January 2018 in Turkish archaeology

Basilica Cistern in Istanbul
Basilica Cistern in Istanbul

The beginning of 2018 brought new hopes for recovering Turkish travel industry as well as some fascinating archaeological discoveries, including ancient burial chambers, holy water springs and underground cities. A milestone found in the area of ancient Termessos has risen prospects of finding a yet unknown ancient city. Moreover, a breakthrough in our knowledge about the prehistory of Asia Minor is expected as the European Research Council has given Turkish scientists a €2.5 million grant for the DNA analysis of 1,500 people who lived in the Anatolian region during the Neolithic period.

Turkish Archaeological News collects the most important, interesting and inspiring news from Turkish excavation sites. Here's the review for January 2018. Have we missed anything? Let us know by using Contact tab!

January 1, 2018

Visitors to Turkish border city do not skip museums

Edirne, which is one of the most renowned cities in the world with its cultural heritage and the amount of historical artefacts per square meter, has seen an increase in the number of museum visitors. Source: Daily Sabah

4,000-year-old underground city ruled by lost Byzantine dynasty found in Turkey's Trabzon

A 4,000-year-old underground city allegedly belonging to a lost Byzantine dynasty has been discovered during urban transformation works in Turkey's northern Trabzon province, reports said Monday. Source: Daily Sabah

Nusret ship boosting Çanakkale tourism in Turkey

The Nusret Mine Ship, which defeated Allied fleets during World War I by laying mines on transit routes, was rescued 14 years ago from ruins and opened to visitors after a restoration process in the southern province of Mersin’s Tarsus district. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

January 2, 2018

Ancient burial chambers containing artifacts discovered in Turkey's Izmir

The burial chambers were discovered during excavations in the ancient city of Metropolis in Torbalı district, about 40 km southeast of İzmir. Source: Daily Sabah

Historical Çobandede Bridge in eastern Turkey defies time

The historical Çobandede Bridge, which was constructed during the Ilkhanate Empire in Köprüköy district of Erzurum province, defies the years, remaining standing for 720 years. Source: Daily Sabah

Istanbul’s Basilica Cistern breaks annual visitor record

The cistern, located close to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet area and overseen by the Istanbul Municipality, continued to draw interest from visitors despite undergoing a restoration process. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

January 3, 2018

Harran’s historical houses to serve tourism

Historical structures in the southeastern province of Şanşıurfa’s Harran district are being revived. Considered one of the oldest settlements in the world, the city has been home to various civilizations since 6000 B.C., as well as the Assyrian and Umayyad capital. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

January 4, 2018

Burial chambers uncovered in Metropolis

Burial chambers have been found in the ancient city of Metropolis in İzmir for the first time. Various gifts and bones belonging to a family have been uncovered within the chambers. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Municipal workers discover 13th century sepulcher in central Turkey

Municipal workers carrying out infrastructure work in Turkey's central Çorum province discovered a sepulcher containing bones from the 13th century A.D. and work has been launched to identify the remains, reports said Thursday. Source: Daily Sabah

Historic Bulgarian church in Istanbul to reopen on Jan 7 after seven-year restoration

A 120-year-old Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Istanbul is set to reopen on Jan. 7 following extensive renovation works. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Rare Ephesus coin to be sold in New York

A rare ancient Ephesus coin will be put up for auction on Jan. 7 in New York with an estimated price between $200,000-$300,000. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

442-year-old house to become boutique hotel in Turkey’s Sivas

A historical building completed in 1576 in central Turkey's Sivas province is set to become a boutique hotel after its restoration is completed. Source: Daily Sabah

January 5, 2018

841-year-old war mystery solved

Important progress has been made in determining the exact location of the Battle of Myriokephalon, also known as the Battle of Myriocephalum, fought between the Byzantine Empire and Seljuk Turks. Specialized ground penetrating radar (GPR) is being used to find the 841-year-old triumph that made Anatolia Turkish land. Source: Daily Sabah

Monastery in Turkey’s Mardin waits to be discovered

The Mor Augin Monastery, located at the foot of the Bagok Mountain in the southeastern province of Mardin’s Nusaybin district, is waiting to be discovered. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

January 7, 2018

Experts at Turkey’s Culture Ministry lab restoring 452 historic Byzantine church icons

Experts at the Culture Ministry’s restoration laboratory are currently restoring 452 pieces of historical Byzantine church icons, dating back to 7th century. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

January 8, 2018

Man trying to smuggle over 200 Byzantine-era artifacts detained in southern Turkey

Upon receiving intelligence, gendarmerie forces in Mersin's Tarsus district carried out a raid on the suspect's house and discovered 196 artifacts from the Byzantine period and 60 coins from the same period. Source: Daily Sabah

