December 2019 in Turkish archaeology

Diyarbakır city walls
Diyarbakır city walls

December 2019 brought wonderful news for the new Troy Museum, as it was shortlisted for the European Museum of the Year Award. Moreover, the new tourism season of 2020 should see two new museums opened in Turkey. The first one is the Museum of the Story of Hazelnut in the Black Sea province of Ordu. The second venue is the Cappadocia History and Culture Museum, being built underground by carving volcanic tuff rocks in the Avanos district of Nevşehir. On the other hand, UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List Diyarbakır city walls are sold and dismantled, and the historical city of Hasankeyf is disappearing under the waters of Tigris River.

Turkish Archaeological News collects the most important, interesting and inspiring news from Turkish excavation sites. Here's the review for December 2019. Have we missed anything? Let us know by using Contact tab!

December 2, 2019

Work underway for underground museum

Works have almost ended in the Cappadocia History and Culture Museum, being built in the Avanos district of Nevşehir. The museum, which is being built underground by carving volcanic tuff rocks, will be home to endemic plants. It is set to open in the 2020 tourism season. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 4, 2019

17th-century book on Ottoman naval geography reprinted

A Turkish publisher reprinted a 17th-century book that sheds light on geographical features of the Mediterranean and Aegean, then-ruled by the Ottoman Empire. The Navy’s Chosen Ones (Müntehab-ı Bahriyye) or the Historical Geography of Mediterranean and Aegean, written by Katib Çelebi in 1645-1646, was edited by historian Fikret Sarıcaoğlu at Istanbul University and reprinted by the Turkish Rare Books Library. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Amorium awaits faith tourists

The ancient city of Amorium in the Emirdağ district of the western province of Afyonkarahisar is waiting to be opened to faith tourism. During archaeological excavations in Hisar village, which sits on the ancient city, British scientist Professor Martin Harrison and British researcher Chris Lightfoot have identified the traces of seven civilizations, including Hittite, Phrygian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

World's first temple? Ancient site older than Göbeklitepe may have been unearthed in Turkey

The latest archeologic excavations in southeastern Turkey may have uncovered an ancient site older than Göbeklitepe, known as the oldest temple in the world, according to a Turkish university rector. İbrahim Özcoşar, the rector of Mardin Artuklu University, told Anadolu Agency that the discoveries at Boncuklu Tarla (Beaded Field) in Mardin province resemble those unearthed in Göbeklitepe, an archeological site located in Turkey's southeastern Şanlıurfa province, and could possibly be 1,000 years older. Source: Daily Sabah

December 7, 2019

Troy Museum shortlisted for European award

A museum in the ancient city of Troy -- now in present-day Turkey -- was shortlisted for the European Museum of the Year Award, the Turkish culture and tourism minister said on Dec. 6. Opened in 2018 in the western Turkish province of Çanakkale, the Museum of Troy was shortlisted for the award organized by the European Museum Forum, supported by the Council of Europe, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said in a statement. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 11, 2019

UK to return 2 historic artifacts to Turkey

The Culture and Tourism Ministry is in talks with U.K. officials on the return of two artifacts to Turkey. One of the artifacts is a model of a cart drawn by two bulls which has similarities with the works in a collection in Şanlıurfa Museum in southeastern Turkey. The second artifact is one of the two missing pieces of the sarcophagus of Sidamara – the ancient name of a village in central Turkey – that belongs to the Roman Period. The other part of the sarcophagus is currently in the Isparta Museum. Source: Daily Sabah

December 12, 2019

2,800-year-old cauldron to be displayed in Van museum

An ancient cauldron dating back 2,800 years will be exhibited in a museum in Turkey's eastern Van province. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 13, 2019

Underwater beauty of Rumkale to open to visitors

The Roman-era ruins located on the outskirts of the historical Rumkale, called the pearl of the River Euphrates, which hosted many civilizations in history, will open to visitors with an underwater project. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

