April 2021 in Turkish archaeology

Ruins of Assos on the slope facing the sea
Ruins of Assos on the slope facing the sea

April 2021 brought alarming news concerning the state of the ancient city of Assos where the rock fragments fell onto the road to the ancient harbour. Also, the historical rock tombs in the ancient city of Kaunos are under the threat of extinction, losing their structural integrity due to the deterioration of rocks. Meanwhile, thirty graves were unearthed in a basilica church in the ancient city of Kibyra and a monastery built in the Roman period and a nearly 1500-year-old mosaic were discovered in Aliağa.

Turkish Archaeological News collects the most important, interesting and inspiring news from Turkish excavation sites. Here's the review for April 2021. Have we missed anything? Let us know by using Contact tab!

April 2, 2021

Graves found in basilica-planned ancient city

Thirty graves, many of which are believed to have belonged to the important clergy of the city at that time, have been unearthed in a basilica-planned church in the ancient city of Kibyra in the Gölhisar district of the southern province of Burdur. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Historical artifacts not registered officially over past decade at archeology museum

An investigation launched by the local directorate of culture and tourism of the southern province of Antalya has revealed that none of the 17,000 historical artifacts in the city’s Archeology Museum have been registered officially for 13 years and no inventory work has been done since 2009. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

April 3, 2021

Excavation works in Bathonea reveal life traces dating back 800,000 years

Within the scope of Bathonea Antique Harbor excavation works, which started 12 years ago in Istanbul’s Avcılar neighborhood, new and significant findings have come to light, according to the head of the excavations, Associate Professor Şengül Aydıngün from Kocaeli University. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Tomb in Bodrum was Opened for the First Time after 2,400 Years

Personal items such as necklaces and rings were found, along with the skeletons of men and women, in a well-preserved sarcophagus, which was opened for the first time in Bodrum. A sarcophagus was found during a construction excavation in Bodrum's Yokuşbaşı neighborhood on 8 March. Then the construction was stopped and the work carried out by the Bodrum Underwater Archeology Museum Directorate was carried out in the region. Source: Arkeofili

April 4, 2021

Ancient mosaic, Roman-era monastery found in western Turkey

During an illegal excavation project carried out by two suspects in the Aliağa district of Izmir, a monastery built in the Roman period and a nearly 1500-year-old mosaic were discovered. Source: Daily Sabah

April 5, 2021

Rock tombs in ancient Kaunos face extinction threat

The archaic rock tombs in the ancient city of Kaunos in Turkey’s Aegean region are under the threat of extinction, losing their structural integrity due to the deterioration of rocks. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Archaic Period ceremonial vessels are on display to visitors in İzmir Museum

Izmir Archeology Museum started to exhibit ceremonial vessels from the Archaic period in April, within the framework of the "You Will See What You Can't See" project. The scent vessels with human figures unearthed from the Old İzmir Bayraklı Tumulus and the Temple of Phokaia Athena are now ready to introduce you to what the Egyptian Culture offered to Ionia in the Archaic Period, with their extraordinary forms and impressive yellow, green and brown colors. Source: Arkeolojik Haber

April 6, 2021

400-year-old castle to regain its former glory

Within the scope of a project, restoration works will begin to revive a 400-year-old castle located near the Van-Hakkâri highway in Turkey’s east, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported on April 5. Hoşap Castle, which was built in the 16th century on the foundation of a Urartian castle and served as a palace for many years, will be restored to its former glory by clearing the abandoned structures around it. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

April 8, 2021

Museum of Anatolian Civilizations turns 100

After the formation of the Turkish Republic, Atatürk once again emphasized the importance he attaches to Turkish culture, saying, “Culture is the foundation of the Republic of Turkey,” and considered museums as places where the assets of Turkish culture are preserved and exhibited. In 1921, the first cultural director, Mübarek Galip Bey, started forming a museum by collecting artworks from the temple of Augustus and the Roman Bath. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Roman-era gallery discovered beneath Istanbul’s Topkapı Palace

An archaeological survey of the ground beneath the courtyard of Topkapı Palace, the spectacular Ottoman palace in Istanbul, has uncovered a Roman-era gallery. The passage, consisting of three sections, is thought to have served as a cistern to collect rainwater in the pre-Ottoman period. Source: Daily Sabah

