August 2021 in Turkish archaeology

The city gate and fortifications of Ani
The city gate and fortifications of Ani

August of 2021 saw numerous archaeological excavations carried out in the area of Turkey, including the projects in Antandros, Comana Pontica, Alacahöyük, Pompeiopolis, and Ani. Moreover, the iconic Ephesus theatre reopened its doors for art-lovers following a three-year break due to restoration works.

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

August 2, 2021

612-year-old Er Rızk Mosque restoration nears completion

The 612-year-old Er Rızk Mosque, located in the Hasankeyf district of southeastern Turkey’s Batman and built during the reign of the Ayyubids, is being renovated due to its relocation. The historical mosque was removed from its original location because of the construction of the Ilısu Dam and hydroelectric power station. Source: Daily Sabah

2,400-year-old pithos burial unearthed in Turkey’s Antandros

A 2,400-year-old pithos burial was found in the ancient city of Antandros, which is thought to have been established in the 10th century B.C. in the Edremit district of western Balıkesir province. Source: Daily Sabah

Museum offers tour of Anatolian chronology

The Gaziantep Archaeology Museum, where the Roman-era clay seal impressions, which is the world’s largest collection of clay seal impressions from the ancient city of Zeugma, and the skeletal remains of the extinct Maraş Elephant, are on display, offers the opportunity to examine the history of Anatolia in chronological order. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

August 3, 2021

Excavations restart at Turkey's ancient city of Comana Pontica

After a year of hiatus due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, archaeological excavations are back at full speed to recover the forgotten jewels of history. As such, the 2021 excavations at the ancient city of Comana Pontica in Turkey's Tokat province have just begun. Source: Daily Sabah

1900-year-old stele found in Turkey’s ancient city of Parion

During the excavations carried out in Parion, an important ancient port city near Kemer village in western Çanakkale province’s Biga district, a 1,900-year-old grave stele (the name of funerary or commemorative slabs in the ancient world) was found. Source: Daily Sabah

Archaeological digs to start in central Turkey’s Alacahöyük

The 2021 excavations at the Alacahöyük archeological site in the central Anatolian province of Çorum, where the first archaeological excavations of the Republic of Turkey were carried out, will be launched after weeds have been cleared from the area. Source: Daily Sabah

Theater of ancient city to be unearthed

The theater area in the ancient city of Perinthos, which dates back to 600 B.C. in the northwestern province of Tekirdağ’s Marmaraereğlisi district, will be uncovered during excavations. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

August 4, 2021

Excavations restart on 5,500-year-old settlement in Turkey's Yozgat

The annual archaeological excavations have begun on the 5,500-year-old ancient site of Çadır Höyük in Turkey's Yozgat, which promises to shed light on the rich history of the region. Source: Daily Sabah

August 5, 2021

First Turkish mosque in Anatolia to be opened for service

The first Turkish mosque in Anatolia, located in the eastern province of Kars’ Ani district, will be opened to service on Aug. 16, after a year-long restoration. “The Ebu’l Menuçehr Mosque will be open on the 957th anniversary of the conquest of the Ani district,” Kars Governor Türker Öküz told Demirören News Agency on Aug. 4. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

District on ancient city searching for new place

The ancient city of Sebastapolis, which remained under the Sulusaray district of the northern province of Tokat, expects the relocation of the district so that it can be fully unearthed. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Schliemann’s destruction in Turkey’s Troy repaired after 150 years

German businessperson Heinrich Schliemann excavated the ancient city of Troy in northwestern Çanakkale province some 150 years ago. Today, archaeologists are still trying to repair the destruction that he caused to the historical site. Source: Daily Sabah

Over 750 WWI-era grenades found in Turkey’s Diyarbakır

A total of 782 hand grenades dating back to World War I were found in excavations in southeastern Turkey’s Diyarbakır. The excavations are taking place in Amida Mound in Diyarbakır’s Sur district, one of the most popular locations in the city. Source: Daily Sabah

August 6, 2021

Excavations start in Pompeiopolis

New season excavations have started in the ancient city of Pompeiopolis in the Taşköprü district of the northern province of Kastamonu. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

