October 2020 in Turkish archaeology

Ruins of Soli (Pompeiopolis) in Mersin
Ruins of Soli (Pompeiopolis) in Mersin

October 2020 brought many archaeological discoveries in the area of Turkey, as an ancient temple dating back to the Stone Age, between 7,000 and 12,000 years ago, was found at Kahin Tepe while the memorial tomb of the famous Greek astronomer and poet Aratus was excavated at Soli (Pompeiopolis). Moreover, the sensational discovery of a Minoan-era harbour was announced in Didim and the earliest heating system of southern Anatolia was found in heart of Diyarbakır (ancient Amida).

Turkish Archaeological News collects the most important, interesting and inspiring news from Turkish excavation sites. Here's the review for October 2020. Have we missed anything? Let us know by using Contact tab!

October 1, 2020

Anteater, elephant fossils dating back 9 million years found in SW Turkey

A team of paleoanthropologists, paleontologists and geologists from universities in Ege, Pamukkale and Hitit conducted a surface survey in the southwestern province of Denizli under the coordination of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. During the survey conducted under the leadership of Ahmet Ihsan Aytek, a faculty member at the Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Science and Letters at Mehmet Akif Ersoy University (MAKÜ), eight fossils of different mammal species estimated to have lived between 1.2 million and 9 million years ago were found. Source: Daily Sabah

October 2, 2020

Ancient Black Sea port awaits scuba divers

A port, Kerpe, located in the 2,300-year-old city of Bithynia, which has witnessed many Roman, Byzantine, Genoese, and Ottoman ships throughout its history, has become a prominent location for scuba diving lovers. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Ottoman-era tannery discovered in southern Hungary

The remains of an Ottoman-era tannery building and a pool used for soaking leather have been unearthed in Szeged, Hungary, according to a museum official. Source: Daily Sabah

Kahin Tepe Excavation Uncovers Neolithic Temple in Turkey

Archaeologists at the Kahin Tepe site in Turkey have discovered an ancient temple dating back to the Stone Age, between 7,000 and 12,000 years ago. Source: Ancient Origins

October 4, 2020

Bellini’s iconic Ottoman sultan portrait opens for public visit

A portrait of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, which was bought by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in June, has been put on display for the public with the participation of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and the city’s mayor, Ekrem İmamoğlu. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 5, 2020

Ancient kitchen, ‘women’s room’ found in Patara

Archaeological excavations carried out in the ancient city of Patara in the southern province of Antalya’s Kaş district, which is described as the cradle of civilizations as it has hosted many civilizations throughout history, have unearthed a kitchen and a “women’s room,” believed to be 2,400 years old. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 6, 2020

Memorial tomb of Greek poet Aratus unearthed in southern Mersin

Ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Soli Pompeipolis in the Mezitli district of southern Mersin province revealed the outlines of the memorial tomb of the famous Greek astronomer and poet Aratus. Source: Daily Sabah

Documentary on historic basilica in the making

French director Pascal Guerin has started the shooting of his documentary “The Sunken Secrets of Basilica” in the northwestern province of Bursa about the underwater basilica in Lake İznik. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 7, 2020

Istanbul’s iconic tower reopens after restoration

Istanbul’s iconic Galata Tower has been reopened following a three-month restoration process, which occasionally has been subject to controversy in public due to the renovation methods used. After a ceremony with the participation of Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, the 672-year-old tower was once again opened to the public. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Exhibition on history of Istanbul now online

Istanbul’s Sabancı University’s Sakıp Sabancı Museum (SSM) continues to share rich content from its comprehensive selection of past exhibitions on its digital media channel, one of which is 2010’s “From Byzantion to Istanbul: 8,000 Years of A Capital.” Source: Hürriyet Daily News

British archaeology falls prey to Turkey's nationalist drive

Turkish authorities have seized possession of the country’s oldest and richest archaeobotanical and modern seed collections from the British Institute at Ankara, one of the most highly regarded foreign research institutes in Turkey, particularly in the field of archaeology. Source: Al-Monitor

