July 2022 in Turkish archaeology

Basilica Cistern in Istanbul
Basilica Cistern in Istanbul

The biggest news of July 2022 for the history and archaeology enthusiasts was the final reopening of two historical locations in the heart of Istanbul: the Basilica Cistern and the Archaeological Museum. Moreover, an Urartian fortress was discovered at an altitude of 3,300 meters in eastern Turkey, and a 1800-year-old statue head was found in Smyrna Theater in Izmir. Finally, the archaeological excavations were launched at historical Harput Castle at eastern Elazığ province and in Metropolis in the Aegean Turkey.

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

July 1, 2022

Sidamara, the largest sarcophagus of the Ancient World, got Eros relief 140 years later

The Sidamara Sarcophagus, which is considered to be one of the largest sarcophagi of the ancient world and weighs many tons, has received 140 years later its missing piece, the Eros Head. Source: Arkeonews

July 2, 2022

An Urartian fortress was discovered at an altitude of 3,300 meters in eastern Turkey

In the Gürpınar district of Van, located in eastern Turkey, a fortress ruin, which is considered to be used by the ruling class of the Urartians, was detected on a mountain at an altitude of 3,300. Source: Arkeonews

July 4, 2022

8,200-year-old needles found in Turkey's Izmir

Ancient bone needles estimated to be 8,200 years old have been unearthed during excavations conducted in the Yeşilova and Yassıtepe mounds of western Turkey's Izmir. Source: Daily Sabah

July 5, 2022

Istanbul’s historic pharmacy to become museum

Melih Ziya Sezer, owner of one of the oldest pharmacies in Istanbul’s Moda district, has died at the age of 90. It has been reported that the 120-year-old pharmacy will become a museum after the death of Sezer, who has been healing for years in the pharmacy he inherited from his father. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Roman villa, mosaic uncovered in southern Turkey during construction

During a routine construction job in the Defne district of southern Turkey's Hatay, workers digging to lay the foundation of a new structure stumbled upon the remains of a Roman villa, including its preserved geometrically patterned mosaic floor. Source: Daily Sabah

2022 excavations launched at historical Harput Castle

The 14th season of archaeological excavations started at eastern Elazığ province’s Harput Castle, which was inhabited since 3000 B.C. and surrounded by walls by the Urartian Kingdom. Source: Daily Sabah

July 6, 2022

Aydın’s earliest settlement waiting to be revealed

Believed to have hosted one of the earliest settlements of the western province of Aydın, Deştepe Mound is waiting to come to the surface as it is positioned among the buildings rising around it in the Kemer neighborhood of the Efeler district. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

July 13, 2022

Athena statue found in 1930s on display for 1st time in Izmir

An ancient statue of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, handicraft and warfare, has been put on display at the Izmir Archaeological Museum for the first time since it was unearthed in the 1930s. Source: Daily Sabah

July 17, 2022

Int’l documentation work begins for Aigai building

With the support of the German Archaeological Institute, international documentation work has been initiated in the agora building of the ancient city of Aigai, which dates back 2,700 years in the western province of Manisa. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

July 18, 2022

Latest digs to unveil acropolis, agora of Turkey’s Metropolis

The 2022 excavation season is underway in Metropolis, with work on the acropolis, agora, Araplıtepe Church and water wells promising to make significant progress in unveiling the cultural heritage of the site. Source: Daily Sabah


July 19, 2022

Historic Podesta Palace for sale for $7 million

The Podesta Palace, built by the Genoese in Istanbul’s Galata in 1314, was put up for sale for 7 million dollars. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

July 21, 2022

A 3300-year-old seal and a dagger/sword reminiscent of Mycenaean swords were discovered in the Heart of western Anatolia

A unique 3300-year-old seal and a sword/dagger reminiscent of Mycenaean swords were unearthed during the excavations of Tavşanlı Höyük (Tavşanlı Mound), the oldest known settlement in Kütahya, dating back 8000 years. Source: Arkeonews

A rare 3,300-year-old bronze helmet reaching the present from the Hittite Empire era

The 3,300-year-old bronze helmet, which was unearthed during the 2002 excavations in Şapinuva, one of the important cult centers of the Hittite Empire, is among the rare artifacts that have survived from the Hittite Empire period. Source: Arkeonews

