April 2020 in Turkish archaeology

April 2020 was another quiet month in the archaeological world, but some important discoveries were made and published, anyway. Possibly the biggest one was made by Israeli archaeologists found a hidden pattern at Göbekli Tepe - an equilateral triangle, underlying the entire architectural plan of the complex. Moreover, five new entries of the sites from Turkey were made into UNESCO Tentative List, for better or worse, as it has been demonstrated in our publication. Meanwhile, one of the most precious historical heritage sites in the country - Hasankeyf - continued to disappear under the waters of Tigris River. The archaeologist went literally underground in Safranbolu and Kayseri where underground tunnels and rooms had been found. Finally, a rather sensational discovery was made in the Ottoman archives, revealing the evidence of the first person ever killed by a meteorite.

Çukurçeşme Han in Istanbul

Wandering through the old districts of Istanbul, you can easily see how rich and multi-layered is the history of this city, the former capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. This is evidenced not only by the most magnificent and well-known buildings but also by those less apparent, often hidden in a tangle of narrow streets. One of them is the building of the old bazaar, now known as Taşhan i.e. the Stone Inn. We stumbled across it accidentally, wandering from Yenikapi station towards Şehzade Mosque. Our attention was caught by a stone building, the entrance of which was visible at the end of the alley turning off Gençtürk Street. Soon, we found out that it was worth getting off the main route because Taşhan is not only an extremely photogenic place but also the one with a fascinating history and hiding a great secret.

Çukurçeşme Han in Istanbul
Çukurçeşme Han in Istanbul

The peculiar case of Turkey's enormous UNESCO Tentative List

On April 14, 2020, five sites of historical importance located in the area of Turkey were added to the UNESCO Tentative List, extending it to 83 positions. These new additions include a small historical town of Central Anatolia, a huge port city of the Aegean coast, a beautiful valley in Kayseri Province, a neo-Hittite site in Southern Anatolia, and Roman-era fortifications situated in the south-eastern part of the country. Moreover, two castles on the Aegean coast were added to the previously registered list of fortresses and trading stations on the Genoese trade routes. We have provided an overview of these sites in a separate article. This is a varied and well-balanced collection of the places of enormous significance for the history of the region.

5 more cultural assets from Turkey added to UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List

Sculpture from Karatepe-Arslantaş archaeological site
Sculpture from Karatepe-Arslantaş archaeological site

Five new historical places located in Turkey were added to UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List on April the 14th of 2020, increasing the number of objects on this list to 83. The five new places are: historical town of Beypazarı in Ankara Province, the historical harbour city of Izmir on the Aegean coast, Karatepe-Arslantaş archaeological site in Osmaniye Province, Koramaz Valley in Kayseri Province, and the Zerzevan Castle and Mithraeum in Diyarbakır Province. Moreover, the list of Fortifications on Genoese Trade Routes from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea, first registered in 2013 was extended by the addition of two places: Çeşme Fortress and Güvercinada Fortress in Kuşadası.

Temple of Athena and Troy VI bastion

The district of the Temple of Athena represents the typical situation within the Hisarlık Mound – the accumulation of multiple settlement layers and structures one on the other. Here, the sacred precinct of Athena, the goddess of wisdom, handicraft, and just warfare was erected on the bastion of the Late Bronze Age Troy. The Temple of Athena was rebuilt several times and was finally demolished, becoming the source of construction materials in the early-modern era.

This text is a fragment of a guidebook to Troy "The Secrets of Troy (TAN Travel Guide)".

Temple of Athena and Troy VI bastion
Temple of Athena and Troy VI bastion

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