November 2017 in Turkish archaeology

Yesemek prepares for UNESCO candidacy
Yesemek prepares for UNESCO candidacy

The biggest archaeological discovery in the area of Turkey, announced in November 2017, was undoubtedly the existence of a 3000-thousand-year-old castle under the waters of Van Lake in the far east of the country. We also followed a mysterious dig in Tarsus, supposedly aimed at finding St. Paul’s Bible in Tarsus, and we learned that an ancient Persian temple discovered in Amasya in northern Turkey could rewrite religious history.

Turkish Archaeological News collects the most important, interesting and inspiring news from Turkish excavation sites. Here's the review for November 2017. Have we missed anything? Let us know by using Contact tab!

November 2, 2017

Seljuk Cemetery seeks spot in UNESCO list

A group of giant Seljuk tombstones in Turkey’s southeastern province of Bitlis could join the permanent UNESCO World Heritage List in 2019. The 400- to 700-year-old gravestones are currently on the temporary list. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Vatican denies digging claims for St. Paul’s Bible in Turkey's Tarsus

The Vatican has denied claims that it is involved in archeological digs aiming to find St. Paul’s Bible in Tarsus, a district in the southern Turkish province of Mersin. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Diwan Lughat al-Turk, Piri Reis map in UNESCO's Memory of the World Register

After the International Consultative Committee Meeting, which was held between Nov. 24 and 27 at UNESCO's Paris Headquarters, 78 new items from around the world were included in UNESCO's Memory of the World Register. Source: Daily Sabah

November 3, 2017

Construction workers find ancient sarcophagus cover in Turkey's Gümüşhane

Workers renovating the power distribution unit in Turkey's northeastern Gümüşhane province discovered a 1,407-year-old Byzantine sarcophagus cover, assumed to belong to a "blessed" figure, near the ancient city of Satala, reports said Friday. Source: Daily Sabah

Artifacts recover in stone hospital

Hundreds of historical artifacts unearthed in the 3,000-year-old ancient city of Stratonikeia in the western province of Muğla’s Yatağan district are being restored in a field called “stone hospital.” Source: Hürriyet Daily News

November 4, 2017

Western Turkey's Denizli to host Seljuk-era madrasah ruins in museum

The mayor of western Denizli province has said the recently discovered ruins of a Seljuk-era madrasah will be opened to the public next year with the launch of a museum. Source: Daily Sabah

November 5, 2017

Ottoman-era handmade postage stamp is now Turkey’s most valuable

Duloz Takse, an Ottoman era postage stamp dating back to 1867 is now worth 80,000 Turkish liras ($20,570) and is considered the most expensive Turkish postage stamp, the chairman Federation of Turkish Philatelic Association said. Source: Daily Sabah

November 6, 2017

Ancient Persian temple discovered in northern Turkey could rewrite religious history

Archaeologists have uncovered an ancient Persian temple from the fifth century B.C. in Turkey's northern Amasya province that could rewrite the history of the region. Source: Daily Sabah

Kütahya earns Turkey's 4th spot in UNESCO's Creative Cities

Accepted as part of the Creative Cities Network of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Oct. 31, Turkey's Kütahya province has earned the title of "Creative City" in the field of handicrafts. Source: Daily Sabah

Lycian tomb unearthed in home of Santa Claus

Excavations on a land in the southern province of Antalya’s Demre district, known for being the home of Santa Claus and visited by thousands of tourists every year, have unearthed a 2,400-year-old rock tomb from the Lycian era. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Dozens of historical artifacts seized in Turkey’s Bilecik

Dozens of historical artifacts were seized in two anti-smuggling operations conducted Monday in midwestern Turkey's Bilecik province. Source: Daily Sabah

November 7, 2017

Persian temple may rewrite religious history

Archaeologists have uncovered an ancient Persian temple from the fifth century B.C. in Turkey's northern Amasya province that could rewrite the history of the region. Source: Daily Sabah

November 8, 2017

Turkmen culture comes alive at Tahtacı museum

Tahtacı Turkmens living in the Göksu neighborhood of Mersin's Mut district have turned a part of their "cemevi" (Alevi house of worship) into the Tahtacı Museum to keep their culture alive and to teach it to future generations. Source: Daily Sabah

Two minor historical artifacts found in excavation in Turkey’s Mersin

Two minor historical artifacts have been found in an excavation that started last year in the southern province of Mersin, according to expert reports, daily Habertürk has reported. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

November 9, 2017

First infertility diagnosis made 4,000 years ago discovered in cuneiform tablet in Turkey

The first diagnosis to determine infertility was made 4,000 years ago, an ancient Assyrian clay tablet discovered by Turkish researchers in central Kayseri province revealed Thursday. Source: Daily Sabah

