December 2021 in Turkish archaeology

Neo-Hittite sculptural workshop in Yesemek
Neo-Hittite sculptural workshop in Yesemek

Among numerous archaeological discoveries announced in December 2021, the most significant ones included a Roman-era weaving workshop found in Perre, 15 statues excavated in neo-Hittite sculpture heaven Yesemek, and a marble Heracles statue unearthed in Aizanoi. Moreover, restoration works at Topkapı Palace were announced to be coming to an end while the former Hıdırlık Bastion in the western outskirts of Edirne was inaugurated as the Edirne Balkan History Museum.

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

December 1, 2021

1,600-year-old steelyard weight found in Turkey's Hadrianopolis

A 1,600-year-old steelyard weight has been discovered during the ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Hadrianopolis, located in the Eskipazar district of Turkey's northern Karabük province. Source: Daily Sabah

December 2, 2021

Zagnos Valley digs reveal Trabzon's past in Turkey’s Black Sea

Through the excavations carried out in the Içkale and Yukarıhisar sections of the Zagnos Valley in northern Trabzon province, many historical artifacts belonging to the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods have been found. Archaeologists use the findings to shed light on the history of the city in the hopes of gaining an understanding of its earlier periods that have yet to be discovered. Source: Daily Sabah

Historical synagogue to become library

Restoration works at the Historical Esgher Synagogue in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district will be finished soon. The historical building will serve as the Beyoğlu Municipality Hasköy Youth Center and National Library. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 3, 2021

Baptistery unearthed during excavations in Turkish resort town

As comprehensive field works and excavations continue in the Aegean resort town of Kuşadası, a baptistery believed to be built in the fifth century has been found in the ruins of a historical castle located in the city’s center. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Roman-era weaving workshop discovered in Perre

Excavations carried out in the ancient city of Perre in the southeastern province of Adıyaman have unearthed a 1,700-year-old carpet weaving workshop from the Roman era. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 4, 2021

Ancient flute reveals interest in music

A 1,600-year-old flute and bronze ring with a key have been unearthed during excavations in the 3,000-year-old Zerzevan Castle, located in the Çınar district of Diyarbakır and which served as the last garrison of the Roman Empire in the east. The castle is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 5, 2021

Restoration efforts at Ottoman marvel in Istanbul comes to end

Restoration works at Topkapı Palace, a peerless marvel that has been home to the Ottoman dynasty for more than 400 years in Istanbul, are about to finish soon. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 6, 2021

Ancient settlements that challenge traditional thinking “Karahantepe and Taş Tepeler”

After Göbeklitepe in Şanlıurfa, which sheds light on 12,000 years ago in human history and is considered one of the greatest discoveries in the world of archeology, new studies were started in the same region under the name of “Taş Tepeler”. Source: Arkeonews

Anatolia’s largest olive oil factory unearthed

A Roman-era olive oil factory has been unearthed during excavations in the İskenderun district of Hatay. It has been reported that the structure, which turned out to be the largest olive oil factory in Anatolia, will be turned into a museum. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 7, 2021

15 new statues found in Turkey’s sculpture heaven Yesemek

In the latest excavations carried out around the Yesemek Open Air Museum and Sculpture Workshop, located in the Islahiye district of southeastern Gaziantep province, archaeologists found 15 new sculptures. Source: Daily Sabah

Ottoman-era fountain in Galatasaray awaits proper restoration

The poor condition of a historic fountain built in Istanbul at the turn of the 20th century and later placed behind a protective cage was once again raised by a concerned Turkish historian in a tweet on Tuesday. Source: Daily Sabah

December 8, 2021

Orchestra floor revealed in Black Sea region's ancient city of Prusias ad Hypium

Orchestra floor revealed in the Black Sea region's ancient city of Prusias ad Hypium. The underground structure remained preserved even though new structures were built on the archaeological site, which dates back to the third century BCE. This has allowed several structures such as an ancient theatre, city walls, aqueducts and a Roman bridge to be unearthed on the site. Source: Daily Sabah

December 9, 2021

When the waters receded, the mounds of Pulur Sakyol and Yeniköy, bearing the traces of Kura-Aras Culture, came to light

The important cultural areas of Pulur Sakyol and Yeniköy mounds, which bear the traces of Kura-Aras Culture, represented by kurgans in the area between the Kura River and Aras River, came to light once the waters of the Keban Dam Lake receded. Source: Arkeonews

Findings shed new light on history of religions in Anatolia

The latest evidence shows that the historical Huykesen Church in the Central Anatolian province of Sivas is one of the oldest places of worship in Anatolia. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 10, 2021

Ancient statue heads found in Knidos

The excavations in the ancient city of Knidos, located in the Datça district of the southwestern province of Muğla, have unearthed five marble statue heads, one of which is female. The findings, approximately 2,000-years-old, date back to the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 11, 2021

