October 2017 in Turkish archaeology

Uzunköprü Bridge - to be registered in the Guinness Book of World Records
Uzunköprü Bridge - to be registered in the Guinness Book of World Records

October 2017 was another fascinating month for Turkish Archaeological News. We wrote about disastrous results of Crown Gate restoration in Antalya, children's toys discovered in ancient Parion, another search for the Noah's Ark, and the controversy concerning the grave of Saint Nicolas in Myra.

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

October 1, 2017

800-year-old historic Crown Gate ruined during restoration

The Crown Gate (Taç Kapı) outside of the Alaaddin mosque, one of the hallmark examples of the Seljuk era stonemasonry, has been ruined during restorations. Source: Daily Sabah

October 2, 2017

Homecoming of Heracles Sarcophagus boosts visits to Antalya Museum

Brought to Turkey from Switzerland two weeks ago after being smuggled out of the country, the ancient sarcophagus of Heracles caused a boom in visitors to Antalya Museum, where it is being exhibited. Source: Daily Sabah

Toys found in child tombs in ancient Parion

Archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Parion, the most important harbor city in the Hellenistic era, have uncovered 2,000 year-old toys in child tombs. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 3, 2017

Santa Claus' untouched grave may be beneath church in Turkey's Antalya, archaeologist says

Archaeologists may have become a step closer to finding the grave of St. Nicholas, more popularly known as Santa Claus, as they discovered what may be the actual grave of the Christmas saint below the surface of a church in Turkey's southern Antalya province, reports said Monday. Source: Daily Sabah

5,000-year-old toy found in child's grave in Şanlıurfa

Archaeologists in the southeastern Turkish province of Şanlıurfa, where many prophets cited in the Bible and Quran are believed to have lived, found a 5,000-year-old toy chariot buried along with a child. Source: Daily Sabah

Göbeklitepe prepares for UNESCO

Paving work has started on the road leading to Göbeklitepe, the world’s oldest settlement in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa. The settlement is Turkey’s nominee for the UNESCO World Heritage List at the 42nd session of the committee in 2018. Source: Daily Sabah

History of 5,000 years underwater in Amasra

Rescue excavations carried out on the land and underwater ruins in the ancient port town of Amasra, now a district in the northern province of Bartın, which has a history dating back 5,000 years, are planned to be offered for tourism. Source: Daily Sabah

October 4, 2017

Roman-era sports facility uncovered in southwestern Turkey

A sports facility dating back to the Roman period was unearthed at a construction site in Sarayönü district in southwestern Turkey's Konya province. Source: Daily Sabah

Turkish town applies to register historical stone bridge in Guinness World Records

Uzunköprü, a district named after a long bridge in Turkey's northwestern Edirne province, will apply to Guinness World Records to register the historical stone bridge in the book of world records. Source: Daily Sabah

Could the Remains of Santa Claus Be in This Turkish Church?

A team of Turkish researchers think they have found new insights into the possible grave of the real man who inspired the Christmas icon. Beneath the mosaic-covered floor of a church in Turkey's southern Antalya province, Turkish archaeologists have conducted scans they believe indicate the presence of a previously unknown tomb. Source: National Geographic

October 5, 2017

2,000-year-old olive oil mill uncovered in Turkey’s Aegean region

Archeologists have unearthed a 2,000-year-old olive oil mill in the ancient city of Tripolis in southwestern Turkey. Discovered in Turkey's Aegean province of Denizli, the mill is expected to shed light on the rich olive history of the region, according to Doğan News Agency. Source: Daily Sabah

October 6, 2017

Geophysics work on military headquarter of Roman Empire

Prior to the archeological excavations planned to start next year in the ancient city of Satala located in the Black Sea province of Gümüşhane, geophysics work has been initiated in order to collect data on the site. Satala was built as a military headquarter during the Roman Empire. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Turkish archaeologists seek 4th century Byzantine palace in historic Istanbul district

A fourth century A.D. Byzantine palace may be located under a building which previously belonged to the Press Publicity Association, reports said Friday. Source: Daily Sabah

October 7, 2017

3,200-Year-Old Stone Inscription Tells of Trojan Prince, Sea People

A 3,200-year-old stone slab with an inscription that tells of a Trojan prince and may refer to the mysterious Sea People has been deciphered, archaeologists announced today (Oct. 7). Source: Live Science

