Archaeology in Turkey - 2021 in review

The year 2021 brought some outstanding archaeological discoveries made in the area of Turkey. The attention of many archaeologists and historians was focused on the Taş Tepeler (Stone Hills) project that aims to study the area where the gigantic change in human history took place in the form of a transformation from hunter-gatherer lifestyle to the agriculture.

T-shaped pillars from Göbeklitepe
T-shaped pillars from Göbeklitepe

December 2021 in Turkish archaeology

Among numerous archaeological discoveries announced in December 2021, the most significant ones included a Roman-era weaving workshop found in Perre, 15 statues excavated in neo-Hittite sculpture heaven Yesemek, and a marble Heracles statue unearthed in Aizanoi. Moreover, restoration works at Topkapı Palace were announced to be coming to an end while the former Hıdırlık Bastion in the western outskirts of Edirne was inaugurated as the Edirne Balkan History Museum.

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

Neo-Hittite sculptural workshop in Yesemek
Neo-Hittite sculptural workshop in Yesemek

Further reaping the milk of Magnesia

Text by our correspondent from Didyma, Glenn Maffia. Photos by Carole Raddato.

Given the tremendous feedback from my previous article, I delved a little deeper into the ancient city of Magnesia on the Maeander to relay a brief description of Magnesia’s turbulent history, the city’s main deity Artemis and specifically her temple, whilst also expanding further upon the Temple of Zeus.

Statues from the Temple of Artemis in Magnesia
Statues from the Temple of Artemis in Magnesia

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The Temple of Zeus at Magnesia on the Meander

From our correspondent Glenn Maffia residing in Didyma

Though having passed the site of Magnesia ad Maeandrum (Magnesia on the Meander) on innumerable occasions, I must guiltily admit that time always seemed to elude me. The constant promise of “next time” just never materialized. To be honest, from the road the site looks less than inspiring, just sturdy city walls and the odd jutting column peeking over the parapet.

Magnesia on the Meander - the Temple of Zeus
Magnesia on the Meander - the Temple of Zeus

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November 2021 in Turkish archaeology

Possibly the most amazing archaeological discovery announced in November 2021 from the area of Turkey was the discovery of seven skeletons during the excavations carried out in the area of the Bukoleon Palace. The researchers suggested that these may be the remains of the victims of the massacre carried out by the Crusaders in Constantinople. Moreover, the prehistoric past of Asia Minor was the hot topic, for instance an architectural structure thought to be 7-8 thousand years old was found in Domuztepe Mound while a 4,500-year-old structure containing a jar, many pots, and food fossils has been unearthed at the Yumuktepe Höyük. Also, in the 5000-year-old Panaztepe settlement located in the Menemen district of Izmir, structures thought to belong to the oldest period of the city were found. Finally, a study of pieces of woven fabric discovered in the Neolithic city of Çatalhöyük revealed that the textiles, dated to between 8,500 and 8,700 years old, were made of bast fibres from oak trees.

Archaeological site of Çatalhöyük
Archaeological site of Çatalhöyük

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