April 9, 2021

Artifacts on mosque’s wall fountain to be taken to museum

Following the discovery of some late Roman period embossed steles and a lid of a sarcophagus with a lion engraved on a wall fountain in a yard of a village mosque in the Mediterranean province of Antalya’s Korkuteli district, authorities have launched a comprehensive investigation in the village. As a result of the inspection, it was determined that there were 21 more immovable cultural assets, including tomb covers, tomb steles and column fragments with inscriptions in the streets and even on the walls of some houses in the village. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Artifacts in sarcophagi to shed light on archaeology world

Works have been ongoing precisely in an area where a sarcophagus and many other simple-type tombs have been discovered in the southwestern province of Bodrum’s Muğla district. The cover of the sarcophagus, which includes 2,400-year-old historical artifacts, was opened by the Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy last week. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey suggests 3 more cultural values to UNESCO Heritage List

The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism has applied for the registration of three more cultural elements to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The cultural elements suggested to UNESCO are “the stonemasonry tradition of the Ahlat region,” “mother of pearl inlays” and “sericulture and the traditional production of silk for weaving.” Source: Daily Sabah

April 10, 2021

Silk Road Museum draws attention with unique pieces

The private Silk Road Museum in Turkey’s Black Sea province Trabzon draws attention, with over 500 unique pieces from different eras and civilizations. Museum’s collections contain unique pieces, including rare, authentic Quran from the 18th century, a 500 years old book ‘ Durer’ written by Mullah Husrev, Mehmet II, the Conqueror’s primary teacher, and mentor. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

April 12, 2021

Historical artifacts found in Kabataş

Works at the Kabataş metro station have unearthed archaeological remains in the area. Archaeologist Mehmet Ali Polat said that they will highly likely find a small ancient harbor as works progress. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

April 13, 2021

Over 2,500 historical artifacts returned to Turkey in last 10 years

“In the last 10 years, 2,712 artifacts belonging to Turkish lands that were taken to abroad for various reasons at various points in times were returned to their place of origin, our country,” said Yahya Coşkun, the deputy general director of Cultural Heritage and Museums of the Culture and Tourism Ministry. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Beykoz Glass Museum awaits visitors

The Beykoz Glass and Crystal Museum, which opened on April 9 with an official ceremony attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after restoration works, is now awaiting visitors. The museum, which was established to introduce Turkish glass art to the world in a closed area of approximately 3,000 square meters and on an area of 390,000 square meters, is home to 1,500 artifacts from the Seljuk era to the end of the Ottoman period. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

April 14, 2021

Underground ancient city to be unearthed

A surface survey will be carried out in collaboration with Pamukkale University (PAU) and the Sarayköy Municipality to unearth the underground ancient city of Attouda in the western province of Denizli’s Sarayköy district. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Topkapı Palace to triple harem’s visitor numbers after restoration

The restoration of the Courtyard of the Sultan's Consorts and the Concubines and Hospital of the Harem in Topkapı Palace, one of the most famous landmarks of Istanbul that once housed Ottoman sultans while the city was the capital of the empire, has reached its final stage. With the completion of the restoration in these sections, it is expected the visitor capacity of the palace’s Imperial Harem (Harem-i Hümayun) will triple. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey works to include fossil forest in UNESCO Heritage List

Turkey aims to include the country’s first fossil forest on UNESCO World Heritage List, an official said Wednesday. The fossil forest is located in the Seben district of Turkey's northwestern Bolu province and emerged as a result of erosions in the region. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

April 16, 2021

Experts restore Yıldız Palace’s 120-year-old ornate carpet

Following more than two years of strenuous work, a team of six experts has finished the restoration work of a 468-square-meter vintage carpet, which once adorned the floors of a chalet in Yıldız Palace, a vast complex with several former Ottoman pavilions and villas located in Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Ottoman Beylerbeyi Palace to be restored with original techniques

Hosting many important figures with a unique view on the shore of the Bosporus throughout its history, 156-year-old Beylerbeyi Palace in Istanbul is being restored in accordance with its construction techniques. Source: Daily Sabah

The remains of the legendary dungeon found in the shipyard Istanbul construction

Remains of Tersane-i Amire Dungeon, which is among the biggest dungeons of Istanbul but almost forgotten today, were revealed during the construction of Tersaneistanbul. How the historical remains will be protected is the biggest concern. Source: Arkeolojik Haber

