July 2021 in Turkish archaeology

The famous first swords dated to the Early Bronze Age (33rd to 31st centuries BCE) found at Arslantepe by Marcella Frangipane of Rome University
The famous first swords dated to the Early Bronze Age (33rd to 31st centuries BCE) found at Arslantepe by Marcella Frangipane of Rome University

The biggest news of July 2021 was the inscription of Arslantepe Mound near Malatya into UNESCO's World Heritage List. This event broke the unlucky trend as after Göbekli Tepe became the World Heritage Site in 2018 no other archaeological sites from the area of Turkey were granted this privilege for three years. In other news, Turkey reopened Sümela Monastery in the Black Sea region to visitors after five years of restoration. Moreover, the archaeologists discovered a 1000-year-old human skeleton in Perre and the monumental entrance gate of the Zeus Temple's sanctuary in the ancient city of Aizanoi.

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

July 1, 2021

Turkey reopens Sümela Monastery after massive restoration

Turkey reopened Sümela Monastery in the Black Sea province of Trabzon to visitors on July 1 with its new sections after the completion of over five years of restoration work. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

1000-year-old human skeleton unearthed in SE Turkey’s Perre site

A human skeleton thought to date back 1000 years was found during the excavations of the ancient city of Perre, located in the southeastern Adıyaman province. Source: Daily Sabah

1,800-year-old headless Greek statue found at Turkey’s Metropolis site

In the ancient Greek classical city of Metropolis, located in western Turkey, archaeologists have unearthed an 1,800-year-old marble robed statue of a headless woman. Despite missing its head and both arms, the rest of the statue is well-preserved and depicts a woman wearing flowing draped clothing. Source: The Greek Herald

Turkey’s Göbeklitepe draws increasing interest since UNESCO crown

Göbeklitepe, the world's oldest temple, which is located in Turkey's southeastern Şanlıurfa province, was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List some three years ago. Since the UNESCO crown, the prehistoric site has been attracting thousands of tourists from Europe to the Far East and from the United States to Africa. Source: Daily Sabah

Study Investigates Possible Neolithic Indoor Air Pollution

According to a statement released by Newcastle University, environmental engineers assisted archaeologists with testing the possible air quality experienced by people who lived in the dwellings at Turkey’s site of Çatalhöyük during the Neolithic period. Source: Archaeology.org

July 2, 2021

Artifacts found in ancient city of Smyrna on display in İzmir

The Satyr relief and statues from the ancient city of Smyrna are on display for visitors for the first time at the İzmir Archeology Museum in İzmir. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Hidden gem of Phrygia becomes tourist hub

A hidden gem in the ancient Phrygian Valley has become an alternative tourist destination in western Turkey with many historical places and “fairy chimneys” it boasts. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Medieval mountain gate to be on exhibit soon

A medieval mountain gate known as Dağkapı will be placed on the 8,000-year-old Walls of Diyarbakır in Turkey with the same name after renovation and exhibited in a few days. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Excavations to begin in İzmir’s basilica

The 2021 season excavations at the Ayasuluk Hill and St. Jean Monument will start on July 4 in Selçuk, Izmir Province. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

July 4, 2021

3,700-year-old world's 1st smiley face to be exhibited in SE Turkey

The world’s first smiley face, inscribed on an ancient jug and discovered a few years ago in southeastern Turkey, will be exhibited in Gaziantep Archaeology Museum, a report said Sunday. The 3,700-year-old artifact, discovered in the ancient city of Karkamış (Carchemish) in 2017, will be put on display by the end of July. Source: Daily Sabah

July 5, 2021

Some 8,500-year-old human skeletons found in apartment yard

Nearly 8,500-year-old human skeletons and a three-hole musical instrument were found during an excavation carried out in an apartment yard in the northwestern province of Bilecik’s Bahçelievler neighborhood. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

July 7, 2021

Neolithic Site Discovered in Western Anatolia

11 sets of human remains dated to some 8,500 years ago have been unearthed in northwestern Turkey by archaeologists who were called to the site when residents found pieces of ancient ceramics in the yard of their apartment building. Researcher Erkan Fidan of Bilecik University and his colleagues also recovered three-holed musical instruments and grains of wheat, lentils, barley, and vetch. These early farmers are also thought to have kept domesticated animals, Fidan explained. Source: Archaeology.org

July 11, 2021

Archaeologists discover 2,500-year-old artifacts in western Turkey

Archaeologists unearthed two 2,500-year-old marble statues and an inscription during excavations at the Temple of Zeus Lepsynos, one of the best-preserved Roman temples of Asia Minor, in Turkey's western Muğla province. Source: Daily Sabah

July 14, 2021

Second neighborhood found in Turkey's neolithic site Çatalhöyük

A second neighborhood was found during the excavations carried out in Çatalhöyük, the neolithic site located in the Çumra district of central Konya province. Source: Daily Sabah

July 16, 2021

Ancient hygiene tools of gladiators on display in Izmir

Turkey's Izmir Archaeology Museum recently launched a new, unique exhibition centered around the historical artifact known as a "strigil," which 2,300 years ago was a tool used for cleansing the body by scraping off dirt, perspiration and oil. Source: Daily Sabah

Japanese archaeologist examines Anatolian civilizations in situ for 40 years

Kimiyoshi Matsumura has been unearthing artifacts from ancient civilizations for nearly 40 years, traveling every inch of Anatolia. Matsumura’s passion for Anatolian history started when he explored Kalehöyük in the Central Anatolian province of Kırşehir and Büklükale in the Central Anatolian province of Kırıkkale during his first trip. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