August 8, 2021

Canadian archaeologist dedicates his life to Tayinat Mound

Timothy Harrison, a professor of Near and Far East Civilizations at the University of Toronto, has been unearthing many artifacts that shed light on history for 17 years at Tayinat Mound in the southern province of Hatay. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

August 9, 2021

Excavations continue in Ani

Within the scope of excavations this year, works have been initiated in the Ani Ruins, located on the Turkey-Armenia border, at four different points in order to unearth the underground history. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Excavations reveal Phrygian monument in western Turkey

During the rescue excavation carried out over 40 days in the historical Phrygian Valley in the Ihsaniye district of western Afyonkarahisar province, a 10-meter-high monument featuring Phrygian writings was discovered. The Maltaş monument, which is actually a temple facade with a triangular roof and a niche at its bad, was unearthed. Source: Daily Sabah

3,500-year-old summer residence of Hittite kings to host visitors

Aiming to introduce the site to cultural tourism, studies will be launched soon on the archaeological site of Kuşaklı, ancient Sarissa, in the Altınyayla district of central Sivas province. Used as a summer residence by the Hittite kings about 3,500 years ago, the site will attract many visitors with the completion of the works. Source: Daily Sabah

August 11, 2021

Oldest tablet in history of geometry in Istanbul museum

An Australian mathematician has determined that a 3,700-year-old Babylonian tablet exhibited at the Istanbul Archaeology Museum for years is the oldest known example of applied geometry on a clay tablet. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Weapons find points to Seljuk-Byzantine battle site in Turkey

Archaeologists searching for the site of the Battle of Malazgirt (Manzikert) in eastern Turkey, came across arrowheads and spearheads used in the battle that cemented Turkish rule in present-day Turkey. Source: Daily Sabah

August 12, 2021

Iron Age walls, plaster remains found in mound

This year’s excavations unearthed the remains of Iron Age walls and plaster at Porsuk-Zeyve Mound, which is located near the village of Porsuk in the Ulukışla district of Niğde and has original Hittite-era adobe bricks and Roman-era living traces. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Archaeologists find child skeleton in Turkey's Tozkoparan Mound

Ongoing excavations at the thousands of years old Tozkoparan mound, a first-degree archaeological site located in the Pertek district of Turkey's Tunceli province, have led to the discovery of the skeleton of a child, which has now been taken to a museum for preservation. Source: Daily Sabah

August 13, 2021

Unique ancient drinking bowls on display at Boğazkale Museum

Considered a “unique” work by the archaeology world, a 3,600-year-old fist-shaped drinking bowl is one of the three ancient drinking bowls discovered over the years in the archaeological excavations in Hattusha, the capital of the Hittite Civilization. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey’s ancient city Gordion expected to enter World Heritage List

Following Turkey's application for the inclusion of the ancient city of Gordion on the UNESCO World Heritage List, a committee of experts on behalf of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) visited and examined Polatlı district in the capital Ankara, where the site is located. Gordion is expected to be the Turkish capital’s first ancient city that enters the World Heritage List. Source: Daily Sabah

Seljuk sarcophagi unearthed in Turkey's Bitlis excite researchers

Archaeological excavations and restoration work at the Seljuk Meydan (Square) Cemetery, in the Ahlat district of eastern Turkey's Bitlis, have unearthed two "sanduka," a type of sarcophagi placed over the original graves of distinguished people in the Turkish-Islamic tradition. Source: Daily Sabah

August 14, 2021

Aratos’ mausoleum searched in Soli Pompeiopolis

Archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Soli Pompeiopolis in the southern province of Mersin has focused on uncovering the mausoleum of Aratos, the famous astronomer and poet of the Hellenistic period, to lay bare all its details. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

August 15, 2021

Ancient Ephesus Theater reopens following 3-year break

Turkey’s iconic Ephesus Theatre will reopen its doors for art-lovers following a three-year break due to restoration works and coronavirus. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

August 16, 2021

35-million-year-old sea creature fossils found in eastern Turkey

A team of field researchers discovered fossils of sea creatures that are estimated to be 35 million years old in eastern Muş province on Saturday. Source: Daily Sabah