Artwork inspired by prominent Polish poet to welcome Istanbul residents

The year of Polish romanticism will be celebrated with a lauded art show in four European cities, including Istanbul, connected with the life of Adam Mickiewicz, a world-renowned poet who once lived and died in the Turkish metropolis in the mid-1800s. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 12, 2021

The history of Kültepe Mound in central Turkey goes back another 300 years

In Kültepe, where the first written documents of Anatolia were unearthed, the date based on 5 thousand years was updated to 5 thousand 300 years with the excavations carried out this year. Source: Arkeonews

December 14, 2021

Artvin Demirkapı/Arılı rock paintings give information about Anatolian Bronze Age Nomadic

Artvin Demirkapı/Arılı rock paintings give information about the life of nomadic communities. Demirkapı/Arılı rock paintings are located in a rocky area called Namazgah, at an altitude of 2200 m from the sea, 20 km away from Arhavi district in Artvin province, 6.5 km southwest of Arılı Plateau. Source: Arkeonews

Archaeologists discover Stargazer idol fragment in Turkey's Muğla

The head of a historical idol, considered one of the rarest examples of its kind, was uncovered during archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Beçin in the Milas district of southwestern Turkey's Muğla. Source: Daily Sabah

Şanlıurfa’s new research center to host studies on Neolithic age

While the artifacts unearthed during the ongoing archaeological excavations in Şanlıurfa’s sites provide important data for the scientific world, especially regarding the Neolithic period, a new research center will also welcome scientists that want to conduct research in the area. Source: Daily Sabah

December 15, 2021

28,000-year-old mammoth remains on display at Turkish university

A university in Turkey's northwestern Tekirdağ province has unveiled its exhibition featuring the 28,000-year-old bones of a wooly mammoth discovered in the region. Source: Daily Sabah

December 16, 2021

Ancient mound unearthed under dam water

A 4,000-year-old mound and an architectural structure inside it have been unearthed after the water level of Atatürk Dam receded 15 meters in the southeastern province of Adıyaman. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

UNESCO honors Turkish calligraphy as cultural treasure

UNESCO has added Turkish calligraphy, which is also known as "hüsn-i hat," to the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Source: Daily Sabah

December 18, 2021

Marble Heracles statue found in Aizanoi

During excavations carried out in Penkalas Stream in the ancient city of Aizanoi, which is located in the Çavdarhisar district of the western province of Kütahya and on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, a headless marble statue of the semi-god Hercules, known as “Heracles” in Greek mythology, has been found. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Hadrianoupolis to be known for its mosaics

The ancient city of Hadrianopolis, which is believed to have been founded in the 1st century B. C. and was used as a settlement until the 8th century A.D., will from now on be renowned with its mosaics, Karabük University Archeology Department member Ersin Çelikbaş has said. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

2,000-year-old statues unearthed in Turkey's western Uşak province

Two statues believed to be dating back to 2,000 years were unearthed during excavation works in the ancient Roman city of Blaundus in western Turkey. Source: Daily Sabah

December 20, 2021

Cave, rock paintings found in Aydın

A cave with rock paintings has been discovered two kilometers northwest of the 3,500-year-old ancient city of Alinda in the Karpuzlu district of the western province of Aydın. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Middle Ages living space unearthed in eastern Turkey

A three-room area believed to be a living space carved into a bedrock dating back to the Middle Ages, approximately fifth to the late 15th centuries period, was discovered in Turkey's eastern Van province. Source: Daily Sabah

Experts protect Roman-era mosaic love story in Turkey's Izmir

Experts have put a 2,000-year-old mosaic dating back to the Roman period under protection in the Konak district of Aegean Izmir province. The ancient mosaic is believed to represent the love between gods in Greek mythology. Source: Daily Sabah

December 21, 2021

New mound found in ancient Dara

A new mound has come to light during the excavation and restoration work in the ancient city of Dara in the southeastern province of Mardin. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

14th-century inscription found on Turkey’s Giresun Island

An inscription dating back to the 14th century was found on Giresun Island, which lies 1.2 kilometers (0.7 miles) from the Turkish province of Giresun on the southeastern coast of the Black Sea. Source: Daily Sabah

Altar site for Greek goddess Demeter found in Turkey's Blaundus

An altar site for the ancient Greek goddess Demeter was unearthed during the ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Blaundus, located within the borders of the western Anatolian city of Uşak. Source: Daily Sabah

December 22, 2021

Ephesus Ancient Canal project takes its shape

It has been reported that the first phase of the Ephesus Ancient Canal Project will be finished by the end of 2022. The project will bring the ancient city of Ephesus in İzmir’s Selçuk district together with the sea again after 2,500 years. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 23, 2021

Anatolian origin coins returned to Turkey

After some two and a half years, 2,955 coins, seals and scales of Anatolian origin, seized from a Turkish citizen at the Bajakovo-Batrovci border gate between Serbia and Croatia, were returned to Turkey. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Illegal excavations unearth Roman villa

