ancient city with complex burial chambers and temples was found in Erzurum Province while a hammam used by the sultans was discovered in Topkapı Palace during the renovation process.

Topkapi Palace in Istanbul
Topkapi Palace in Istanbul

Gelibolu

The town, known internationally as Gallipoli, is located on a peninsula that bears the same name. Administratively it belongs to Çanakkale Province, although it is situated in Europe, and the capital of the province - in Asia Minor.

Gelibolu
Gelibolu

Arsameia on the Nymphaios

Arsameia, located at the foot of the Mount Nemrut, is one of those magical places in Turkey that hide in the shadow of a famous tourist attraction located nearby. While the peak of Mount Nemrut regularly fills with an international crowd, especially at sunrise and sunset times, the ruins of ancient Arsameia silently wait for someone to drop by. Undoubtedly, this is for the benefit of those lucky people who decide to visit Arsameia, because they will be able to calmly and peacefully contemplate its wonderful reliefs, explore the tunnels and admire the picturesque views from the Acropolis of this summer capital of the Commagene Kingdom.

Relief depicting the handshake between Heracles and Mithrydates, Site III in Arsameia
Relief depicting the handshake between Heracles and Mithrydates, Site III in Arsameia

Yeni Kale Fortress in Eski Kahta

Yeni Kale, meaning New Castle, is one of the several additional attractions that await the visitors who arrive at this region of Turkey to see famous Mount Nemrut. Of course, in a land of such rich and long history as Anatolia, the term "new" does not necessarily mean that the building was built a few years ago. Actually, the fortress is referred to as "new", because it was erected in the 13th century, which distinguishes it from the Old Fortress (Eski Kale) - the ruins of ancient Arsameia dating back to the 3rd century BCE.

Yeni Kale Fortress in Eski Kahta
Yeni Kale Fortress in Eski Kahta

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