August 17, 2021

Horse barn in historic settlement becomes museum

A horse barn, discovered by archaeologists in Kayaşehir, will be reorganized as the Natural History Museum. Kayaşehir is a historical rock-cut hillside settlement that was discovered by chance during the urban transformation works carried out by the Housing Development Administration (TOKİ) seven years ago in the Central Anatolian province of Nevşehir. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Roman ‘House of Muses’ to welcome visitors in Turkey’s Zeugma

The House of Muses, discovered in the ancient city of Zeugma in the Nizip district of southeastern Gaziantep province during excavations carried out since 2007, is one of the most important examples of Roman residences in the historical site with its rich architectural decoration, well-preserved mosaics and frescoes. The house will finally be open to visitors after the excavation work is completed by the end of the year. Source: Daily Sabah

Reliefs from 5th century BC found in western Turkey’s Daskyleion

Archaeologists found stone reliefs dating back to the fifth century B.C. during the excavations of the ancient city of Daskyleion in the Bandırma district of western Balıkesir province. The reliefs depict a war between the Greeks and Persians. Source: Daily Sabah

August 18, 2021

Excavations start in southern Turkey's Kırk Caves

The second period of archaeological excavations started in Kırk Caves, or literally “forty caves,” in the Pazarcık district of southern Kahramanmaraş province. The caves house monuments and rock tombs from the Roman period. Source: Daily Sabah

August 19, 2021

Columns of 2,300-year-old temple to be restored

A restoration and repair work has been launched to strengthen the three columns with a height of 20 meters in the Temple of Apollo, located in Turkey’s Aegean province of Aydın’s Didim district. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

160M-year-old tree fossils shed light on Turkey's climate history

Recently discovered tree fossils in eastern Turkey are helping researchers learn more about the country’s climate history, an Istanbul University faculty of forestry member said Wednesday. Professor Ünal Akkemik, who holds a Ph.D. in Forest Engineering from Istanbul University, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that fossils dating back 160-170 million years were found in the Narman district of eastern Erzurum province. Source: Daily Sabah

Archaeologists explore culinary culture of Lydians with dental tools

Archaeologists seek clues of the culinary culture and eating habits of the Lydians in the excavations of the ancient city of Daskyleion, located on the shores of Lake Manyas in the Bandırma district of western Balıkesir province, using various dental tools. Source: Daily Sabah

August 20, 2021

Statue of Greek health goddess Hygieia unearthed

An ancient statue of the mythological goddess Hygieia – seen as the guardian or personification of health – has been discovered in an ancient city in western Turkey, according to a researcher. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

August 21, 2021

Underground city takes visitors on historical journey

The underground city of Saint Mercurius, located in the Saratlı village of the Central Anatolian province of Aksaray, is famous for its 40 living spaces such as its church, mass graves, water wells, floor furnaces, pigeon houses, cellars and warehouse roofs. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

August 23, 2021

3500-year-old ceramic oven found in Turkey’s Tepecik Mound

A ceramic oven dating back 3500 years was unearthed in Tepecik Mound in western Aydın province’s Çine district. Excavations at Tepecik Mound, which is located among olive trees and cornfields on the Çine Plain, have been carried out under the presidency of professor Sevinç Günel of Hacettepe University's archaeology department since 2004. Source: Daily Sabah

August 24, 2021

Perinthos ancient city comes to light

Excavations have recently started in the ancient city of Perinthos, which dates back to 600 B.C., in the northwestern province of Tekirdağ’s Marmaraereğlisi district. Mimar Sinan University Department of Archeology’s Professor Zeynep Koçel Erdem is the head of excavations, carried out by a team of archaeologists and experts from different fields. Works are set to continue for 12 months. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Historical stone houses in Turkey’s Bitlis attract photography lovers

Turkey’s eastern Bitlis province, which is already popular among tourists because of the famed Seljuk Meydan Cemetery, the largest Turkish-Islamic cemetery in the world located in the Ahlat district, is now attracting visitors with another historical spot. The historic stone houses dating back around 200 to 300 years fascinate visitors by offering a very authentic scene. Located between the high mountains in Hizan district the stone houses attract great attention from travelers and especially photography lovers. Source: Daily Sabah

Soğmatar: Anatolian ancient city where Moses lived

The ancient city of Soğmatar attracts the attention of local and foreign visitors with its historical wells, rock tombs and reliefs in southeastern Şanlıurfa province, described as the “city of prophets.” Rumour has it that Moses, a sacred figure in Abrahamic religions, escaped from the pharaoh and lived in this ancient city, which is located some 80 kilometers (50 miles) away from Şanlıurfa’s center. Source: Daily Sabah