DNA study shows Neolithic Europeans interbred with Anatolian migrants

A large international team of researchers has found that Neolithic hunter-gatherers living in several parts of Europe interbred with farmers from the Near East. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes comparing DNA from several early groups in Europe and evidence of interbreeding. Source:

November 10, 2017

Roman artifacts discovered at Hittite excavation site in Turkey's Samsun

Archaeologists searching for remnants of the Bronze Age Hittite city of Nerik in Turkey's Samsun province have discovered the remains of a Roman city, reports said Friday. Source: Daily Sabah

5,000-year-old fortress discovered in central Turkey’s Cappadocia region

Archeologists uncovered an approximately 5,000-year-old settlement and fortress in central Turkey's Nevşehir province, home to the unique geological and historical region known as Cappadocia. Source: Daily Sabah

Artifacts on display at century-old Adana factory

The Archaeology Museum, the first stage of the Adana Museum Complex, established in a century-old restored factory, was opened to visitors in May and has received 47,000 people since its first day. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

November 11, 2017

Discovering Byzantium in Istanbul

The Istanbul Research Institute will hold an international symposium, Discovering Byzantium in Istanbul: Scholars, Institutions and Challenges, 1800-1955, to mark the 10th anniversary of its establishment. The symposium, which focuses on the development of Byzantine studies in the 19th and early 20th century in Istanbul, is free of charge in Pera Museum's auditorium. Source: Daily Sabah

Hizan: A town frozen in time

Mounted on the hills of Bitlis, Hizan looks like a town frozen in time. With its historic stone houses that seem like they are about to fall apart, Hizan offers a very authentic scene not just to guests, but artists as well. Source: Daily Sabah

November 12, 2017

Underwater ruins of 3,000-year-old castle discovered in Turkey

Archaeologists in Turkey's eastern Van province discovered the ruins of a 3,000-year-old Urartu castle during underwater excavations in lake Van. Source: Daily Sabah

November 13, 2017

Yesemek prepares for UNESCO candidacy

Turkey’s southeastern province of Gaziantep is home to one of the world’s most enigmatic and fascinating archeological sites in the world. We are not talking about Zeugma and its celebrated mosaics, but the Yesemek sculpture workshop, which lies on the hills of Karatepe about 113 km from the city center in the İslahiye district. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

November 14, 2017

Ancient settlement found in Cappadocia

An ancient settlement, dating back to the early Bronze Age, has been unearthed in the Central Anatolian province of Nevşehir. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

November 15, 2017

Istanbul's Hagia Yorgi Church ready to reopen

The Hagia Yorgi Church, located opposite the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque in Istanbul’s Edirnekapı, which has been restored by the General Directorate of Foundations, will open on Nov. 19 at a ceremony in the presence of Greek Patriarch Bartholomeus. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

'Bloody Bastion' prepared to bring back history

A large bastion that was designed for the protection of eastern borders by the Ottoman Empire in Kars province and is known as the "Bloody Bastion" since a battalion was martyred there during the Ottoman-Russian War, is planned to be turned into a museum. Source: Daily Sabah

Gilded seals of historic Antalya mosque disappear

Three more gilded seals in the Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Mosque in the historic neighborhood of Kaleiçi of the southern province of Antalya have disappeared, after other seals of the mosque went missing in the past years. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Ancient castle studied in Lake Van

Works have been continuing to reveal the secrets of Lake Van, Turkey’s biggest lake in the eastern province of Van. Recently, a 3,000 year-old castle has been unearthed in the lake. Previous works had revealed stalagmites that were at least 10 meters long, known as “underwater fairy chimneys. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

November 16, 2017

Lost epitaph found by chance 20 years later

A historical epitaph that shows Anatolian-Islamic culture was lost for nearly 20 years was found by chance in Tunceli province and was immediately put under protection. Source: Daily Sabah

November 17, 2017

Xanthos and Letoon ready for visitors

The Culture and Tourism Ministry has announced that the ancient city of Xanthos, located near the village of Kınık in Fethiye, southwest Turkey, will be ready to welcome visitors in 2018 after recovery works. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

November 18, 2017

Sunken Bosphorus ship on display in Istanbul Museum

The replica of Yenikapı 12, a sunken ship unearthed during Marmaray subway excavations in Istanbul, is currently on display at the Istanbul Archaeology Museums. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

November 20, 2017

History of Tunceli to be presented in city museum

A barrack used for military service in the past is being turned into Tunceli province's first city museum. Source: Daily Sabah

700-year-old Torah seized in Turkey's Muğla

Gendarmerie forces in southwestern Muğla province have detained four people who were trying to sell a 700-year-old Torah believed to be worth TL 7.5 million ($1.93 million). Source: Daily Sabah