In southern Turkey, the remains of a Roman villa whose floor was decorated with geometrically patterned mosaics were unearthed during construction

Workers working to lay the foundation of a new building in the Defne district of Hatay, southern Turkey, by accident discovered the ruins of a Roman villa, with its preserved geometrically patterned mosaic floor. Source: Arkeonews

A 3800-year-old cylinder seal was discovered at Turkey’s Tepebag Mound excavations

In the 2022 excavations of Tepebag Mound, located around Taşköprü, the center of Adana province in Turkey’s Mediterranean Region, a 3800-year-old cylinder seal was found. Source: Arkeonews

Restoration needed to revive Santa Ruins for tourism

Located within the borders of Dumanlı village between the northern provinces of Trabzon and Gümüşhane and considered a historical and touristic treasure, the Santa Ruins requires urgent restoration to revive its magnificent cultural heritage. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Remains of the summer palace of Genghis Khan’s grandson, Hulagu Khan, found in eastern Turkey

The archeology study team, consisting of Turkish and Mongolian scientists, found important findings in the study carried out to find the summer palace and city ruins thought to have been built by the Mongol Ilkhanid State ruler Hulagu Khan in the Çaldıran district of Van in the 1260s. Source: Arkeonews

July 22, 2022

The Basilica cistern, which is said to have the sarcophagus of Medusa or the Mysterious Snake Woman, was restored

The Basilica Cistern, one of the magnificent ancient structures of Istanbul, was restored. Besides being the greatest work of the Roman period, the cistern is the focus of interesting narrations. Source: Arkeonews

Aperlai: Ancient port city built on slopes of Lycia

During the Roman period, the port cities established in the Lycian region began to develop in a magnificent way. Aperlai was a small one among these ancient cities. Source: Daily Sabah

July 24, 2022

New exhibition halls open at Istanbul Archaeology Museums

The main building and exhibition halls of the Istanbul Archaeology Museums have been renovated as part of the institution's earthquake preparation, restoration and exhibit arrangement project and were reopened in an official ceremony on Friday. Source: Daily Sabah

July 25, 2022

Excavations in and around Yazıkaya, one of the monumental works of the Phrygians, start again after 71 years

Archaeological excavations at Midas Castle in Yazılıkaya Midas Valley in the Han district of Eskişehir, located in northwest Turkey, will be resumed after 71 years by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Anadolu University. Source: Arkeonews

Ancient scent formula revealed

One of the scent formulas written in Akkadian on cuneiform tablets by Tapputi, known as the world’s first female perfumer and first female chemist in Mesopotamia 3,200 years ago, was unearthed. A team of 15 experts, including academics, carried out studies to uncover the 3200-year-old formula. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

July 26, 2022

In the ancient city of Syedra: a unique mosaic with the 12 labors of Heracles depicted on a single panel found

During the excavations in the ancient city of Syedra in the Alanya district of Antalya, approximately 164 square meters of floor mosaic depicting the 12 labors of the mythological hero Heracles (Hercules) were unearthed. Source: Arkeonews

Giresun Island to become attraction center

The Culture and Tourism Ministry has initiated a new project to boost tourism on Giresun Island, one of the three islands of the Black Sea where archaeological excavations are still ongoing. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

July 28, 2022

The inhabitants of Pınarbaşı Höyük in central Turkey may be the ancestors of the Boncuklu Höyük and Çatalhöyük neolithic human communities

The excavations carried out in the area considered to be the oldest known cemetery in Anatolia (14 000 BCE) in Karaman/Pınarbaşı Höyük show that Pınarbaşı people may be the ancestors of the Boncuklu Höyük and Çatalhöyük neolithic human communities. Source: Arkeonews

July 30, 2022

Illegal digs reveal rare Roman-era mass grave in Turkey

A total of 27 skeletons were found in a burial pit carved into the rocks in Adıyaman province, an important culture, and tourism city in Southeast Turkey. The finds came to light after locals notified authorities of an illegal dig by treasure hunters in a rural part of the Gölbaşı district. Source: Arkeonews

July 31, 2022

1800-year-old statue head found in Ancient Smyrna Theater in western Turkey

A statue head dated to the 2nd century AD was unearthed during the excavations at the Ancient Smyrna Theater, located on the slope between Izmir, Kadifekale. Source: Arkeonews