The Church of the Virgin Mary was the first of churches dedicated to the mother of Christ. It is also the most significant building from Christian times in Ephesus. It was erected in the 3rd century within an earlier building. Architecturally, the structure can be described as a basilica with a nave and two aisles. The aisles were divided into shorter parts, which could serve as shops. Today, the best-preserved section of the structure is a cylindrical baptistery, located in the northern part of the atrium. In the central part of the baptistery, there was a pool, where the baptised people could be fully immersed in water.
The most significant archaeological discovery in the area of Turkey in November 2019 was a 3,500-year-old fragmented skull and femur thought to belong to the Hittite period. It was unearthed in Sapinuwa, nowadays Çorum, an important military and religious center of its time. This discovery will help to shed light on the human typology and anatomy of the Hittites.
When the Ottoman army conquered Hadrianopolis around 1361, there were two main districts of the city, on two banks of the Tunca River. Kaleiçi was situated on the eastern bank, while Aina - on the western bank of the river. Not surprisingly, shortly after the capture of the city, Sultan Murat I ordered the construction of the first mosque in Edirne, as the settlement was to be called from that time. This is a short story of the first imperial mosque of the city - Hüdavendigâr Mosque, situated in Aina District.
In October 2019, some important archaeological discoveries were made in the area of Turkey, including the finds in the sites of Arslantepe and Parion. However, the most astonishing news was the unearthing of an 11,300-year-old Neolithic-era temple in Mardin Province. The archaeologists found this temple with three mostly-intact steles and dated it to the same era as the Göbeklitepe excavation site in southeastern Şanlıurfa province.
As a regular visitor to the region, I have witnessed the changes in the Ephesus site and the museum over the past five decades. I remember walking over mounds of marble fragments in 1965, which turned out to be pieces of the now magnificently restored façade of the Library of Celsus! So imagine my excitement this September to see the Ephesus Museum in Selçuk after it had been closed for major renovations between 2012 and 2015. However, my anticipation turned to shock at what I saw: The new arrangement is a giant step back from the museum’s exhibition and education mission.