April 2020 in Turkish archaeology

Göbekli Tepe
Göbekli Tepe

April 2020 was another quiet month in the archaeological world, but some important discoveries were made and published, anyway. Possibly the biggest one was made by Israeli archaeologists found a hidden pattern at Göbekli Tepe - an equilateral triangle, underlying the entire architectural plan of the complex. Moreover, five new entries of the sites from Turkey were made into UNESCO Tentative List, for better or worse, as it has been demonstrated in our publication. Meanwhile, one of the most precious historical heritage sites in the country - Hasankeyf - continued to disappear under the waters of Tigris River. The archaeologist went literally underground in Safranbolu and Kayseri where underground tunnels and rooms had been found. Finally, a rather sensational discovery was made in the Ottoman archives, revealing the evidence of the first person ever killed by a meteorite.

Turkish Archaeological News collects the most important, interesting and inspiring news from Turkish excavation sites. Here's the review for April 2020. Have we missed anything? Let us know by using Contact tab!

April 2, 2020

Roman-era mosaics found in ancient Side

In the excavations carried out within the scope of the development plan for the purpose of conservation in the ancient city of Side in the southern province of Antalya’s Manavgat district, Roman-era mosaics and church ruins with various animal figures have been unearthed. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

April 3, 2020

4 cultural values candidate for UNESCO list

Turkey on April 3 filed an application for the inclusion of four of its cultural values to UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage list. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism said in a statement that the application concerned three multi-national values: tea culture as identity, hospitality, and a symbol of social interaction; Mey/Balaban reed craftsmanship and playing; and the tradition of Nasreddin Hodja jokes. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

April 4, 2020

Karahantepe on way to be new face of Turkey

Karahantepe ancient site in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, which is home to more than 250 Neolithic-era T-shaped obelisks similar to the ones in the world-famous Göbeklitepe, is on the way to become the new face of Turkey. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

April 17, 2020

Turkey's bazaar added to temporary UNESCO Heritage list

Turkey's historical Kemeraltı Bazaar, and its surrounding area, has been added to the temporary UNESCO World Heritage List. The vibrant bazaar in the Aegean city of İzmir dates back to the 17th century. For tourists, it is a smaller version of Istanbul's Grand Bazaar. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

April 18, 2020

Treasure hunters destroy historic structure in Şile

Taking advantage of measures against the coronavirus outbreak, treasure hunters have destroyed a historical building, which is believed to be a Byzantine-era cistern, in Istanbul’s Şile district. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Historic Beypazarı district enters UNESCO list

Ankara’s historic Beypazarı district on April 18 entered the tentative list of UNESCO with its thousands of years old history. Beypazarı has been a settlement since ancient times and holds symbols of ancient traditions with rich historical and natural resources, according to UNESCO. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

April 19, 2020

UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List adds 5 more cultural assets from Turkey

The number of Turkey’s cultural assets on UNESCO's World Heritage Tentative List has risen to 83, with the addition of five new ones in 2020. The Culture and Tourism Ministry proposed that the Historic Town of Beypazarı in the capital Ankara, the Historic Port Town of İzmir province on Turkey’s Aegean coast, the Karatepe-Arslantaş Archaeological Site in southern Turkey's Osmaniye province, the Koramaz Valley in Kayseri province in central Turkey and the Zerzevan Castle and Mithraeum in southeastern Diyarbakır province be recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Source: Daily Sabah

April 22, 2020

Meet volunteer guard of Konya's 3,200-year-old spring sanctuary

Ramazan Dursun, who lives in the Beyşehir district of central Konya province, is the volunteer guard for the Eflatunpınar Hittite spring sanctuary dating back to the late Hittite period. The spring sanctuary, located near his home, was included in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Tentative List in 2014. Dursun, a farmer living in the Beyşehir district of Konya, is the volunteer caretaker of the monument, which was built by King Tudhaliya IV in 1200 B.C. during the late Hittite period. Source: Daily Sabah

April 26, 2020

Centuries-old hidden tunnels to serve tourism

Nearly four-century-old hidden tunnels in the western Black Sea province of Karabük’s Safranbolu district, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and famous for its historical houses, will serve tourism. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Ottoman archives divulge evidence of 1st person ever killed by meteorite

The records of this historical incident were found among Ottoman papers, tucked away in Turkey’s state archives. Researchers attribute the late discovery to the fact that the papers were written in the hard-to-decipher puzzle-like language of Ottoman Turkish. The three official letters were uncovered by Associate professor Ozan Ünsalan from Ege University, Altay Bayatlı from Trakya University and Peter Jenniskens from the SETI Institute, and the findings were published in Meteoritics & Planetary Science on April 22. Source: Daily Sabah

Turkey’s Lake Meke dries up, water turns red

Lake Meke in Turkey’s central Konya province has dried up due to years of low rainfall and misusage of its water for agricultural purposes. The remaining puddles in the lakebed have turned red due to the microorganisms present. Source: Daily Sabah

April 27, 2020

Israeli Archaeologists Find Hidden Pattern at ‘World’s Oldest Temple’ Göbekli Tepe

A discovery by Israeli archaeologists suggests the Göbekli Tepe construction project was even more complex than previously thought, and required an amount of planning and resources thought to be impossible for those times. Their study of the three oldest stone enclosures at Göbekli Tepe has revealed a hidden geometric pattern, specifically an equilateral triangle, underlying the entire architectural plan of these structures. Source: Haaretz

April 29, 2020

The UNESCO Site That Never Was

In Turkey, the Ilisu Dam’s flooding of the ancient town of Hasankeyf offers a lesson in how societies choose the sites they preserve or destroy. Source: sapiens.org

April 30, 2020

2 more entrances to ancient underground city discovered in Turkey's Kayseri

Two more entrances to an ancient underground city in central Turkey's Kayseri province have been discovered, local officials say. Last year, grape harvesters who came to the area called "Kırklar İni" near the Derebağ district of İncesu reported to municipal authorities that they had encountered a cave with two entrances. Source: Daily Sabah