October 8, 2017

Goatherd discovers millennia-old mammoth fossil in central Turkey

A goatherd notified authorities after discovering gigantic bones, believed to be from a three-to-six-millennia-old mammoth, while herding his goats on a field in Turkey's central Kayseri province. Source: Daily Sabah

October 9, 2017

4,500-year-old male skeleton found in northern Turkey

Archaeologists uncovered a 4,500-year-old male skeleton adorned with jewelry in the northern Turkish province of Çorum. Source: Daily Sabah

October 10, 2017

Hamam where Pushkin bathed to open for tourism

The Mazlumağa Hamam and Muradiye Hamam, which were built on the request of Sultan Murad III in Kars province, will open for tourism after restoration. Source: Daily Sabah

Mosaics uncovered in ancient city after 41 years

Mosaics dating back 1,600 years ago, which were discovered in 1976 during excavations in the ancient city of İdyrus in the southern province of Antalya’s Kemer district and then covered, have been uncovered once again. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey launches new initiative to return stolen pieces of Zeugma mosaics from US university

Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism launched a new initiative to return the stolen pieces of famous Zeugma mosaics from U.S. Bowling Green State University. Source: Daily Sabah

Old wrecks discovered underwater in Istanbul

Eight submerged wrecks among other discoveries have been discovered off Istanbul’s Beylikdüzü coast, said underwater cinematographer and researcher Cumhur Ayar at the launch for underwater history research held at Istanbul’s West Marina on Oct. 9. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 11, 2017

Sculptures found in Pisidia ancient city

Five sculptures of gods and goddesses have been found in the Men sanctuary in the ancient city of Pisidia Antiokheia in Turkey. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 12, 2017

“One of the greatest puzzles of Mediterranean archaeology” deciphered in central Turkey

Ancient symbols on a 3,200-year-old stone slab have been deciphered, shedding light on what archeologists call "one of the greatest puzzles of Mediterranean archaeology." Source: Daily Sabah

October 13, 2017

Ancient Phaselis is slowly submerging in Antalya

Almost two meters of the ancient city of Phaselis have submerged in 2,000 years, indicated by studies carried out by geologists and geomorphologists in the area, said Akdeniz University Archeology Department Professor Murat Arslan. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Ancient city of Tium sheds light on Black Sea history

What has been found in the ancient city of Tium in the Zonguldak province gives hints about the social and economic life of the area through the centuries and various reigns with its port, temple and ancient theater. Source: Daily Sabah

Stone inscription links Turkey state farm to Roman era agriculture

Historians discovered a stone embellishing Konya Agricultural Administration's garden ties to the plot of land to another state farm from the Roman era. Source: Daily Sabah

October 14, 2017

6 ancient tombs unearthed in southern Turkey’s Antalya

A total of six ancient tombs and a water tunnel were discovered Saturday during construction works in southern Turkey's Antalya province. Source: Daily Sabah

October 16, 2017

Hagia Varvara gains popularity in Trabzon

The Hagia Varvara Monastery at the entrance of the Sümela Monastery in one of Turkey’s notable tourism centers in Altındered Valley is popular among local and foreign tourists visiting the Black Sea province of Trabzon. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 17, 2017

Historical Harput Gate unearthed in Turkey's eastern Erzurum province

One of the four historical doors of Turkey's eastern Erzurum province has been unearthed, after years of restoration works initiated by the governor, reports said Tuesday. Source: Daily Sabah

October 18, 2017

Göbeklitepe expected to be permanently registered on UNESCO World Heritage List

Registered on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites five years ago, Göbeklitepe, the oldest temple complex in the world, will be Turkey's nominee at the 42nd World Heritage Committee Meeting in 2018. Source: Daily Sabah

5,000-year-old toy chariot discovered in Turkey

Archeologists have reportedly discovered a 5,000-year-old handmade toy chariot in the depths of a child’s grave while excavating a group of tombs in southern Turkey. Source: New York Post

Icon of Jesus seized in Istanbul

At an operation organized by the anti-smuggling department in Istanbul, 28 pieces of historical artifacts have been seized. Among the pieces are a millennia-old icon of Jesus Christ, as well as Byzantine jugs and coins. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Watchman writes two books on Çatalhöyük

A book titled “Protecting Çatalhöyük,” written by Sadrettin Dural in 2007 on the 9,000-year-old Çatalhöyük settlement in the Central Anatolian province of Konya, has been used as a supplementary textbook at Binghamton University’s Anthropology Department. Dural now has a second book about the ancient site. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 19, 2017

