March 2021 in Turkish archaeology

Macedonian Tower and ancient fortifications of Adrianopolis in Edirne
Macedonian Tower and ancient fortifications of Adrianopolis in Edirne

The beginning of March 2021 brought sad news as George Bass, who played a critical role in the creation and evolution of underwater archaeology as a scientific discipline, died on March 2. Then, the remains of an ancient port in Turkey’s southern province of Mersin’s Mezitli district have come to light due to the receding water levels. Also, many renovation projects were announces, including the Temple of Zeus in Euromos and the ancient structures at Aizanoi. Finally, at the end of the month, it was announced that the ancient city walls of Hadrianapolis in Edirne were declared as a first-degree archeological site.

Turkish Archaeological News collects the most important, interesting and inspiring news from Turkish excavation sites. Here's the review for March 2021. Have we missed anything? Let us know by using Contact tab!

March 1, 2021

Construction workers discover ancient sarcophagus in NW Turkey

Municipal workers unexpectedly found an ancient sarcophagus during excavations in the Seyitgazi district of northwestern Turkey’s Eskişehir province, reports said Monday. Source: Daily Sabah

March 2, 2021

110 ancient coins seized in southeastern Turkey

At least 110 ancient gold coins were seized and a suspect was arrested in an anti-smuggling operation in southeastern Turkey, a security source said on March 1. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

March 4, 2021

Underwater archaeology pioneer George Bass dies at 88

Pioneering archaeologist George Bass, who played a critical role in the creation and evolution of underwater archaeology as a scientific discipline, died on March 2, 2021, in College Station, Texas. He was 88. Source: National Geographic

March 5, 2021

Landowner recalls story of Göbeklitepe’s discovery

The landowner of what many have dubbed humanity’s ground zero has recalled how they stumbled upon the ancient site of Göbeklitepe as they plowed their fields in the late 1980’s. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Ancient 'Sun Goddess of Arinna' displayed in İzmir

A 3,500-year-old statuette of Sun Goddess of Arinna, which is of great importance for the Hittites, called "People of a Thousand Gods", is displayed at İzmir Archeology Museum. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Meteorite found on chickpea field sold for $180,000

A farmer in the Central Anatolian province of Çorum has agreed to sell a 68-kg “meteorite,” which he found on his field two years ago, to a buyer in the United States for $180,000. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

March 6, 2021

5,000-year-old footprints discovered in UNESCO site in Turkey

A group of international scientists discovered that human footprints, which were found during construction at a UNESCO site in western Turkey, dates back to 5,000 years. The discovery was made in Turkey’s only UNESCO-certified geopark in Salihli district of western Manisa province. The footprints belong to a male with a foot size 43, as well as women and children. Source: Daily Sabah

March 7, 2021

Byzantine period graves and human bones were found during roadworks in Bursa

1500-year-old tombs and human bones were found in a road study in Iznik, the historical city of Bursa. The Museum Directorate initiated studies for the place to be declared a protected area. Source: İhlas Haber Ajansı

March 8, 2021

Low tide reveals ruins of ancient port in southern Turkey

The remains of an ancient port in Turkey’s southern province of Mersin’s Mezitli district have come to light due to the receding water levels resulting from a low tide. Some portions of the port, which is part of the ancient city of Soli Pompeipolis, could be seen as the water levels decreased. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

March 9, 2021

Göbeklitepe targets 1 mln visitors in 2021

The ancient site of Göbeklitepe in southeastern Turkey's Şanlıurfa province hopes to host at least 1 million visitors in 2021, according to the head of the excavation team. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Ancient City in Bodrum Is On Sale

170 acres of land, including a part of Pedasa Ancient City in Bodrum, was put up for sale for 35 million TL. Source: Arkeofili

March 10, 2021

Caves in Ayazini village fascinate visitors

More than 300 caves of different sizes, including rock settlements, carved rock tombs and chapels in the village of Ayazini, which is located within the borders of the historical Phrygian Valley, attract the attention of tourists. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

March 11, 2021

Ancient stone tools shed light on northern Turkey’s history

New findings in a cave in the northern province of Trabzon show there was a human settlement in the area at a similar time to when people were living in Göbeklitepe in the southeast, where one of the oldest settlements in the world was discovered. Source: Daily Sabah

Ancient inscriptions in Turkey show how Romans tackled inflation

The largest marble city in the world, Stratonicea, located in Turkey’s western Muğla province, demands attention with its large inscriptions featuring the traces of different civilizations on the wall of the 2,000-year-old city council hall, also known as a bouleuterion. Source: Daily Sabah

3,500-year-old Hittite Seal Found in the Field in Çorum

A farmer engaged in agriculture in the district of Shapinuva, in the Ortaköy district of Çorum, found a stamp seal belonging to the Hittite period in his field. Source: Arkeofili

March 12, 2021

Hittite seal delivered to museum

The Hittite seal, which has been found by a farmer while working in his field in the Ortaköy district of the Central Anatolian province of Çorum and is considered to be about 3,500 years old, has been added to the Çorum Museum collection with the initiatives of Çorum Governor Mustafa Çiftçi and Ortaköy Mayor Taner İspir. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Tools used by early humans found in Trabzon

Pieces of stones, thought to have been used as knives and scraper 13,000 years ago, were found in a cave in the northern province of Trabzon’s Düzköy district. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Prehistoric elephant skull found in central Turkey

A 7.5-million-year-old complete skull fossil belonging to Choerolophodon pentelici, known as the ancestor of elephants, unearthed in central Turkey is proving to be a significant find, according to the head of the excavation team. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Upcycled Ancient Temple Offers Glimpse at Wine Life in the Roman Empire

