Archaeological News

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This year’s archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Patara, located in the southern province of Antalya’s Kaş, have ended. Among the findings this year were the statuette of the goddess Asteria and a seal owned by the Egyptian king Ptolemares and his wife Arsinoe.

The excavations in the ancient city of Patara, one of the six big cities of the Lycia Union, have been continuing for 26 years. This year 30 academics, five archaeologists, 14 archaeology students and 20 laborers worked for 2.5 months in the ancient city.

In addition to the goddess statuette and the seal, a Lydian coin dating back to 610-570 B.C. and a figurine from 3,000 B.C. were unearthed this year in the area. Read more.

Workers at the state waterworks authority in the village of Kilitbahir near the Eceabat district in the northwestern Turkish province of Çanakkale have uncovered a century-old bomb while digging a water supply canal in the village.

During the dig, workers found a 150-kilogram, 73-centimeter long bomb, which is believed to have been underground for 99 years. 

After being informed, the gendarmerie arrived and closed the area for safety reasons. The bomb is believed to have been launched from a battleship during the Battle of Gallipoli, remaining hidden underground without detonating for nearly a century.

Authorities have begun working to defuse the bomb. (source)

Archaeological excavations have begun focusing on the basement of the Red Basilica, one of the seven churches in Bergama, which is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, and is one of the tallest surviving structures in Anatolia.

The basilica is called the “red courtyard” by people because of its large courtyard and the whole structure being made up of red brick. The basilica, at 19 meters’ height, is considered a magnificent religious structure and is one of the tallest among the Roman-era structures in Anatolia.

The basilica was built at the time of Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century A.D. and is believed to have been dedicated to the Egyptian gods Serapis and Isis. It was later extended with additional buildings and became a religious center for Christians. Read more.

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Restoration works in the Tokat Castle have discovered a secret tunnel leading to the Pervane Bath and a military shelter. Two dungeons have also been discovered in the castle, where Wallachian Prince Vlad III the Impaler, who was also known as Dracula, is said to have been held captive in the early 15th century.

The ongoing restoration works, which have continued for 10 weeks, have also restored and reinforced its bastions, which were used as defense in the Seljuk and Ottoman era.

“We try to shed light on history with the structure layers we unearth,” said archaeologist İbrahim Çetin, who works on the excavations. He said that the team has found food cubes and an open terrace, as well as the military shelter and dungeons that were “built like a prison.” Read more.

The mosaic reliefs in the ancient town of Anemurium, designated as a historical zone by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, are in pitiful condition, as rags protect the 1,500- to 1,700-year-old mosaics.

There are neither security cameras nor warning signs for the mosaics prone to every kind of physical harm. Some of the mosaics have disintegrated, while some of the tesseras (small pieces of stones that form the mosaic) are plastered with concrete to stop their disintegration.

Anemurium is one of the oldest settlements in the mountainous Cilicia region. The centuries-old settlement, which still stands tall on Anamur Point, the southernmost point of the Mediterranean, has not received necessary attention and protection. Read more.

Underwater archaeological work in the Mediterranean has uncovered the remains of a port from the Bronze Age, along with 12 shipwrecks estimated to be 2,500 years old.

The remains of these finds are being examined at Selçuk University’s Research Center, which is working to discover the underwater archaeological richness of the Mediterranean along with teams from Warsaw and Naples and the support of the Culture and Tourism Ministry.

The recent finds are attributed to Turkey’s first underwater archaeological research vessel, the Selçuk-1, in Antalya, which was launched by Selçuk University on June 17. Read more.

Excavations in the Seyitömer tumulus in the western province of Kütahya have uncovered a brush and baby rattle, which are estimated to date back 5,000 years.

The artifacts were found by Dumlupınar University (DPU) Archaeology Department in a plot of land owned by a private company involved in coal mining.

“We found a brush here. The parts, where animal hairs are attached, are made of clay. It is a triangle brush adorned with motifs. They were used in the ceramic production in the early Bronze Age. The other item is a toy that makes the sound of a rattle when you shake it. It dates back to 3,000 B.C. Read more.

Underwater excavations led by Ankara University’s Research Center for Maritime Archaeology (ANKÜSAM) have uncovered sunken ships ranging from the second century B.C. to the Ottoman period in İzmir’s Urla district.

A recent excavation uncovered a ship estimated to date back 4,000 years, which experts say would make it the oldest sunken ship to have been discovered in the Mediterranean.

Urla Port is one of Turkey’s rare underwater excavation sites. Professor Hayat Erkanal, the head of Limantepe excavations for the underwater ancient city of Klozemenai and director of ANKÜSAM, said the port dates back to the seventh century B.C. Klozemenai, he explained, was a coastal town, making it the home of many sunken ships from different eras. An earthquake in the eighth century left the city underwater. Read more.