June 2024 in Turkish archaeology

The beginning of June 2024 brought the sad news of the passing of Sabine Ladstätter, the former head of the excavations of Ephesus. Meanwhile, the works in Ephesus continue, now headed by Martin Steskal, who has recently announced that this year's works are focussed on the Coressian Gate, one of the important city gates, and on the west side of the Serapis Temple. Moreover, the ancient city of Ephesus hosted some 130,000 people, becoming the most visited museum in Türkiye during the nine-day Eid holiday. After the initiation of the night museum project, Ephesus also welcomes its visitors during the night hours thanks to its lighting system.

Tourists in front of the Celsus Library in Ephesus
Tourists in front of the Celsus Library in Ephesus

New guidebook: From Antalya to Alanya. Highlights of the Turkish Riviera

From Antalya to Alanya. Highlights of the Turkish Riviera is a guidebook which has been written for the travellers who intend to spend active holidays on the Turkish Riviera. If you want not only to relax and sunbathe, but also to visit some fascinating prehistoric sites, historical cities, and archaeological excavations, this is the book for you. This guidebook will help history lovers to plan the entire journey along the stretch of the Mediterranean Sea coast from Antalya to Alanya and to select the places worth seeing, including rarely visited ruins of ancient cities.

The book is available from Amazon as paperback and as Kindle ebook. Ebook is also available from Google Play Books.

From Antalya to Alanya. Highlights of the Turkish Riviera
From Antalya to Alanya. Highlights of the Turkish Riviera

May 2024 in Turkish archaeology

May 2024 saw several major archaeological discoveries made in the area of Turkey. In the western part of the country, the statue head of Hygieia, the Greek goddess of health, was found stuck between two rocks in Laodikeia while the excavations carried out in the ancient city of Smyrna in İzmir have unearthed figures and objects with Egyptian civilization influences. In the south of the coutry, a mosaic floor from the 2nd century BCE depicting the muse Kalliope was discovered in ancient city of Side. In the southeast, a 2000-year-old tomb protected by two bull heads was found during excavation and cleaning efforts in the ancient city of Tharsa, located near Kuyulu village on the Adıyaman-Şanlıurfa Highway. In the northwest, rescue excavations at the Reşitköy Dam site unearthed Roman structures, including a church, and a baptistery. Finally, in the same region of Turkey, renovation started in the historical Kaleiçi district of Edirne.

Historical house in the Kaleiçi quarter of Edirne
Historical house in the Kaleiçi quarter of Edirne

Fortifications of Iznik (Nicaea)

The town of Iznik (ancient Nicaea) is unique in many respects: it hosted two ecumenical councils, and its location on the lake (tr. İznik Gölü) makes it an attractive holiday destination. However, the most unavoidable feature of Iznik are the well-preserved fortifications that still surround the city today. When entering Iznik, you must pass through one of the historical gates, and while walking around the city, you will notice the layout of communication routes preserved from ancient times. They are based on two main arteries crossing Iznik from east to west and from north to south.

Yenişehir Gate in Iznik
Yenişehir Gate in Iznik

April 2024 in Turkish archaeology

April 2024 saw the works nearing completion at ancient lighthouse of Patara, once the capital of the Lycian League. Meanwhile, during the archaeological excavations in Hıdırlık Tower, one of the historical symbols of Antalya, the famous holiday resort in the south of Turkey, an 800-metre-long colonnaded street of the Roman period was discovered. Finally, a new chapter in the Hittite world was revealed by painted hieroglyphs discovered in the Hattusa Yerkapı tunnel.

Hattusa Yerkapı tunnel
Hattusa Yerkapı tunnel

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