December 2018 in Turkish archaeology

Colonnaded Street of Perge
Colonnaded Street of Perge

The biggest archaeological news of December 2018 was the return of the stolen fragments of the famous "Gypsy Girl" mosaic from Zeugma. The missing pieces were brought back from the USA. On the more depressing tone, the columns of ancient Perge still seek sponsorship, vandals damaged the monuments of the Phrygian Valley, and a Roman-era mosaic has been sitting under a dumpster since its discovery two years ago in Iznik, the ancient Nicaea.

Turkish Archaeological News collects the most important, interesting and inspiring news from Turkish excavation sites. Here's the review for December 2018. Have we missed anything? Let us know by using Contact tab!

December 3, 2018

Nine artifacts in Perge still seek sponsor

A sponsorship campaign initiated to restore columns and artifacts in the ancient city of Perge, which is located 20 kilometers from the city center of the southern province of Antalya, has failed to find support. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 4, 2018

Oldest coins of civilization history on display

The Suna & İnan Kıraç Research Center for Mediterranean Civilizations (AKMED) opened an exhibition featuring the oldest coins of civilization history, as well as ancient weighing tools and equipment, on Dec. 2 in the southern province of Antalya’s Kaleiçi Museum. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 6, 2018

Vandals destroy history in Phrygian Valley

The Phrygian Valley, located within the borders of the Aegean provinces of Kütahya and Afyonkarahisar and the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir, has suffered heavy destruction by treasure hunters. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 7, 2018

Iconic 'Gypsy Girl' welcomes visitors with missing pieces retrieved decades later

The famous "Gypsy Girl" mosaic is finally complete after its missing pieces were retrieved from the United States decades after they were smuggled abroad. Source: Daily Sabah

December 11, 2018

Roman-era mosaic left underneath dumpster in Bursa

A Roman-era mosaic has been sitting under a dumpster since its discovery two years in the northwestern province of Bursa’s İznik district during municipal works due to a disagreement between the owner of the land and authorities. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 13, 2018

Stone relief of Prophet Daniel identified in central Turkey’s Konya

A stone artifact discovered in Turkey's central Konya province last month was identified as a relief of Biblical figure Daniel. Source: Daily Sabah

December 14, 2018

Ancient canal to draw tourists to Ephesus

With the completion of a canal project in the ancient city of Ephesus in the Aegean province of İzmir, the region is expected to welcome 10 million tourists a year. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 18, 2018

Ancient theater being unearthed in İzmir

An ancient theater in the Aegean city of İzmir, built when its name was Smyrna during the Hellenistic period and buried under soil 1,500 years ago, is being unearthed in excavations. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 19, 2018

4,310 historical artifacts returned to Turkey in last 14 years

With the recent return of the ‘Gypsy Girl' mosaic to Gaziantep, its original homeland, the artifacts repatriated to Turkey in the last 14 years are currently in the spotlight. Source: Daily Sabah

December 20, 2018

Drop in dam water reveals submerged village, Elisha’s tomb in SE Turkey’s Diyarbakır

Receding water level at the Tigris Dam in Turkey's southeastern Diyarbakır has uncovered a village and an ancient tomb believed to be belong to Prophet Elisha. Source: Daily Sabah

Ottoman-era social complex on brink of collapse on Greece’s Rhodes Island

The Murat Reis Külliye, or social complex in English, located on the Greek island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean is at the risk of collapse, a Turkish organization said Wednesday. Source: Daily Sabah

December 21, 2018

Ottoman-era Kocataş Mansion restored, to serve as luxury hotel

The restoration of the historic Kocataş Mansion, one of the most valuable and rarest mansions in Istanbul which was rendered useless after a fire 20 years ago, has been completed. Source: Daily Sabah

Never-before-seen findings at Topkapı Palace restorations

Ongoing restorations at Topkapı Palace have unearthed never-before-seen silver and gold coins, jewelries, talismans, amulets and letters. But one mysterious finding amongst others was an encrypted letter dating back to 1871, carrying the seal of Cevher Agha, also known as the Dârüssaade Ağası, the chief eunuch of Sultan Abdülaziz’s harem, found in a closet at the harem of the palace. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 23, 2018

Gallery grave found in Mardin ‘unique’ in the world

A gallery grave dedicated to Roman warriors who died thousands of years ago in battles found in the ancient city of Dara in Turkey’s southeastern border province of Mardin is unprecedented and unique, officials have said. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 24, 2018

Ancient Magical Incantation to Capture Evil Devourer Found in Turkey

The discovery of magical incantation that is 2800-years-old has been announced by experts. It was found at a site in south-west Turkey and is written in the ancient Aramaic language . The incantation referred to an enigmatic creature known as the ‘devourer’. It is offering researchers a unique view of the practice of magic in the Ancient Near East and its importance in a society from almost three millennia ago. Source: Ancient Origins

December 25, 2018

Paw prints from eighth century found in ancient castle in Turkey’s west

Archaeological excavations at the ancient Kadıkalesi (Kadı Castle), formerly known as “Anaia,” in the Kuşadası district of Aydın, have revealed paw prints of cats and dogs on bricks and tiles dating back to the 8th century. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

December 26, 2018

Magnificent Harran Palace revealed through excavations

After centuries, the bathhouse at the 900-year-old Harran Palace in Şanlıurfa province, which is listed by UNESCO as one of the oldest settlements in the world, has been brought to daylight in ongoing excavations. Source: Daily Sabah

Gypsy Girl reproductions to be sent to US

The reproductions of the 12 pieces of the “Gypsy Girl” mosaic brought from the U.S. to the southeastern province of Gaziantep will be sent to Bowling Green State University, where the mosaics had been on display for decades after being stolen from Turkey. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Restoration of 5-centuries-old Silk Road bridge in central Turkey completed

The restoration works of the five-centuries-old Koyunbaba Bridge located along the Silk Road in Turkey's central Çorum province has been completed after five years, reports said Tuesday. Source: Daily Sabah

December 27, 2018

Kütahya museum sheds light on history of tiles

The Kütahya Tile Museum, home to 500 artworks, presents the historical development of the art of tiles, displaying many findings from the Seljuk and Ottoman periods. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Researchers unearth treasure trove of prehistoric fossils in Antalya

A treasure trove of over a dozen fossilized animals that probably lived 2 million to 9 million years ago has been found in southwestern Turkey. Source: Daily Sabah

December 28, 2018

One of the biggest Ottoman-era carpets to be restored

Talk about procrastination when it comes to doing laundry. An Ottoman-era carpet was washed for the first time in its 120-year history in preparation for its restoration. Why it took so long is not the fault of its caretakers though. The carpet, which graces the Grand Hall of Yıldız Chalet in Istanbul, was not properly cleaned for fear of harming it and the washing process that started this week is a delicate one. Source: Daily Sabah

December 31, 2018

Ancient harbor bath, imperial salon in İzmir waiting to be rescued

An archaeological site consisting of a harbour bath and an imperial salon from Roman times in the Aegean province of İzmir is waiting to be rescued after it submerged in flood waters. Archaeologists say the water must be discharged from the site before it gets irretrievably damaged. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

334 historical artifacts believed to belong to Urartu period seized in Van

Police have seized 334 pieces of historical artifacts believed to have belonged to the Urartu period in the eastern province of Van and detained two people in the operation, Demirören News Agency reported on Dec. 30. Source: Hürriyet Daily News