Hagia Yorgi Greek Orthodox Church in Istanbul opens after three-year restoration

The historic Hagia Yorgi Greek Orthodox Church, a UNESCO world heritage site, has been opened with a ceremony after undergoing a three-year restoration in Istanbul’s Edirnekapı. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Fame of Ottoman bath beyond borders

Located in the garden of the Pamukçu Sedefne Thermal Hotel and operated by the Altıeylül Municipality, the bath has recently been hosting patients and visitors from Germany, Holland and France as well as locals. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

November 22, 2017

Aspendos Arena may be demolished

The Antalya Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board has decided on the demolition of the Aspendos Arena, built in 2008 near the Aspendos Antique Theater and located in the Belkıs neighborhood of the Serik district. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

November 23, 2017

Göbeklitepe settlement presented in Bodrum conference

Archaeologist Çiğdem Köksal Schmit, the wife of the late Professor Klaus Schmit, who headed the excavations in Göbeklitepe and died in 2014, has introduced the ancient settlement at a conference in the Aegean resort of Bodrum. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey’s Syriac community welcomes Mor Gabriel Monastery’s return

Turkey’s Syriac minority in the southeastern province of Mardin have welcomed the imminent return of legal ownership of the Mor Gabriel Monastery to their community, a monastery official said on Nov. 22. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

November 24, 2017

Doll Museum sheds light on history

A museum displaying 3,000 hand-made dolls that belong to 624 themes, sheds light on history in one of the most significant spots of culture, history and nature tourism—Cappadocia. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

November 26, 2017

Ancient Roman gymnasium discovered in southwest Turkey

An ancient Roman gymnasium was discovered in Turkey's southwestern Konya province after a landowner submitted an application to receive building permit on his land which had been declared as a protected site. Source: Daily Sabah

19th-century soldier found in coffin unearthed in Ardahan to be returned to Poland: Minister

A 19th-century Russian military officer who was found inside an unearthed coffin in the eastern province of Ardahan is of Polish origin and will be returned to Poland, Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has said. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Statue of Hygieia and Eros uncovered in southern Turkey

Archeologists discovered a statue of the Greek goddess Hygieia and god Eros in Turkey's southern province of Adana, shedding light on the region's ancient history. Source: Daily Sabah

2,000-year-old necropolis found in Turkey’s Kahramanmaraş

A 2,000-year-old necropolis was found during renovation works in southeastern Turkish city of Kahramanmaraş, media reported Sunday. Source: Daily Sabah

November 27, 2017

Turkey's Diyarbakır to remove visual pollution at world heritage site

The Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality has prepared a project to remove the visual pollution around the historical fortress and make it visible for tourists. Source: Daily Sabah

Mosaics on mosque floor revealed

Newly discovered ancient mosaics on the floors of Fatih Mosque, one of the most important historical buildings in Trabzon province, are expected to bring an influx of local and foreign tourists. Source: Daily Sabah

November 28, 2017

Ancient ‘Hygieia’ new finding in Anavarza

Archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Anavarza, which became one of the most important metropolitans in Anatolia after the second century, have unearthed a headless two-piece statue. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Lab studies conducted to determine ancient relatives

Gene codes of skeletons unearthed in Istanbul’s Yenikapı, Pendik, Sirkeci and Beşiktaş neighborhoods during archaeological excavations are being solved by a team headed by Associate Professor Yasemin Yılmaz of Düzce University Archaeology Department. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Sümela Monastery to reopen next year

Works have almost ended at one of the world’s most important faith tourism sites, Sümela Monastery in the eastern Black Sea province of Trabzon, which is set to reopen to visitors soon. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

The True Story Behind Turkey's Ancient 'Underwater Castle'

Last week, a story about a 3,000-year-old castle discovered beneath the waters of Lake Van, in Turkey, went viral. But what's the real story behind this Atlantis-like discovery? Source: Life Science

November 29, 2017

Remains dating to Prehistoric Age discovered in Istanbul

Two axes and a bunch of flint stones dating back to the prehistoric period were discovered during excavation works in and around Aydos Castle, located on the Asian side of Istanbul in Turkey. Source: Daily Sabah

2,000-year-old rock tombs to welcome visitors in southeast Turkey

Nearly 2,000-year-old burial chambers discovered in historical caves in Turkey's southeastern Şanlıurfa province will be opened for tourism by the end of December, the municipality has announced. Source: Daily Sabah

Tender for Ephesus Harbor still unannounced

The result of the tendering process for the construction of new touristic harbor at the UNESCO world heritage center of Ephesus, in the Aegean province of Izmir’s Selçuk district, has yet to be announced, even though the process was concluded over a month ago. Source: Hürriyet Daily News