A rare 1,500-year-old wine press at Antiochia ad Cragum substantiates southern coastal Turkey's status as an important ancient winegrowing region. Source: Wine Spectator

March 16, 2021

Pithos found in unauthorized excavation in Aydın was delivered to the museum

The 1.5-meter pithos, which was found during illegal excavations in Aydın's Kuyucak district and considered to belong to the Late Byzantine or Ottoman period, was taken to the Aphrodisias Museum. Source: Arkeolojik Haber

March 18, 2021

Temple of Zeus to be restored to its former glory in SW Turkey

The reparation work being carried out on the Temple of Zeus in the ancient city of Euromos in southwestern Muğla province is being meticulously executed by a Turkish excavation team. Once complete, the temple will be restored to its former glory and become one of Turkey's most visited sites, head of the excavation team Abuzer Kızıl said. Source: Daily Sabah

Prominent Turkish historian Mehmet Genç dies at 87

Acclaimed Turkish historian Dr. Mehmet Genç died at the age of 87 late Thursday. The historian, who specialized in the area of economic history of Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey, was one of the most prominent academics in his field of study. Source: Daily Sabah

March 19, 2021

Temple of Zeus near Turkey’s Aegean back in spotlight

A Turkish excavation team is carrying out works to unearth a temple of Zeus in the ancient city of Euromos, located at a short distance from the Turkish Riviera city of Bodrum. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Nusret Mine Ship sheds light on history

The Nusret Mine Ship, which changed the fate of the war with the mines laid in the strait during the Dardanelles Campaign, takes its visitors on a historical journey in the Tarsus district of the southern province of Mersin, where it has been exhibited since 2003 after its restoration. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

March 20, 2021

Ancient cemetery to be introduced to world

Fragments of monumental tombstones buried under the soil in Seljuk Cemetery, located in the Ahlat district of Bitlis province - a UNESCO’s tentative world heritage list - will be erected under the project by the Ahlat district governorship and a nature and cultural heritage foundation in the district. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

March 22, 2021

Ephesus ancient canal project

Within the scope of the first phase of the project, which will bring the ancient city of Ephesus, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage list, back to the sea after 2,500 years, bored piling operations continue for the entrance of the ancient canal and the marina planned to be built on the Pamucak coast. Source: Arkeolojik Haber

March 24, 2021

Portrait of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent goes to auction

A rare 16th-century portrait of Suleiman the Magnificent, the longest-reigning Ottoman sultan, will be auctioned by Sotheby’s. The portrait of the sultan will be on live auction at Sotheby’s with a starting bid of 60,000 pounds ($83,000). Estimates suggest it will be sold for around 80,000 – 120,000 pounds. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Lighthouse of Antalya's ancient Patara to give light again

Reconstruction work has been launched to rebuild an ancient lighthouse from its ruins using the original stones, as part of the efforts to promote the ancient city of Patara located in southwestern Turkey's Antalya province. Source: Daily Sabah

March 25, 2021

Ancient statue in Bolu Musem turns out to be Greek goddess

A 2,000-year-old painted female head statue, which has been on display at the Bolu Museum in the northwestern province of Bolu for 50 years, has been determined to be the Greek goddess Artemis. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Mortality rates were quite high among young animals in the early Neolithic sheep breeders' herds.

By the 8th millennium BC, the first sheep herders were already aware that the conditions in which their animals were housed affected the mortality rates among lambs. This was one of the results of a study led by Nadja Pöllath, zooarchaeologist Joris Peters and statistician Sevag Kevork. The researchers took a closer look at the unborn and newborn lamb bones that form part of the collections they studied. The material comes from Aşıklı Höyük from the Early Neolithic period, one of the largest and best-researched settlements from this period in Central Anatolia. Source: Arkeofili

March 27, 2021

Fountain in ancient Beçin flowing once again

Water began to flow from a castle fountain in Beçin Ancient City in southwestern Turkey after approximately 700 years because of excavation and restoration work. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

March 28, 2021

Ancient stone quarry found in İzmir

A stone quarry used in the Hellenistic and Roman periods has been unearthed during a four-year surface survey in İzmir. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Excavations at 5,000-year-old Aizanoi in western Turkey to resume

The restoration of the ancient city of Aizanoi, located in the Çavdarhisar district of western Turkey's Kütahya province, is expected to be resumed in April, Kütahya Governor Ali Çelik announced Sunday. Source: Daily Sabah

March 29, 2021

'Cursed' Medusa-embossed sarcophagus on display at Amasya Museum

"May those who approach (this sacred place of final rest) with malicious intent, try to take over this grave or commit other evils, walk on this Earth as accursed beings – unable to traverse land or penetrate seas. Let them not see any benefit from their children, and especially not from their spouses, let their livelihoods reduce (to dust and splinters)." This is the ancient curse written on a 1,700-year-old sarcophagus that has been on display at the Amasya Museum in Turkey's Black Sea region for over two decades. To make things even more interesting and up the accursed factor, the grave also features an embossment in the shape of Medusa, the mythological Gorgon who had living venomous snakes in place of hair and turned anyone who gazed into her eyes into stone. Source: Daily Sabah

March 31, 2021

Ruins of Hadrianapolis' walls in Edirne declared as archeological site

An area revealing ruins of the ancient city of Hadrianapolis; city walls has been declared as a first-degree archeological site by a regional board in northwestern Edirne province. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Istanbul's Beyazıt State Library to digitize historic collection

Istanbul’s Beyazıt State Library, which is the first national library opened by the state during the late Ottoman era, has prepared a project worth TL 3.5 million ($419,470) to transfer its rich resources to the digital environment. The library's acting director Ramazan Minder said the library's vast resources will be available digitally following the completion of the project. Source: Daily Sabah