The ruins of a 2,000-year-old mosaic and Roman villa have been unearthed during illegal excavations in İzmir. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

4,500-year-old rope remains found in Turkey’s Seyitömer mound

In the ongoing excavations in Seyitömer mound in western Kütahya province, experts have discovered a 4,500-year-old rope. Source: Daily Sabah

December 24, 2021

Archeologists unearth 4th-century tombs near Turkey's Black Sea coast

Historical artifacts were discovered in eight tombs dating back to the fourth century in present-day northern Turkey, officials announced on Friday. The tombs were uncovered during roadway expansion efforts in the Kurtulus district of Ordu, a province on Turkey's Black Sea coast, with teams from the local museums directorate launching excavations for the artifacts' urgent recovery. Source: Yeni Şafak

December 25, 2021

At a dig site in western Turkey, a centuries-old Byzantine fortress will be revealed

Excavation of vast Byzantine-era fortifications considered to be about 900 years old has begun at a dig site in western Turkey, archeologists working on the project said on Friday. Located in what is now the small picturesque town of Birgi, the dig aims to uncover massive walls and fortresses that archeologist Veli Sevin said once stood 8 to 9 meters (about 26-30 feet) high. Source: Arkeonews

Göbeklitepe should be passed on to future generations

Mankind has a responsibility toward preserving Göbeklitepe’s cultural heritage and must pass it on to future generations, said archaeologist Çiğdem Köksal Schmidt, the wife of German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt, who unearthed the 12,000-year-old Neolithic site in a two-decade excavation works near the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey’s Afyonkarahisar Museum exhibits Ancient Cybele statue

A marble statue of the ancient Anatolian mother goddess Cybele, which had been smuggled abroad decades ago but has since been retrieved by Turkey, is now being exhibited in a museum in its native Afyonkarahisar province, reports said Friday. Source: Daily Sabah

December 26, 2021

7th-century synagogue found under house

A seventh-century synagogue has been unearthed recently under a residential house in the Side neighborhood, a site director leading excavation works in the southern province of Antalya’s Manavgat district for years has said. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 27, 2021

Tunceli Museum’s heritage coins shed light on Anatolian history

The historical coins exhibited in Tunceli Museum, one of Turkey's favorite museums, take its visitors on a journey into the past. Source: Daily Sabah

Ancient tomb, jewelry discovered in Turkey's northern Ordu province

Historical tombs and artifacts, including an ancient silver ring, thought to date back to the fourth century were unearthed in Turkey's northern Ordu province, officials announced on Friday. Source: Daily Sabah

December 28, 2021

Modern heating system unearthed in Artuqid Palace

A modern heating system believed to have been built by Al-Jazari, a Muslim scholar who invented water clocks driven by both water and weights, was found in the Artuqid Palace in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Karahantepe finds chosen as most important discovery of 2021

Among the archaeological studies in Turkey in 2021, the Karahantepe excavations in the Haliliye district of the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa ranked first on the list with its striking results. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

First Bronze Age volcanic eruption victims found after 3,500 years

A human skeleton and dog skeleton were found in Turkey that age back to the Thera eruption in modern-day Santorini. Source: The Jerusalem Post

8,500-year-old marble statuette found in Çatalhöyük

In the 29th season of the excavations in Çatalhöyük, one of the first urbanization models in Anatolia, in the Çumra district of Konya, located in the middle of Turkey, an 8,500-year-old marble statuette was found. Source: Arkeonews

December 29, 2021

1,898-year-old bronze military diploma found in Turkey’s Perre

Archaeologists have discovered a bronze military diploma dating back 1,898 years ago during excavations in the ancient city of Perre, located in the southeastern Turkish province of Adıyaman. Source: Daily Sabah

December 30, 2021

Historic water gauge awaits restoration

A historic water gauge built upon the orders of an Ottoman sultan has been left abandoned among auto mechanics in Istanbul’s Kağıthane district, prompting criticisms from historians and some locals. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Former Edirne bastion opens as museum for Turkish history in Balkans

The Edirne Balkan History Museum, located at the former Hıdırlık Bastion in the western outskirts of the city, was inaugurated Thursday by Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy. Source: Daily Sabah

December 31, 2021

Excavations at 9,000-year-old mound in Turkey reveal new findings

The latest archeological excavations at the historical site of the 9,000-year-old Amida Mound in southeastern Turkey’s Diyarbakır province have revealed new findings that shed light on the history of the region. Source: Daily Sabah

Turkey secures return of 3,480 artifacts from abroad in 2021

This year, the country recovered some 3,480 of its cultural assets thanks to the efforts of the country's anti-smuggling authorities. These artifacts included "a piece of ceramic tile, sometimes a coin, sometimes a statue, a mosaic," said Zeynep Boz, who heads the anti-trafficking department at the country's Culture and Tourism Ministry. Source: Daily Sabah