May 2022 in Turkish archaeology

May 2022 saw the discovery of a sarcophagus carrying the title of "Emperor’s protector" in the province of Kocaeli in western Turkey. Meanwhile, in the eastern part of the country, the water level of Lake Van fell, revealing a one-kilometer Urartian road connecting Çarpanak Island to the shore. Finally, archaeologists found an 1800-year-old sewer system during excavations in the ancient city of Mastaura, in the Nazilli district of Aydın province.

Lake Van
Lake Van

April 2022 in Turkish archaeology

Possibly the most thrilling archaeological news from the area of Turkey in April 2022 was the discovery of a Hellenistic cremation tomb in Istanbul’s Haydarpaşa excavations. Moreover, the remains of an 8500-year-old wooden ladder were found in Çatalhöyük, one of the best-preserved Neolithic settlements in the world. Finally, the excavations revealed a huge underground city in southeastern Mardin province’s Midyat district.

Haydarpaşa - historical railway station in Istanbul
Haydarpaşa - historical railway station in Istanbul

Nagidos

The scant ruins of the ancient Greek city of Nagidos are situated on a hill above the town of Bozyazı, on the Mediterranean coast of Anatolia. They were excavated by a team of archaeologists from Mersin University who discovered the traces of settlement reaching back to the Hellenistic times, i.e. the 4th century BCE. At that period, when Nagidos was an outpost of Samos and Rhodes, as a small harbour founded to trade goods from Cyprus and Egypt.

Nagidos - view from the acropolis towards the island of Nagidoussa
Nagidos - view from the acropolis towards the island of Nagidoussa

Ambitions to be met

Text by our correspondent from Didyma, Glenn Maffia.

My previous two articles have afforded me to espouse upon the relatively minor, inexpensive, tweaks to the appearance around the Temple of Apollo which shall enable visitors to better appreciate the elegant antique architecture that stands as a symbol to this growing vacation resort. Namely, clean the graffiti, smarten the surrounding abodes and secure the perimeter walls, whilst also officially opening the Sacred Road to the public.

Column base from the second temple in Didyma, now in the Excavation House. Photo credit: Glenn Maffia
Column base from the second temple in Didyma, now in the Excavation House. Photo credit: Glenn Maffia

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Milion of Constantinople

It is well known that all roads should lead to Rome, but when the capital of the Roman Empire was moved to Constantinople in the 4th century, this city also became the benchmark for measuring distances within the empire. While in Rome the role of the zero milestone was played by the Milliarium Aureum, or the Golden Milestone, in Constantinople it was assigned to the Milion. It was a monument from which all road distances to the cities of the Empire were measured. Nowadays, only very modest remains of this structure can be seen in Istanbul near the entrance to the famous Basilica Cistern.

This text is a fragment of a guidebook to Istanbul: "Byzantine Secrets of Istanbul".

Milion of Constantinople
Milion of Constantinople

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