September 2020 brought some amazing archaeological discoveries from the area of Turkey. The excavations continued at Hadrian's Temple in Kyzikos, in the ancient city of Satala, and Dara in the southeastern province of Mardin where a water cistern was discovered. Moreover, 2,000-year-old rock tombs were found in the Kizilkoyun Necropolis area of Şanlıurfa while a terracotta mask dating back nearly 2,400 years was found during the excavations in Daskyleion. Sadly, the installation of air conditioners on the walls of the 1300-year-old Hirami Ahmed Pasha mosque in Istanbul rose much controversy and bad news reached us from Nilüfer district of the northwestern province of Bursa where St. Georgios Church collapsed down due to lack of care for the last seven years.
Turkish Archaeological News collects the most important, interesting and inspiring news from Turkish excavation sites. Here's the review for September 2020. Have we missed anything? Let us know by using Contact tab!
The wooden viewing platform on which you are standing offers a great close-up view of the Ramp of Troy II, but you can also climb up the second platform, to get a broader perspective of the fortifications. The paved ramp led through a massive gate into the interior of Troy II. The city was protected by high walls, built of mud bricks on the limestone substructure. These walls, around 330 meters long, surrounded the area of about 9000 square meters. The visible construction dates back to around 2300 BCE.
The stadium of Ephesus is located just to the south of the Vedius Gymnasium, in a depression near the Pion Hill. This was the place where celebrations of all kinds were held, including sports events, chariot races, and gladiatorial combats. Most probably, the first stadium in this location was erected in the Hellenistic times by king Lysimachus in 3rd century BCE. To create the stadium, an artificial cavity was dug into the ground, covering the area of 3.3 hectares. The surviving traces, the dimensions, and the elongated form of the structure allowed its early identification as a stadium, oriented along the east-west axis. This Hellenistic structure was rather simple with just a flat running track and earthen banks where the spectators could sit, situated at the southern side. It was then used for religious ceremonies and sports activities.
Next to the Hellenistic Heroon, stands another burial monument of Ephesus, known as the Octagon. Dating back to the late 1st century BCE, this building was a monumental eight-sided mausoleum, around 13 meters high, originally surrounded by a Corinthian colonnade, standing on a square base with the sides 9 meters long. It was covered, most possibly, with a steep pyramidal roof, a novel architectural solution. All visible parts were made of white marble.
Schliemann's Trench is a reminder of the actions of the famous Heinrich Schliemann, frequently dubbed the discoverer of Troy. In search of the castle of King Priam described by Homer in the Iliad, Schliemann made a huge trench in Hisarlık mound, 40 meters wide and 17 meters deep, oriented along the north-south axis. It was dug through the centre of the mound between 1871 and 1873 as the test-trench reaching bedrock.