February 2023 in Turkish archaeology

Malatya's New Mosque (Yeni Cami) - before it was almost completely destroyed by the 2023 earthquake
Malatya's New Mosque (Yeni Cami) - before it was almost completely destroyed by the 2023 earthquake

In February 2023, all other news from Turkey was overshadowed by the tragic earthquakes that shook southern and central parts of the country, as well as northern and western Syria. As we write, more than 51 thousand deaths have been confirmed, including more than 44 thousand people who perished in Turkey. The terrible loss of life, and the devastation that affected around 14 million people, was accompanied by widespread damage in the area. Below, you will find the links to many articles dealing with the damage to Turkey's historical heritage, including the historical sites and buildings, and archaeological sites, such as Arslantepe, Hatay Archaeology Museum, and Gaziantep Castle.

Turkish Archaeological News collects the most important, interesting and inspiring news from Turkish excavation sites. Here's the review for February 2023. Have we missed anything? Let us know by using Contact tab!

February 3, 2023

Visitors rush to see returned treasures

Nine historic artifacts, including the Perge sarcophagus and the statue of Emperor Verus, that have been returned to Türkiye three months ago from the U.S., receive great interest from visitors at the Antalya Museum. Last year, 166,000 people visited the museum, according to figures. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

February 5, 2023

Türkiye ranks first on UNESCO Tentative List

UNESCO Türkiye National Commission President Professor Öcal Oğuz said that Türkiye ranks first in the world on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Diyarbakır Prison handed over to provincial museum directorate

Long associated with cruelty, torture, and inhumane acts after the Sept. 12, 1980, coup d’état, Diyarbakır Prison in southeastern Türkiye has been transferred to the Diyarbakır Museum Directorate of the Culture and Tourism Ministry to serve as a museum. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

February 6, 2023

Visitors surprised by arch’s restoration in Tralleis

The restoration of the historical structure Üç Gözler (Three Eyes), once a western entrance of a bathhouse, in the western province of Aydın’s ancient city of Tralleis, has made people worry as they believe that wrong interventions are putting the city’s history at risk. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

February 9, 2023

Drought accelerated Hittite Empire’s collapse

Researchers have offered new insight into the abrupt collapse of the Hittite Empire in the Late Bronze Age, with an examination of trees alive at the time showing three consecutive years of severe drought that may have caused crop failures, famine, and political-societal disintegration. Source: Arkeonews

February 10, 2023

Prehistoric world heritage site Gobekli Tepe survives Turkey earthquakes

Gobekli Tepe, the world's oldest known place of worship, appears to be undamaged despite being a mere 10 miles from Sanliurfa, one of the 10 provinces affected by the 7.8-magnitude quake. Source: Al-Monitor

February 11, 2023

Earthquakes caused slight damage to Hatay Archeology Museum

The Ministry announced that the earthquakes did not cause any damage to the Kahramanmaraş, Elbistan, Adıyaman, and Malatya museums, but that a part of the Hatay Archeology Museum was damaged. Source: Arkeonews

Major earthquakes hit country’s historic sites

While world-renowned heritages such as Mt. Nemrut, believed to have been the site of a first-century royal tomb, and Göbeklitepe, known as the oldest temple in the world, survived the Feb. 6’s major earthquakes undamaged, the tremors have seriously savaged the some of the country’s historical sites. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

February 12, 2023

Habib-i Neccar Mosque, one of the first mosques in Anatolia, was destroyed in the earthquake

Antakya Habib-i Neccar Mosque, one of the first mosques built in Anatolia, was destroyed in the earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people in Turkey. Source: Arkeonews

February 21, 2023

Damaged artifacts moved to safe museums

The statue of the Hittite King, Suppiluliuma, a symbolic artifact of the Hatay Archeology Museum, survived the earthquake undamaged in the museum, which was partially ruined in the two deadly earthquakes that rattled the country’s south. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Satellite images help academicians map damage to archaeological sites in earthquake zone

Analyzing high-resolution images made available by satellites of China, Germany and Italy, a team consisting of academicians is mapping the damage to 1,652 cultural assets in Turkey's 11 southern provinces following last week's major earthquakes. Source: Duvar.English

February 22, 2023

Massive damage in tomb, church in Hatay

The Bayezid-i Bistami Tomb and the St. Pavlus Orthodox Church were both severely destroyed during the Feb. 6 earthquakes in Hatay. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

February 23, 2023

In ruins of Antakya: Millennia of history in quake-ridden Türkiye

Known as Antioch in antiquity, Antakya and its unique, millennia old historical heritage has been left in ruins in wake of devastating earthquakes, with the identity of the ancient city lying among the rubble. Source: Daily Sabah

February 24, 2023

Quake damage on cultural heritage under control

While the recent earthquakes in Türkiye’s south caused damage to the upper roof cover of the Arslantepe archaeological site in Malatya and the mudbrick walls fell apart, there has been no complete physical destruction in the museums located in the quake-hit provinces, according to a statement made by the Culture and Tourism Ministry. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

February 28, 2023

Ancient city of Anavarza survives major quakes

The ancient city of Anavarza in the Kozan district of the southern province of Adana survived the devastating earthquakes in the east of Türkiye with slight damage. Source: Hürriyet Daily News