The main square of the harbour district was the so-called Hall of Verulanus. This spacious square, measuring 200 by 240 meters, used to be the largest of the sports facilities situated along Harbour Street. Its name comes from the founder, Verulanus, who was the chief priest of Asia during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. He ordered paving and tiling of the greater of the palestrae of the Harbour Baths with marble slabs in 13 different shades. These panels have not been preserved to our times, but their existence is evidenced by the holes in the walls, where the panels were attached. This arcaded courtyard served as training grounds of the athletes. Called xystos in antiquity, the court was surrounded by a three-aisled colonnade with its broad middle aisle serving as a running track. The best opportunity to glimpse the ruined Hall of Verulanus is to look at its eastern corner, recently uncovered by the archaeologists next to the Church of Mary.
The biggest news of July 2021 was the inscription of Arslantepe Mound near Malatya into UNESCO's World Heritage List. This event broke the unlucky trend as after Göbekli Tepe became the World Heritage Site in 2018 no other archaeological sites from the area of Turkey were granted this privilege for three years. In other news, Turkey reopened Sümela Monastery in the Black Sea region to visitors after five years of restoration. Moreover, the archaeologists discovered a 1000-year-old human skeleton in Perre and the monumental entrance gate of the Zeus Temple's sanctuary in the ancient city of Aizanoi.
Turkish Archaeological News collects the most important, interesting and inspiring news from Turkish excavation sites. Here's the review for July 2021. Have we missed anything? Let us know by using Contact tab!
Today, on the 26th of July 2021, the World Heritage Committee added seven sites to the famous UNESCO's World Heritage List. Among the newly inscribed places, there is one archaeological site from the area of Turkey - Arslantepe Mound.
Arslantepe Mound is a 30-metre-high tell located in the Malatya Province in eastern Turkey, just 12 kilometres to the south-west of the Euphrates River. Archaeological evidence indicates that the site was occupied from at least the 6th millennium BCE until the late Roman period.
Many archaeological digs were carried out in June 2021, including the ones in Metropolis where four interconnected cisterns and a 1,800-year-old statue of a woman were unearthed. Also, the archaeologists and conservationists finished restoring the northern city gate of Stratonikeia. Moreover, the restoration of the cult statues of ancient Claros was announced.
The castle in Enez, ancient Ainos, is located on a hill which is the highest point in the area, called the acropolis in the ancient times. In its heyday, the entire top of the hill was surrounded by high defensive walls. Access to the fortress was provided by two arched gates - located on the eastern and northern sides.