January 2024 in Turkish archaeology

Detail of the Christ Pantocrator mosaic, also known as the Deësis mosaic, in Hagia Sophia in Istanbul
Detail of the Christ Pantocrator mosaic, also known as the Deësis mosaic, in Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

The most important archaeological news from the area of Turkey in January 2024 was the discovery of a collection of 10 coins believed to date back nearly 1,400 years at the ancient city of Hadrianopolis in Karabük Province. Moreover, 10 clay amphorae dating back to the second century BCE were discovered during excavations conducted at the ancient city of Amos in Muğla Province. The visitors to Istanbul may be interested in learning that, after several years-long break, it is possible to visit the upper galleries of Hagia Sophia with its iconic mosaics. However, the entrance fee is collected for the privilege. Finally, the restoration of the Temple of Athena in Side, that started two years ago, is due to be completed in 2024. Sadly, January 2024 was also marked by the passing away of Glenn Maffia, our friend, Turkish Archaeological News correspondent, and the author of the guidebook to ancient Didyma, Faint Whispers from the Oracle.

Turkish Archaeological News collects the most important, interesting and inspiring news from Turkish excavation sites. Here's the review for January 2024. Have we missed anything? Let us know by using Contact tab!

January 3, 2023

Archaeologists oppose highway project in southern Türkiye

The route of the highway project planned in the western districts of Antalya, Kaş and Demre, have caused controversy. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report of the highway project, which is to affect historical and natural areas such as Kekova, Myra, and Andriake Kaputaş Canyon rock tombs, states that more than 66,000 trees on the route will be cut down. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

January 4, 2023

1,400-year-old coins found in a piggy bank in ancient city of Hadrianopolis

Archaeologists unearthed a collection of 10 coins believed to date back nearly 1,400 years, retrieved from what appears to be a piggy bank in the ongoing excavations at the ancient city of Hadrianopolis in Karabük’s Eskipazar district, Türkiye. Source: Arkeonews

Istanbul’s historical places increase visitor numbers

As Istanbul's historical sites are flooded with visitors, historical structures affiliated with the National Palaces in the country welcomed more than 7 million visitors in 2023. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

January 6, 2023

World War I trenches discovered in Antalya

A first-of-its-kind trench network and control center spanning 2 kilometers and built during World War I to defend the Mediterranean province of Antalya against possible land and sea attacks has come to light. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

January 7, 2023

Ancient reliefs become target of treasure hunters

An academic has cautioned that urgent protection is required for the historic Adamkayalar (Men of Rock) reliefs in the southern province of Mersin, which have been vandalized by people looking to find supposedly hidden treasures. Source: Arkeonews

January 12, 2023

6th-century BCE goddess statue taken from Türkiye to England returned

Originating from the ancient city of Miletus in Aydın and dating back to the sixth century B.C., a marble torso of the Greek goddess Kore, set to be sold at an auction in England, has been delivered to the Turkish Embassy in London to be repatriated through Türkiye's efforts. Source: Daily Sabah

January 15, 2023

Hagia Sophia visitors to pay entrance fee

Foreign tourists will be required to pay an entrance fee of 25 euros to visit the Hagia Sophia Mosque as of Jan. 15. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

2,800-Year-Old Thracian “Pharmaceutical” Center Unearthed at Heraion Teikhos, Turkey

In 2021, a team of researchers unearthed a 2,800-year-old temple at the ancient Thracian city of Heraion Teikhos, in Turkey. Now, a water system has been identified leading to a space within the temple which researchers are calling an “ancient pharmaceutical production area.” Source: Ancient Origins

January 18, 2023

10 rare clay amphorae found in Türkiye's ancient city of Amos

10 clay amphorae, a type of terracotta jar, believed to date back to the second century B.C. were discovered during excavations conducted at the ancient city of Amos in the Marmaris district of Muğla. Source: Daily Sabah

January 21, 2023

Temple of Athena nears completion

The restoration in the Temple of Athena that started two years ago due to the use of the ruins as the entrance of a nightclub nears an end, due to complete in 2024, in the ancient city of Side. Source: Hürriyet Daily News