Excavations end in ‘Ephesus of Black Sea’

This year’s excavations in the ancient city of Prusias ad Hypium have been completed in the northwestern Turkish province of Düzce. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 21, 2017

Çanakkale’s Bozcaada island on way to becoming car-free

The Bozcaada municipality now plans to ban vehicles on the island, excluding those that belong to locals due to excessive traffic created by many tourists who drive on the island in the summer. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 22, 2017

8,600-year-old bear statuette unearthed in Turkey’s Izmir

Turkish archeologists have discovered an approximately 8,600-year-old bear statuette during excavation works in the Yeşilova Mound, in Turkey's western province of Izmir. Source: Daily Sabah

October 23, 2017

Stone Age cave homes to undergo renovation, welcome visitors in central Turkey

The 4,500-year-old rock caves of central Turkey's Sivas province will likely undergo restoration, in hopes to protect them from deterioration and draw visitors to the ancient site. Source: Daily Sabah

October 24, 2017

Hieroglyphics discovered in central Turkey describe achievements of Hittite king

Hieroglyphics deciphered at a 3,250-year-old Yalburt Hittite Pool in Konya, central Turkey, describe the triumphs and achievements of Hittite King Tudhaliya IV. Source: Daily Sabah

Historical stone school undergoes restoration in western Turkey

A historical building known as Taş Mektep (Stone School) in Bursa's Mudanya district will undergo restoration after having been left empty for the past 28 years. Source: Daily Sabah

Road construction destroys millennia-old artifacts

A road extension and digging carried out on the Şarkikaraağaç-Beyşehir highway in the southern province of Isparta’s Şarkikaraağaç district has caused a scandal. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 25, 2017

Natural history of animal kingdom on display at Gaziantep museum

Animals have been walking on earth long before the mankind and the Zoology and Nature Museum in Gaziantep displays hundreds of animal species from dinosaurs to lions. Source: Daily Sabah

Campaign kicked off for return of ancient nurse

Academics have started a campaign for the return of a 4,000-year-old sculpture unearthed in 1882 in the southern province of Adana’s historic Tebebağ neighborhood and then smuggled to the U.S. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

13th century Seljuk caravanserai to be restored, welcome tourists in Turkey's Denizli

787-year-old Han Abad Caravanserai located in Turkey's Denizli province will soon be opened to tourism after a series of restoration works by the General Directorate for Foundations. Source: Daily Sabah

October 26, 2017

Ottoman cannons see light of day again

Thought to belong to Ottoman battleships, which probably sank during a storm around 300 years ago, eight cannons found off the Antalya coast were brought to the surface to be exhibited at Antalya Museum. Source: Daily Sabah

Earliest traces of Turks in Anatolia found in Istanbul

Subway excavations continue in a 3,500-year-old graveyard, the oldest one in Istanbul, where 35 graves have been unearthed so far. The discovery of cairn burials that belong to the Northern Black Sea steppe culture - namely earlier Turkish and Altai cultures - is considered an exciting surprise for the scientific world. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 28, 2017

Monument of roads on way to UNESCO

The Patara Monument of Roads, 46 blocks of which were unearthed after a fire in the ancient city of Patara in 1993, is set to be restored and become a nominee to join the UNESCO World Heritage list. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 30, 2017

2,200-year-old dam will shed light on climate and vegetation change in northern Turkey

Northern Turkey's ancient Örükaya Dam may shed light on climate and vegetation changes in the region, after renovation work is finished, scientists said. Source: Daily Sabah

October 31, 2017

Iron gates to protect mosaics in Perge

Iron gates have been installed to protect mosaics, with Oceanus and Medusa motifs, carved on historic walls unearthed during excavations in the western side of the necropolis in the ancient city of Perge. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Çatalhöyük skeletons draw museum visitors

Human skeletons unearthed during excavations at the 9,000 year-old ancient settlement of Çatalhöyük are on display at the Archaeology Museum in the Central Anatolian province of Konya. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Ancient artifacts of Stratonicea restored at Turkey's 'stone hospital'

Stone artifacts discovered during excavations at the site of the ancient city of Stratonicea undergo extensive restoration work at an exclusive "stone hospital," Anadolu Agency reported Tuesday. Source: Daily Sabah