June 2021 in Turkish archaeology

Cult statues at Claros
Cult statues at Claros

Many archaeological digs were carried out in June 2021, including the ones in Metropolis where four interconnected cisterns and a 1,800-year-old statue of a woman were unearthed. Also, the archaeologists and conservationists finished restoring the northern city gate of Stratonikeia. Moreover, the restoration of the cult statues of ancient Claros was announced.

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

June 1, 2021

Cisterns in ancient city Metropolis to be unearthed

Following the last year’s discovery of four interconnected cisterns, out of which two have already been unearthed in the ancient city of Metropolis in İzmir’s Torbalı district, efforts will be made to unearth the rest two this year in a bid to bring them into cultural tourism. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Eagle’s nest-like castle awaits its visitors

Believed to be built in the reign of Seljuks in Anatolia, Pertek Castle in the eastern province of Tunceli awaits its visitors as Turkey is gradually reopening and returning to normal after days of strict COVID-19 restrictions. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

A look inside restoration of Byzantine, Ottoman-era Yedikule Fortress

Istanbul’s Yedikule Fortress, which still bears rare examples of Byzantine and Ottoman architecture, is one of the oldest open-air museums in Turkey. Comprehensive restoration work was launched last year in the fortress and experts have meticulously been sustaining their works to turn this historical structure into a center for cultural and artistic events. Source: Daily Sabah

Symbol of metropolis discovered in Turkey's ancient Aizanoi

Exciting archaeological news is coming out of Kütahya's 5,000-year-old ancient city of Aizanoi, as the city's agora gate was recently discovered, only 100 meters (328 feet) from the famed historical Temple of Zeus, and excavations are underway. Source: Daily Sabah

Iznik Museum's sarcophagi mesmerize as ancient works of art

The ancient sarcophagi gathered together from across Turkey and exhibited in Bursa's Iznik district are of special importance in this manner, as their spells created by the original artists tell the stories of nobility, attracting many a visitor. Source: Daily Sabah

June 2, 2021

Oldest painting of Alevi dervish up for auction

The 1651 painting of Haji Bektash Veli, a prominent Alevi religious figure who lived and taught in Anatolia from 1209 to 1271, will be auctioned on June 8 by the Oriental Art Auction House in the Dutch city of Hattem. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Construction of Necropolis Museum nears end

With the construction of the Necropolis Museum nearing the end, the Antalya Metropolitan Municipality will present 2,300 years of history of the Mediterranean region to local and foreign visitors. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Underground parts of Ottoman palace to be detected

Within the scope of ongoing excavation works at the Edirne New Palace (Saray-ı Cedide-i Amire), which hosted significant Ottoman sultans during the rise of the Ottoman Empire, underground parts of the palace will be detected using ground-penetrating radar (GPR) technique. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

June 5, 2021

Renewed sinkholes welcome tourists in Mersin [[https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/renewed-sinkholes-welcome-tourists-in-...

Located in the southern province of Mersin, the historical sinkholes, one of which is called “Heaven” with its 70-meter-deep green nature, and the other called “Hell” with its 128-meter-scary structure, are expecting to host 500,000 tourists in a year with their renewed look. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

June 9, 2021

Mardin’s historic neighborhood to serve tourism

Within the scope of new projects, Mardin’s historic Dereiçi neighborhood, which is considered one of Turkey’s symbolic places depicting multicultural life where many TV dramas and films have been shot, will be brought to serve tourism. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

June 10, 2021

Ten percent of archaeological works on display at museums

As of 2020, the number of artworks registered in museum inventories is close to 3.5 million, according to Yahya Coşkun, the deputy director-general of the Cultural Heritage and Museums. Stating that 90 percent of the artworks registered in the museums are being kept in storages, Coşkun said the works on display make up only 10 percent of all relics. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey retrieves stolen 16th century tiles from the Netherlands

Two tiles, one from a collection of 223 traditional Iznik tiles stolen from a Turkish mosque almost two decades ago, turned up in the Netherlands. Turkish authorities intercepted an auction in the European country where they were to be sold and ensured their return. Source: Daily Sabah