July 17, 2021

Excavations start in Aççana Mound

Archaeological excavations carried out on Aççana Mound in Alalah, the capital of the Mukish Kingdom during the Middle and Late Bronze Age in the southeastern province of Hatay, aim to unearth remains dating back 4,000 years. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Zeugma Museum's enchanting mosaics lure visitors

The world-famous mosaics in the Zeugma Museum, such as the “Gypsy Girl” mosaic, the “Mars statue,” the Roman fountains and other unique mosaics unearthed during the rescue excavations in the villas on the Euphrates River, are being protected by a team of eight experts of Gaziantep Restoration Conservation Regional Laboratories in an effort to preserve them for future generations. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

July 19, 2021

Ancient mosaics brought to life in SW Turkey’s Stratonikeia

Excavation, restoration and conservation works continue throughout the year in the ancient city of Stratonikeia, also known as the "City of Gladiators," which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List. The 1,600-year-old mosaics unearthed during the latest excavations in the ancient city, one of the world’s largest marble cities located in southwestern Muğla province, are being introduced to tourism through conservation studies. Source: Daily Sabah

July 21, 2021

Epic poem honoring Sultan Mehmet II found in Italian library

Ankara Social Sciences University academic Filiz Barın Akman and academic-writer Beyazıt Akman have discovered an epic poem in Latin with approximately 5,000 lines written by an Italian poet in honor of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II, known as Mehmed the Conqueror, during the Renaissance era. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Mosaics found in ancient city of Stratonikeia to serve tourism

Within the scope of conservation studies, efforts are being made to bring the 1,600-year-old mosaics unearthed during the excavations in the ancient city of Stratonikeia, one of the largest marble cities in the world, into tourism. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

July 22, 2021

Rock chambers unearthed in Zeugma

Within the scope of ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Zeugma, located in the southeastern province of Gaziantep’s Belkıs district, two rock chambers have been unearthed in the area previously discovered and called the “House of Muses” due to the mosaics on its floor. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Klaus Schmidt commemorated on death anniversary

German Professor Klaus Schmidt, who brought the Göbeklitepe ancient settlement in the history of humanity with his works, was commemorated on the seventh anniversary of his death. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

July 24, 2021

10,000-year-old food found in Bursa cave

What is believed to have been food once upon a time – around 10,000 B.C. – has been found in the northwestern province of Bursa in a cave that has come to light after a landside and was discovered by a shepherd. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

July 25, 2021

Turkey to introduce southern Tepebağ Mound to tourism

The Tepebağ Mound in southern Adana province is home to one of the first settlements from ancient times. The mound and its surroundings are being turned into an archaeological park. Source: Daily Sabah

July 26, 2021

Gate of Hell to open to visitors

The Gate of Hell (Plutonium), which was discovered in 2013 in the excavations in the ancient city of Hierapolis, located next to Pamukkale in western Turkey, and which was considered as the “gateway to the land of the dead” in the ancient world, is set to be opened to visitors this year. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Mosaic sheds light on Turkey's Amik Valley grape harvest

A Late Roman Period mosaic that depicts the grape harvest in the Amik Valley was unearthed during excavations in the Hassa district of Turkey's southern Hatay province. The ancient mosaic, featuring impressive figures, will be on display in a temporary exhibition to be held as part of the city’s Grape Harvest Festival. Source: Daily Sabah

Iremir Mound finds to reveal pre-Urartian time in eastern Turkey

The archaeological discoveries unearthed during the excavations carried out on the Iremir Mound in the Gürpınar district of Turkey's eastern province of Van are expected to reveal new information about the pre-Urartian period in the city. Source: Daily Sabah

Rock-Cut Banquet Rooms Found At The House of Muses, Zeugma

Two rock chambers have been discovered deep beneath the House of Muses in Zeugma, Turkey. Signifying the intellectual level, wealth and power of a wealthy family, these two chambers can be seen as customized high-society “party pods.” Source: Ancient Origins

July 27, 2021

Medieval castle walls brought to light in SW Turkey's Akyaka

Excavation work was launched in Akyaka in the Ula district of southwestern Muğla province nearly a year ago to bring to light the historical sites of the town. Efforts to reveal the history of the town have been continuing without any interruption, and the archaeologists are now unearthing the medieval castle walls. Source: Daily Sabah

Experts revive 2,200-year-old theater in SW Turkey

Restoration works on the 2,200-year-old theater in the ancient city of Laodicea, located in western Denizli province’s Pamukkale district, have been completed. Source: Daily Sabah

July 28, 2021

UNESCO adds Turkey’s 8,000-year-old mound to its World Heritage List

A rich, 30-meter-high archaeological mound in southeastern Turkey dating back some 8,000 years has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has said. The decision to add the Arslantepe Mound was taken during the Extended 44th UNESCO World Heritage Committee online session in Fuzhou, China, said a ministry statement. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Excavations reveal 2,300-year-old fish skeletons in Turkey’s Patara

During the excavations in the ancient city of Patara, now part of southern Antalya province's Kaş district, fish skeletons dating back 2,300 years were found. Source: Daily Sabah

July 30, 2021

Zeus Temple's entrance found in western Turkey’s Aizanoi

The monumental entrance gate of the Zeus Temple's sanctuary in the ancient city of Aizanoi, located in the Çavdarhisar district of western Kütahya province, Turkey, was unearthed during recent excavations. Source: Daily Sabah

Excavation head calls Myra ‘Pompeii’ of Anatolia

The 13th season excavations have started in Myra-Andriake, one of the six most important cities of the Lycian League located in the Demre district of the southern province of Antalya. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

July 31, 2021

Sanctuary entrance structure of Temple of Zeus found

Excavations carried out in the ancient city of Aizanoi in the Çavdarhisar district of the western province of Kütahya have unearthed the entrance gate of the Temple of Zeus with a monumental staircase. Source: Hürriyet Daily News