October 8, 2020

Myra-Andriake summer excavations end with ‘important’ finds

Summer excavations in the Myra-Andriake ancient site in the southern province of Antalya’s Demre district have ended, with finds from the works marked to be among the most important this year. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 9, 2020

Harbor remains found in Aegean Sea

Harbor remains have been found underwater off Rabbit Island in the western province of Aydın’s Didim district, and the studies for the same will soon commence in an effort to revive the underwater cultural tourism in the region. The ruins date back to 5,000 B.C. The harbor belongs to the Minoan culture and civilization. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 10, 2020

Kastabala ancient city to host art events

With the completion of excavations and landscaping, the theater in the ancient city of Kastabala, one of the religious, cultural and artistic centers of the region with the traces of the fifth century B.C., will host concerts, theater and art performances. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 11, 2020

Traces of ancient life found in eastern Van

During excavations carried out in İremir Mound, located in eastern Van province’s Gürpınar district, archeologists have found traces of ancient life dating back 5,000 years. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 12, 2020

Earliest heating system of southern Anatolia found in heart of Diyarbakır

During archaeological excavations into the Amida Mound in the historical Sur district, which is described as the heart of southeastern Diyarbakır province, water channels and a heating system, estimated to be 1,800 years old, were found. Source: Daily Sabah

October 13, 2020

Zeugma-like mosaics found in Sinop

After the stone chest presumed to be part of the cross on which Jesus was crucified, the excavations at the Balatlar building complex in the northern province of Sinop have unearthed mosaics similar to those in the ancient city of Zeugma. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Recent artifacts found to change Istanbul’s history

Due to the metro and railway constructions in the Beşiktaş district, Haydarpaşa and Yenikapı neighborhoods and soil removal work in the Silivri district, so many artifacts have come to light over the years that have enriched the history of Istanbul, reported the daily Hürriyet. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Castle of the gulf to open tourism

The restoration works have been completed in the 1400-year-old Hereke Castle, located in the district of Körfez at the peak area overlooking the İzmit Bay, and will soon be open for tourism. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Roman-era toys reveal vibrant lifestyle in southwestern Turkey’s ancient city of Beçin

Artifacts including toys and coins have been found during excavations at the 5,000-year-old ancient city of Beçin in southwestern Muğla province’s Milas district. Toys, rings, bracelets, necklaces and coins belonging to the Hellenistic, Ottoman, Roman and Byzantine periods were discovered in the ancient city, which was added to UNESCO's World Heritage Tentative List in 2012. Source: Daily Sabah

Roman bath in southern Turkey's ancient city of Patara will welcome visitors in 2021

One of the first baths in Anatolia, built by Roman Emperor Nero in the ancient city of Patara in today's sun-soaked Turkish province of Antalya, is slated to open to visitors next year. Source: Daily Sabah

October 14, 2020

Historic Silk Road damaged by marketplace, vehicles

A marketplace is set up every week on the 2,000-year-old Silk Road in Konak district of İzmir, attracting hundreds of people, and because of the rush and many vehicles that are parked, the road at many segments has collapsed. The area should be taken under protection as soon as possible, said Professor Engin Berber. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Ancient Hittite cuneiform scripts will soon be accessible online

The Hittites lived in Anatolia some 3,500 years ago. They used clay tablets to keep records of state treaties and decrees, prayers, myths, and summoning rituals, using a language that researchers were only able to decipher around 100 years ago. Now, the Hittites' texts, which were written in cuneiform, are being made fully accessible online. The collection will be based on around 30,000 documents, most of which are written in the Hittite language, but other languages such as Luwian and Palaic will also be represented to a lesser extent. Participating in the joint project are researchers from the universities of Mainz, Marburg, and Würzburg, as well as of the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz. Source: phys.org

Ancient tomb, which was thought to be a mausoleum for many years, awaits maintenance

The Pyramid Tomb, located within the boundaries of the ancient city of Hydas, was registered as a cultural asset. While the tomb, built 2,300 years ago, is falling into ruin due to illicit excavations, residents of the neighborhood want the historical tomb to be maintained and restored. Source: Arkeofili

October 15, 2020

Rescue excavation to unearth burial chamber in southwestern Turkey’s ancient city of Amos

