Archaeological News

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A tablet found on a rock during excavations in Hattusa, the capital of the Hittite civilization in the central Anatolian province of Çorum, will be deciphered with a 3D scanning system.

Assistant Professor Andreas Schachner, the head of the excavations, said the team had started working to decipher the 3,500-year-old tablet. He said that what was written on the tablet had been an object of interest to the science world, and added the writing was nearly wiped off after being exposed to bad weather conditions for millennia.

“The Hittites used two different writing systems,” Schachner explained. “The first is the cuneiform script on kiln tablets and the other is hieroglyphs, which is mostly seen on rocks.” Read more.

An ancient ceramic atelier has been found in the Seyitömer Tumulus in the western province of Kütahya, which was used in the Roman, Hellenistic, Achaemenid, Middle and Early Bronze ages. The atelier had a clay pool and furnace.

The archaeology department of the local Dumlupınar University has been conducting excavations in the area since 2006 and thousands of ceramics have so far been delivered to the Kütahya Museum.

“Not only the ceramic furnace but also a complex where we see a clay pool and traces of ceramic production have been uncovered. There is a wall in front of the furnace and outside the wall a door is open to the street. Read more.

A music chamber has been discovered in a 5,000 year-old ancient city in the eastern province of Hatay’s Erzin neighborhood. It is thought that the chamber, which dates back to the Roman era and which was built with rare “odeon” architecture, was once used for treatment.

Excavations have been continuing for eight years in the ancient city of Isos (Epiphane), which was a significant settlement in 545 B.C. The battle between the Macedonian king Alexander the Great and the Persian king Darius took place in this region.

Isos is mentioned in history books as a trade city and was a multicultural city where the Roman, Byzantine, late Hittite, Persian and Ottoman empires all settled. Read more.

Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (RCAC) in Istanbul is hosting an exhibition titled “The Forgotten Kingdom, Archaeology and Photography at Ancient Alalakh.”

An ancient city-state, Alalakh was a late Bronze Age capital in the Amuq River valley of the eastern province of Hatay. It was occupied even before 2,000 B.C., when the first palace was built, and likely destroyed in the 12th century B.C., after which it was never reoccupied. The city contained palaces, temples, private houses and fortifications. Contemporary Antakya developed near the site.

Curated by Murat Akar and Hélène Maloigne, the exhibition consists of photographs from the area’s first excavation by British archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley in the 1930s, alongside photographs from this century by Akar. Read more.

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.