The greatest news of the past month was the inscription of Göbekli Tepe onto the UNESCO World Heritage List. Moreover, excavations continued in Sardes, Tieion, and Stratinocea. A stunning discovery was made of the earliest child sacrifice site in the region of southeast Turkey. Unfortunately, vandals damaged historic structures by spray painting them in the ancient city of Side in the Mediterranean region.
June 2018 was a fascinating month for archaeology fans in Turkey, with expectations set high for Göbekli Tepe to be soon included onto UNESCO's World Heritage List. Meanwhile, archaeological excavations revealed the ashes from Santorini’s Minoan eruption in Smyrna, the work continued in ancient Magarasus, and a major project was expected to begin soon in Ordu’s Kurul Castle. Moreover, a new law was introduced, stating that 51 percent of archaeological excavation teams led by foreign crews should consist of Turkish nationals.
The archaeological site of Issus, nowadays known as Kinet Höyük, is a remarkable location, most notable for being the place of no less than three decisive battles. It witnessed the victory of Alexander the Great over Darius III of Persia, the clash between the forces of Emperor Septimius Severus and his rival, Pescennius Niger, and finally, Byzantine emperor Heraclius' campaign against the Sassanid Persians. However, the last of these historical events took somewhere in Cappadocia, but the clash is still known as the Third Battle of Issus.
The ancient site of Belkıs/Zeugma was once an important city of the Commagene Kingdom. It is situated about 50 km from the modern city of Gaziantep, on the banks of the Euphrates. Its name derives from the bridge of boats that in ancient times connected the river banks in this place, forming one of the three major river crossings of the region. The significant part of this archaeological site is now lost under the waters of the Birecik Dam, and its most spectacular artefacts - the extraordinary mosaics - are now displayed in the magnificent Zeugma Mosaic Museum in Gaziantep.