Afyonkarahisar Museum to be Kybele statue’s new home

Works are ongoing to complete the construction of the Afyonkarahisar Museum, which will be the future home of the 1700-year-old Kybele statue. The ancient statue of Kybele, the mother goddess of Anatolia, was smuggled abroad after being excavated in the western province of Afyonkarahisar in 1964 and was brought back to Turkey after 60 years on Dec. 10, 2020, as a result of the efforts by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Turkish Consulate General in New York. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

June 13, 2021

1,800-year-old statue found in ancient Metropolis

An 1,800-year-old statue of a woman was unearthed in İzmir, Turkish officials announced on June 12. In a Twitter post, the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry’s Department of Excavations said the statue was found in the ancient city of Metropolis located in İzmir’s Torbalı district. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

June 14, 2021

Underground cisterns of Istanbul displayed for 1st time

Within the scope of a research project that lasted three years, a Turkish historian toured the historical peninsula of Istanbul and explored underwater cisterns, aqueducts, wells and fountains. “We scanned the mysterious remains under the Topkapı Palace, the Hagia Sophia and the Hagia Irene as we toured around the places with a boat,” Arzu Ulaş told Demirören News Agency on June 12. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Historic Turkish bath in Istanbul put up for sale

A historic Turkish bath built in Istanbul in 1562 during the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent has been put up for sale for 29 million Turkish Liras ($3.45 million). The Horhor Bath, which was built by Behruz Ağa, the sultan’s private chambermaid, was put up for sale by the shareholder family. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Gateway to Turkey's city of gladiators raised once again

Archaeologists and conservationists in southwestern Turkey's Muğla have recently finished restoring the northern city gate connecting the ancient cities of Stratonikeia, once known as the "City of Gladiators," and Lagina to its former glory. Source: Daily Sabah

June 15, 2021

'Hidden chapel' in Sümela Monastery to be restored

In line with a project, a “hidden chapel” unearthed during the restoration of the Sümela Monastery, one of Turkey’s religious tourism centers in the northern province of Trabzon, will be revived. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey’s first fashion boutique to be restored

Botter Han, one of the remarkable architectural structures located on Istanbul’s Istiklal Street and the first example of the art nouveau movement in the city, will be restored in line with an initiative taken by local authorities. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey’s historical peninsula to host digital art exhibition

Istanbul’s Binbirdirek Cistern will host a three-day digital art exhibition, titled ‘Dalınç,’ starting today. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey ensures voluntary return of artifacts from France, US

The Culture and Tourism Ministry on Tuesday unveiled six artifacts voluntarily returned by their owners to Turkey. The artifacts, believed to have been smuggled years ago, were returned from France and United States. Among them was a clay figurine of a woman, the head of a figurine of a man, two clay pots and two amphoras. Source: Daily Sabah

June 16, 2021

Local tourists rush to Hatay Archaeology Museum

The Archeology Museum, where 3,500 square meters of mosaics are exhibited in the southern province of Hatay’s Antakya district, has become a popular place for local tourists. The museum, which is home to the world’s largest mosaic display area, includes a statue of the Hittite King Suppiluliuma II, dating back 3,000 years, as well as many architectural finds. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Anatolia's 1st public toilet in Ottoman period becomes museum

Restoration work has begun in Anatolia’s first public toilet during the Ottoman period in the historical Sulusokak neighborhood in Turkey’s northern Tokat province. The structure from the Ottoman period will serve as the “Water and Cleaning Museum” after the completion of works. Source: Daily Sabah

Cult statues of ancient Claros to be restored in western Turkey

Excavations in Claros, the oldest center of prophecy in the world according to archaeological data, will continue for 12 months with the support of the Presidency of the Turkish Historical Society in the Menderes district of western Izmir province. As part of the latest excavation works, the cult statues of the archaeological site will be restored with the unearthed pieces. Source: Daily Sabah

Gate of the city of gladiators revived

The northern city gate, connecting the ancient cities of Stratonikeia and Lagina in the western province of Muğla’s Yatağan district’s Eskihisar village, has regained its former glory. Excavation, restoration and conservation works continue throughout the year in the ancient city of Stratonikeia, also known as the “City of Gladiators,” which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

June 17, 2021

2,800-year-old Urartian castle discovered in eastern Turkey

A team of archaeologists has unearthed a castle dating back to the Urartian era in eastern Turkey. The remains of the castle dating back 2,800 years ago were discovered during an excavation project sponsored by Van Yüzüncü Yıl University on a mountain at an altitude of 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) in the Gürpinar district of eastern Van province. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Nearly 5,000 cultural assets returned to Turkey in last 18 years