A rescue excavation will be carried out following the discovery of a burial chamber during an illegal dig at the ancient city of Amos in Marmaris, southwestern Muğla. Source: Daily Sabah

October 19, 2020

Theater and stadium excavations continue in Aizanoi Ancient City

In the ancient city Aizanoi, Kütahya Province, which hosts many Roman structures, approximately 2,400 gigantic stone blocks were lifted by cranes and taken to the surrounding empty area within the scope of the work carried out to give the theater and stadium its original appearance. Source: Arkeolojik Haber

October 20, 2020

Granite columns, heart-shaped pink lake in ancient city attract tourists

The inner and outer ports of the ancient city of Alexandria Troas in the northwestern province of Çanakkale now contribute to tourism with its heart-shaped pink lake and magnificent granite columns. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Ruins of church discovered on bottom of lake

The remains of the submerged church lie about 15 meters (50 feet) below the surface of Lake Gaga in the town of Fatsa in Ordu province, the head of the provincial Culture and Tourism Directorate told Anadolu Agency. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Restored sections of Harem open to visitors

Restoration activities in the Harem-i Hümayun (seraglio) section of the Topkapı Palace has been completed, where now Valide Taşlığı (the courtyard of the Valide sultan), Ocaklı Sofa (the sofa with fireplace) and Çeşmeli Sofa (the sofa with the fountain) have been reopened to visitors after six years of restoration work. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

2,000-year-old snake-figure altar unearthed in ancient city of Patara in southern Turkey

An altar depicting a snake figure was unearthed during excavations in the ancient city of Patara in the Kaş district of southern Turkey's Antalya province. Source: Daily Sabah

Archaeologists bring historical Harran Palace's gate to light

The main gate of the historical Harran Palace, discovered in southeastern Turkey's Şanlıurfa province thanks to two years of excavations, has been unearthed. Source: Daily Sabah

October 22, 2020

3,200-year-old artifacts unearthed in North Cyprus

Archeologists have unearthed some 137 pieces of artifacts dating back 3,200 years in the northern part of Cyprus. The artifacts are believed to be the widest range of works from the late Bronze Age in the entire eastern Mediterranean region. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Archaeological works resume in central Anatolia's ancient city of Nora

A team working within the Aksaray Provincial Directorate of Culture will resume archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Nora in Turkey’s central Aksaray province. Source: Daily Sabah

October 23, 2020

Idyma ancient city comes to surface

Surveys have begun in the ancient city of Idyma, which was established at an altitude of 250 meters from the sea, on the slopes of the Gökova district of Ula, overlooking the Gulf of Gökova in the southwestern province of Muğla. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 24, 2020

Roman and Byzantine era mosaics in Kazlıçeşme

Ancient mosaics, unearthed in Istanbul’s Zeytinburnu Kazlıçeşme and believed to belong to the Late Roman and early Byzantine period, have been introduced with the theme of “Four Times Four Stories One Space” at the Zeytinburnu Kazlıçeşme Cultural Center. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

The replica of the Hittite period inscription is on display in Niğde Museum

The replica of the 2800-year-old inscription, interpreted as a mining license from the late Hittite period in the Bolkar Mountains, started to be exhibited in the Niğde Museum. It states that King Warpalawas gave the prince Tarhunzas the control of the Bolkar Mountains because he pleased him, wanted him to bring abundance, and the mountain brought wealth. Source: Arkeolojik Haber

An underwater treasure from the Bronze Age discovered in Marmaris Bozburun

Turkish scientists, who conducted the Turkish Shipwreck Inventory Project: Blue Heritage (TUBEP) study with Koca Piri Reis Ship, discovered hundreds of historical artifacts approximately 4 thousand years old with the traces of the Bronze Age harbour in Muğla Bozburun. Source: Arkeolojik Haber

Elazığ Değirmenönü tumulus surveyed

A team of 12 people from Fırat University conducted a survey in the Değirmenönü tumulus at the foot of the Mastar Mountain, which was registered by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism 3 years ago. The tomb was built at a dominant point and it was covered with a conical masonry stone at a height of about 20 meters and 50 meters in diameter. The masonry stones of the fortification walls are from the Roman period and the masonry stones covering the tumulus are exactly the same. Source: Arkeolojik Haber