Turkish scientists granted $2.9M to pioneer Neolithic-era Anatolian DNA study

The European Research Council (ERC) has given Turkish scientists a €2.5 million ($2.9 million) grant for the DNA analysis of 1,500 people who lived in the Anatolian region -- present-day Turkey's Asian part -- during the Neolithic period. Source: Daily Sabah

Smuggled artifacts from Turkey shown on map

The Antalya Promotion Foundation (ATAV) has prepared maps in three languages to draw attention to historical artifacts from Turkey that have been smuggled abroad. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

January 10, 2018

Every section of Sümela Monastery to open to visitors

The first phase of work being conducted on the rock masses on Mela Mountain, also known as Black Mountain where the world-renowned Sümela Monastery is located, is complete. Source: Daily Sabah

Ancient Greek coins seized in Zonguldak

Some 595 ancient Greek coins dating back 4,000 years have been seized in an operation in the Black Sea province of Zonguldak’s Kozlu district. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Toy museum opened in Turkey’s Black Sea province

A large toy museum displaying toys from all over the world has been inaugurated in the Black Sea province of Samsun. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

January 12, 2018

Roman-era sarcophagi awaited in ‘City of the Dead’

The area from which two Roman-era sarcophagi were removed in 2015 and 2016 in the northwestern province of Bursa’s İznik district, known as the “city of the dead” (necropolis), is monitored by police and gendarmerie teams 24/7. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Artifacts seized in Istanbul kept in archeology museums’ storages

Last month, the Istanbul Police Headquarters realized the biggest operation in the history of the Republic and seized 26,456 historical artifacts. Seven people, who had attempted to sell the artifacts, were arrested as part of the operation. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

January 13, 2018

Hatay’s Medical Aromatic Plants Museum resembles pharmacy

Turkey’s first Medical Aromatic Plants Museum, located in Turkey’s southeastern province of Hatay, resembles a pharmacy warehouse as it houses 280 medical and aromatic plant species. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

January 15, 2018

Turkey’s new Troy Museum to draw 1 million tourists, celebrities

The new Museum of Troy in Turkey's western Çanakkale province is expected to draw 1 million tourists in its inaugural year, including several Hollywood celebrities who were invited by the Turkish government. Source: Daily Sabah

January 17, 2018

Ancient town of Hasankeyf one step closer to destruction after top court’s decision

The 12,000-year-old Hasankeyf settlement in Turkey’s southeast is on the verge of complete destruction, after a Constitutional Court ruling gave the final go-ahead for a controversial dam project that is set to leave the ancient town under water. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Police after treasure hunters following discovery of ancient burial chamber in Turkey's Adıyaman

Treasure hunters carrying out illegal excavations in Turkey's southeastern Adıyaman province have discovered a burial chamber from the Roman-era, reports said Wednesday. Source: Daily Sabah

January 19, 2018

Milestone sign of unknown ancient city in Antalya

A 2,000 year-old milestone, which has been unearthed during excavations in the ancient city of Termessos in the southern province of Antalya, might be the sign of a yet unknown ancient city, according to officials. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

January 24, 2018

Sacred spring dating back to 1800s discovered in northern Turkey

A historical holy water spring called "ayazma" was discovered Wednesday in Turkey's northern Black Sea province of Samsun, the Doğan News Agency reported. Source: Daily Sabah

January 25, 2018

Ancient settlement in Antalya to become archaeological park

The Kepez Municipality in the southern province of Antalya, will restructure Lyrboton Kome, an ancient settlement in Antalya’s Varsak, into an archeological park. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Ancient tomb discovered during irrigation works in southern Turkey

Workers carrying out excavations for the State Hydraulic Works as part of a closed circuit irrigation system in southern Turkey have discovered an ancient tomb believed to be from the Roman or Byzantine periods, reports said Thursday. Source: Daily Sabah

January 28, 2018

Gold crown of Hecatomnus returned to Turkey

Ancient gold crown, which was stolen from the burial chamber of Hecatomnus in the Aegean town of Milas in 2008 and later smuggled to Scotland, has returned to Turkey, Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has said. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

January 29, 2018

Büyükada Greek Orthodox Orphanage on most endangered shortlist

Europa Nostra, the leading European heritage organization, and the European Investment Bank Institute included the Prinkipo Greek Orthodox Orphanage in Istanbul among 12 cultural heritages, which have been nominated for the Seven Most Endangered cultural heritages list. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Sümela Monastery’s secret ‘Observation Chapel’ opens to visitors in northeast Turkey's Trabzon

A recently-discovered chapel that doubled as a watchtower at the Sümela Monastery in Turkey's northeast Trabzon province has opened to visitors, providing new insight into the 1,600-year history of the ancient site. Source: Daily Sabah

January 31, 2018

Ancient horse figurines recently unearthed greet visitors in Turkey’s Karaman

Miniature horse figurines, unearthed in the Gökçeseki ancient settlement, also known as Philadelphia, in the central Anatolian province of Karaman, await visitors at the Karaman museum. Source: Hürriyet Daily News