The stones of Diyarbakır City Walls are sold and dismantled

The stones of the Diyarbakır City Walls are dismantled and sold. Architect Arif Ipek warned that if the measures are not taken, the size of the destruction will increase. UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List of the historic walls of Diyarbakir city walls are sold and dismantled. The destruction is especially observed in Mardinkapı. Walls and bastions were embroidered and the stones of the sun, star symbols, tiger, bull, double-headed eagle, scorpion and horse reliefs have been removed. Source: Kültür Servisi

Human teeth used as jewellery in Turkey 8,500 years ago

During excavations at the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Turkey between 2013 and 2015, researchers found three 8,500-year-old-teeth that appeared to have been intentionally drilled to be worn as beads in a necklace or bracelet. Subsequent macroscopic, microscopic and radiographic analyses confirmed that two of the teeth had indeed been used as beads or pendants, researchers conclude in a newly published article in Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. Source: Heritage Daily

Ancient canal found in western Turkey

In the ancient city of Tabae, which hosted many civilizations from prehistory until the 1950s as it has a natural fortress structure on the rocks, a 2,000-year-old canal has been discovered during studies launched after allegations that there was an underground city. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 16, 2019

Epitaph in Syriac script discovered in Diyarbakır, Turkey

Two ancient epitaphs inscribed in Syriac were discovered in a tomb located next to the historical Hasuni Caves in the southeastern Turkish province of Diyarbakır. Source: Daily Sabah

December 17, 2019

Urartian bull-headed caldron to be displayed in Van

One of the four bull-headed cauldrons, used by the Urartian Kingdom in religious ceremonies, will be exhibited in the Van Museum. Among the four cauldrons in the world, one is at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, and two are preserved in Germany. Now, the fourth one is prepared to be exhibited in the Van Museum. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 24, 2019

Story of hazelnut to be told at museum

A new museum is set to open its doors in the Black Sea province of Ordu, the motherland of hazelnut. The historic three-story Kahraman Sağra Mansion was recently restored with the initiatives of the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry to become the “Museum of the Story of Hazelnut.” Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 25, 2019

2020: The Year of Patara

Following the year of Troy and Göbeklitepe in 2018 and 2019, respectively, the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry declared 2020 as the Year of Patara – the ancient city where St. Nicholas was born. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

9M-year-old fossils unearthed in Turkey's southwestern Denizli

Researchers in southwestern Turkey discovered fossils belonging to eight different animal species, including mammoths, giraffes and rhinoceroses. The scientists estimated that the animals lived at least 1.2 million years ago, but may even go back to 9 million years. Source: Daily Sabah

December 27, 2019

1,800-year-old ancient slab unearthed in Turkey's northern Karabük province

An ancient slab dating back around 1,800 years was unearthed in Turkey's northern Karabük province. The limestone slab that had a silhouette of a woman on it was found during excavation works in the ancient city of Hadrianopolis – now located 3 kilometers east of the Eskipazar district of the northern Karabük province. Source: Daily Sabah

December 30, 2019

Construction halted after workers find ancient ruins

Construction works in the northwestern province of Kocaeli’s İzmit district have been stopped by the provincial museum directorate after the remains of an ancient wall were found. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

1,600-year-old pendants unearthed in Assos excavations

Archaeological excavations in Assos, one of the most important port cities of antiquity have unearthed 1,600-year-old pendants made from bones, shaped in human and animal figures. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Prehistoric marvel Göbeklitepe leaves its mark on 2019

Göbeklitepe, an archaeological site in modern-day Şanlıurfa that is home to the world's oldest temple, had a golden year with tourists, various events and cinema productions. Source: Daily Sabah

December 31, 2019

2020: Gem of Lycian civilization, Patara to shine in new year

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has declared 2020 as "The Year of Patara" in line to highlight Turkey's cultural values around the world. Within this scope, the ministry had declared 2018 as "The Year of Troy" and 2019 as "The Year of Göbeklitepe" before. Source: Daily Sabah