August 25, 2021

Ceramic furnace found in Tepecik Mound

A ceramic furnace dating back 3500 years has been unearthed in Tepecik Mound, a trade center in the past in the western province of Aydın’s Çine district. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Arrowheads in Dascylium shed light on war, hunting history

Arrowheads unearthed in Dascylium, an ancient city bearing the traces of many civilizations that ruled Anatolia in modern day Bandırma district of the western province of Balıkesir, provide important information on the war and hunting history of the region. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

August 26, 2021

Ephesus Opera Ballet Festival starts

The 4th International Ephesus Opera and Ballet Festival started on Aug 24 at the Ephesus Ancient Theater. The opening performance of the event was Georges Bizet’s ballet ‘Carmen,’ staged by the İzmir State Opera and Ballet with a new choreography. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Historic castle gate unearthed in central Turkey

Excavators found one of the gates of Gevale Castle, located on Mount Takkeli in the central province of Konya, inside the area of ​​the bulwarks, said Ahmet Çaycı, who heads the art history department at Necmettin Erbakan University in Konya and consults on the ongoing excavations. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Skull of first brain surgery patient reconstructed in Aşıklı Höyük

A skull of a young woman who underwent brain surgery was found in Turkey's Aşıklı Höyük during the excavations conducted in 1989. The skull of the woman on whom the operation was pioneered will be reconstructed via a new project utilizing beeswax. Source: Daily Sabah

August 27, 2021

5,500-year-old houses, tombs found in Turkey’s Arslantepe

In the archaeological site of Arslantepe, which is 7 kilometers (4.34 miles) away from eastern Turkey’s Malatya province, 28 tombs thought to date back 1,000 years and the remains of four houses that are estimated to be 5,500 years old were found. Source: Daily Sabah

Excavations begin to unearth theater at Turkey's ancient Savatra

Archaeological excavations have started at the ancient city of Savatra, located in the Karatay district of central Turkey's Konya province, aiming to unearth the history of the site that dates back to the prehistoric period. Source: Daily Sabah

August 30, 2021

Exhibition featuring 150th anniversary of Troy Excavations opens to visitors

An exhibition titled “Troy Excavations in the light of Ottoman Documents in the 150th Year” has been opened at the Troy Museum, where artifacts unearthed from the 5,600-year-old Troy Ruins in the northwestern province of Çanakkale are exhibited. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Iconic orphanage set for restoration

An event at Istanbul’s historic Büyükada Greek Orthodox Orphanage, which has been closed since 1964, called for cooperation to launch a massive restoration project for the iconic building. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Archaeological excavations to enlighten Turkey's Hasankeyf Castle

Archaeological excavations have started at the historical castle of Hasankeyf in southeastern Turkey's Batman province in order to shed more light on the ancient history of the site that stands as one of the oldest settlements in the world. Source: Daily Sabah

8,000 years-old history to resurface at Turkey's Tavşanlı Mound

Excavations set to start at a mound in the central Turkish province of Kütahya in September are expected to shed light on 8,000 years of history, archaeologists said. Dubbed the “Heart of Kütahya” over its shape detected through aerial footage, the “Tavşanlı Mound” located in the namesake district will be unearthed through the cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Bilecik Şeyh Edebali University (BŞEU), along with the support of the Tavşanlı Municipality. Source: Daily Sabah

Excavations at Turkey's Ani to provide boost to tourism

"The City with 1,001 Churches," "The City with 40 Gates," and the "Cradle of Civilizations" – all of these names are used to describe the famous Ani Ruins in northeastern Turkey's Kars province, and ongoing archaeological excavations at the UNESCO World Heritage site aim to increase the interest of tourists at the ancient city. Source: Daily Sabah

August 31, 2021

Urartian grave excites archaeologists

The excavations initiated this year in the Çavuştepe Castle, built by the Urartian King Sarduri II, and the necropolis in its northern part, a tomb of a man, believed to have been belonged to an Urartian ruler and buried with his dog, four horses, cattle and sheep, has been found. Source: Hürriyet Daily News