April 18, 2021

Turkish museums host nearly 9 mln visitors in 2020 despite virus

More than 8.91 million people visited Turkish museums and archaeological sites in 2020, despite the negative effects of the coronavirus outbreak. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

April 20, 2021

Turkey’s Tunceli Museum awaits visitors in new tourism season

Tunceli Museum, the first of its kind in the eastern province of Tunceli, takes visitors through time with around 2,000 artifacts displayed in its various sections, shedding light on Turkey’s profusely rich history. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Urartu-era open-air temple discovered in eastern Turkey

An open-air temple area that is 2,800 years old, dating back to the Urartu period, has been discovered in the historical Harput Castle in the eastern province of Elazığ. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

2,000-year-old Roman street unearthed in Turkey's Diyarbakır

The historic city of Diyarbakır, situated in southeastern Turkey, is home to innumerable ancient wonders and relics from throughout history. Recently a 2,000-year-old street from the Roman period was added to the already long list of reasons to visit the city. Source: Daily Sabah

April 22, 2021

Ancient castle under threat of quarry

Archaeological excavations that have been carried out in the 2,300-year-old Kurul Castle in the Black Sea province of Ordu have unearthed the 2,100-year-old the Kybele Statue, as well as three other big statues and other 2,000 historical artifacts. While excavations still continue on the top of the castle, which is a first degree archaeological and natural site, dynamites are used for a quarry in the lower side. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Works ongoing to restore mosque in ancient city of Beçin

A 600-year-old mosque in the ancient city of Beçin, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, is being restored. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

April 23, 2021

Hermes statuette draws attention in museum

A Hermes statuette, discovered by a farmer in the Central Anatolian province of Çorum and later delivered to the Çorum Museum, is one of the key assets of the museums, drawing tourist interest considerably due to its craftsmanship and the story behind it. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

April 24, 2021

100 more Seljuk tombstones to be brought back to life

The restoration of the tombstones at the Ahlat Seljuk Meydan Cemetery in the eastern province of Bitlis, the world’s largest Turkish-Islamic Cemetery on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Tentative List, is underway. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

April 26, 2021

Ancient city of Germanicia victim of illegal housing

It has been revealed that the existence of the ancient city of Germanicia, which was discovered during an illegal excavation in the southern province of Kahramanmaraş in 2007, was known 73 years ago but the ruins of the ancient city were destroyed by illegal construction. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Secret chapel of Turkey's Sümela Monastery awaits visitors

During the restoration of one of the most important religious tourism spots in Turkey, Sümela Monastery in Black Sea region's Trabzon province, a secret chapel was found. That newly discovered chapel is now waiting for the day it will welcome visitors. Source: Daily Sabah

April 28, 2021

Ongoing excavations at Patara telegraph station reveal new facts

Excavations ongoing at a radiotelegraph station in the ancient city of Patara, located in the southern province of Antalya’s Kaş district, continue to excite the world of archaeology. Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, the head of the Patara excavations, Professor Havva İşkan Işık said that the structure, which was built by Sultan Abdulhamid II in 1906 to establish contact with the Ottoman lands in North Africa, has the characteristics of a large complex with its engine room, lodgings, warehouses and four radio masts. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

April 29, 2021

Lycian Civilizations Museum takes visitors to ‘land of lights’

The Lycian Civilizations Museum in the southern province of Antalya stands out with its priceless works that provide information about the religious beliefs, economic and social life of the Lycian Union, where the first democratic practices in history were implemented. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Assos to be closed for 500 days

The archaeological site of Assos in the northwestern province of Çanakkale will be closed for 500 days while rehabilitation work is carried out on a nearby slope after rock and stone fragments fell onto the road to the Assos antique port. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

April 30, 2021

Excitement over newly discovered marine fossils

Marine fossils discovered in eastern Turkey indicate the region was underwater millions of years ago, according to experts. The residents of Elazığ’s Akçatepe village, who took their animals to graze on a hill at an average altitude of 1,100 meters (3,600 feet) above sea level, noticed that there were mussel-and snail-like remains on the surrounding cliffs. Source: Hürriyet Daily News