October 26, 2020

Project to introduce Latmos rock paintings to world

An international promotional project has been initiated for Latmos rock paintings, which date back to the Neolithic Age and are one of Turkey’s most cherished historical heritage, as they are not recognized internationally enough. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 27, 2020

Battlefield museum to tell story of glorious resistance

Hıdırlık Tabya, a bastion and one of the most important military areas of the Thrace defense line during the Balkan Wars in the northwestern province of Edirne, will serve as the Balkan History Museum. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

House with church unearthed in Laodicea

A 20-room peristylium with a church inside has been unearthed during the ongoing excavation and restoration works in the ancient city of Laodicea, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Temporary List. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Osman Hamdi Bey Digital exhibition opens

A digital exhibition organized by the Communications Directorate in memory of the versatile artist Osman Hamdi Bey, who has an important place in Turkish art history, is being presented at Marmara University Sultanahmet Campus. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

New Byzantine settlements discovered in western Turkey

New settlements belonging to the Byzantine period were found in the Nazilli district of Turkey's western Aydın province. During excavations in the region, archaeological teams also discovered the remains of 4 cisterns, 1 grave and 1 mill. Source: Daily Sabah

October 28, 2020

1700-year-old Assyrian church in Turkey’s east put up for sale for $875,000

A 1,700-year-old registered church in the eastern province of Mardin was put up for sale by a local man who has the title deed for 7.2 million Turkish Liras ($875,000). The Mor Yuhanna church located in the district of Artuklu is registered as a cultural as-set by the Culture and Tourism Ministry but is owned by an individual whose father bought and used the building as a warehouse and a carpenter’s shop. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 29, 2020

Motifs of ancient artifacts turn into jewelry

The motifs on the artifacts found in the 3,000-year-old Zerzevan Castle, located near the Çınar district of the eastern province of Diyarbakır, which served as a military settlement during the Roman Empire period, have become an inspiration for the jewelry designers. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey Covers Up Priceless Frescoes in Ancient Greek Church for Muslim Prayers

Turkey recently announced that the ancient Greek Orthodox Chora Monastery, located in Istanbul, which was converted to a mosque in August, will open for worship on October 30. Chora’s priceless artwork, including frescoes and mosaics, have been covered up for Friday’s inauguration which, according to reports, will be attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Source: Greek Reporter

Coins of Principalities Found in Karacahisar Castle

In the archaeological excavations carried out in the Karacahisar Castle, which is located in Eskişehir and known as the first castle conquered by the Ottomans, coins belonging to many principalities were found. The coins belong to the Seljuks, Karamanoğulları, Germiyanoğulları, and Menteşeoğulları as well as the Mamluks. Source: Arkeofili

Treasure Hunters Demolish Roman Bridge in Kırklareli

The Roman era bridge in the town of Üsküp in Kırklareli Province was destroyed due to the damage caused by illegal excavations. Source: Arkeofili

October 30, 2020

Mother goddess figurine found in İzmir

Archaeological excavations in Yeşilova and Yassıtepe mounds in İzmir’s Bornova district have recently ended after revealing an 8,200-year-old mother goddess figurine, fishing-related net weights, various kinds of jewelry items, as well as fish fossils and numerous mussels remains. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Sunken ships from Gallipoli battle set for diving tourism in Turkey

More than a century after Ottoman forces fended off British warships in the famous Gallipoli campaign, remnants of sunken ships are scheduled to be included in an underwater park. HMS Majestic of the Royal Navy, which was torpedoed by a German submarine, the Ottomans’ ally during World War I, will be the first to be opened for diving tourism. Source: Daily Sabah

October 31, 2020

Turkey’s oldest tree living since Bronze Age

The oldest tree alive in Turkey has been around since the Bronze Age and is sturdy enough to live for another four millennia, the Environment and Urbanization Ministry has said. The tree is a yew tree and is 4,115 years old, standing strong in the northern province of Zonguldak, the ministry said on its website on Oct. 30. Source: Hürriyet Daily News