A total of 4,862 cultural assets were returned to Turkey between 2003 and 2021, according to data given by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

June 18, 2021

Made of mud: The historical conical dome houses of Harran

The now-deserted Harran ruins, well-known for their distinct beehive-shaped mud houses, were once a major economic, religious and education hub. Source: Daily Sabah

June 21, 2021

Zeus Temple regaining its former glory

The Zeus Lepsynos Temple from the 2nd century B.C. is being revived to regain its former glory, as restoration works continue in the Aegean province of Muğla's Milas district. Excavation works are also ongoing in the ancient city of Euromos. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

June 22, 2021

Experts look for traces of crucial Anatolia battle

A group of Turkish academics started a study to determine the location of the Battle of Manzikert, a conflict that reverberates deeply every after many centuries in the soil of Anatolia and world history. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Cult statues under restoration in oldest oracle center

Excavations in Claros, the oldest oracle center in the world according to archaeological data, will continue for 12 months with the support of the Presidency of the Turkish Historical Society. Stating that the restoration works of the cult statues will be started within the scope of this year’s works, Onur Zunal, the scientific advisor of the Claros excavations, said that the temple revealed important data regarding the period. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Neolithic archaeological work begins in Turkey's Şanlıurfa

Turkey is littered with archaeological hot spots, many of which offer tourists a chance to explore history dating back thousands of years. Recently, excavations have begun in one such spot in Şanlıurfa's Sarayburç Ruins which belongs to the Neolithic period. Source: Daily Sabah

June 23, 2021

Historical bath to open to tourism

Work has started to open the Basilica Therma Roman Bath, known as the “King’s Daughter,” in the Sarıkaya district of the Central Anatolian province of Yozgat. The bath was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 2018. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

June 24, 2021

Tunceli's Tozkoparan Mound hosts new archaeological excavations

Archaeological excavations at the Tozkoparan Mound in Turkey's Tunceli province are expected to make the city one of the historical tourism centers of eastern Anatolia with thousands of years of history waiting to be uncovered. Source: Daily Sabah

June 25, 2021

Ottoman sultan’s iconic portrait displayed in Istanbul

A rare portrait of Suleiman I, the longest-reigning Ottoman sultan known as the Magnificent Suleiman, has been put up on display for Turkish people after it was donated to the Istanbul Municipality by an anonymous citizen who bought the artwork at an auction in London. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

June 26, 2021

Art center of ancient era welcomes visitors

Known for its special location at the junction of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas, the ancient city of Knidos, whose foundation in Datça district of the western province of Muğla dates back 4,000 years, Knidos started welcoming its visitors again as of June 1 following a reopening after COVID-19-related restrictions were loosened. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

June 28, 2021

8,000-year-old deer drawings found in caves of Turkey’s east

Experts discovered some 8,000-year-old deer drawings made with ochre on the walls of mountain caves in the eastern province of Erzurum’s Tortum district on June 26. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey introduces 1st destination-oriented regional tourism brand

Turkey introduced a promotional program on June 27 for the "Mesopotamia" brand, which was created to promote the tourism potential of the southeastern Anatolia region to the world. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

New sites discovered around Turkey’s ancient marvel Göbeklitepe

Turkey has discovered 11 new hills near the prehistoric site of Göbeklitepe, crowned as the world’s first temple, in southeastern Şanlıurfa province. Source: Daily Sabah

2021 excavations start in Turkey’s Metropolis ancient city

The excavations in the ancient city of Metropolis, supported by the Sabancı Foundation, continue with the permission and contribution of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in its 31st year. Illuminating the secrets of history, the excavations in the ancient city, located in the Torbalı district of western Izmir province, will focus on public and religious areas such as the city's water infrastructure and churches this year. Source: Daily Sabah

June 30, 2021

Virgin Mary Monastery in Turkey's Diyarbakır awaits restoration

Located in the Çüngüş district of southeastern Turkey's Diyarbakır province, the historical Virgin Mary Monastery, built on an area that has hosted various religious structures over the course of more than two millennia, is in need of a little TLC since its last major restoration in 1841. Like many historical structures, it requires a little help to remain standing, and the town is more than ready to welcome renovation efforts for the church. Source: Daily Sabah