Diving school trainer Hakan Gulec came across more than fish and flotsam during a recent trip to the bottom of the ocean near Antalya off the coast of southern Turkey. An object protruding through the sand on the sea bed caught Gulec’s attention, prompting the intrepid explorer to dislodge and photograph the mystery find. According to Hürriyet Daily News, he then showed his images to officials at Alanya museum who were taken aback by the discovery: a striking, well-preserved sarcophagus adorned with Medusa heads, cupids holding up garlands and dancing women at the corners.
“The Alanya museum has gained a new piece of art,” said its director Yasar Yildiz. “The figures on it show that it dates from the Roman period.” But where has it come from? Perhaps it was made in the famous sculpture school at Aphrodisias further up the coast, which produced sculptural works for the Roman empire. (source)
Turkey is claiming ownership of a sarcophagus discovered at the end of 2010 in Geneva free port during an inventory check conducted by Swiss customs officials.
The Journal des Arts stated that since the Swiss law on customs was reinforced in 2009 – following the discovery of 200 ancient Egyptian pieces in 2003 and the updated trafficking of diamonds through Geneva free port in 2005 -, port authorities must maintain detailed inventories of deposited goods. This explains why authorities at Geneva free port used by the Geneva gallery Phoenix Ancient Art were searched and how Swiss customs discovered a Roman sarcophagus dating from the second century BC. An investigation began in the summer of 2011.
Customs sequestered the sarcophagus and transferred the file to the public ministry of Geneva. Turkey is demanding its return. Their argument is clear: the excavation made near the southern Turkish province of Antalya was done illegally – which is what the investigation seems to have confirmed. (source)
Archaeologists excavating at the site of the ancient city of Rhodiapolis, located in the Kumluca district of present-day Antalya, have uncovered a series of Lycian-era tombs.
Rhodiapolis excavation leader and Akdeniz University archaeologist Dr. İsa Kızgut told the Anatolia news agency last week that his team had uncovered what he believes to be a Lycian cemetery complex that dates to roughly 300 B.C.
The complex, explained Kızgut, was a series of tombs that surrounded a larger necropolis in ancient times. Today, although the necropolis and most of the tombs have been destroyed over the centuries, Kızgut says that the tombs they have so far uncovered will serve as key examples of the often elaborate style of tomb architecture found in Lycian Anatolia. Read more.
A Turkish archaeology team has taken over excavations in the ancient city of Xanthos due to the slow progress under the guidance of French teams. The ancient site has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1988
Turkish archaeologists will now be responsible for a dig at the ancient city of Xanthos in the Mediterranean province of Antalya due to the slow pace of excavations under French teams that have been working at the site for 60 years.
Bordeaux University has passed on the excavations to a team under the guidance of Professor Burhan Varkıvanç, head of the Archaeology Department at Akdeniz University in Antalya.
Turkish scientists have already begun excavations at Xanthos, which had historical significance as the Lycian capital in the 2nd century BC. Akdeniz University’s 23-member team will conduct excavations at the site for two months, said Varkıvanç, adding that the untouched mosaics of the ancient city would be repaired and that the site would soon be cleared. Read more.