Sunday, August 09, 2009

1,400-year-old ancient city discovered in Turkey

A team of archaeologists has discovered a castle and an ancient city thought to be almost 1,400 years old in southern Osmaniye province in Turkey.

According to a report in Today's Zaman, excavations in the area, carried out by teams from Kocaeli University's archaeology department with the permission of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, first revealed the ruins in 2006.

Associate Professor Fusun Tulek said that the castle and the ancient city were surrounded by city walls and that they have found ceramic pieces. "We found Umayyad ceramics dating back to the late seventh and early eighth centuries. We also frequently encountered ceramics from the ninth century. Yet, we did not find ceramics dating earlier than the seventh century. We are certain that the castle and ancient city belong to the early Islamic period."

Tulek also said that the palaces, mosques, baths and military structures in the city feature elements of Umayyad architecture.

"This city is on the route to Baghdad and the Silk Road. This city, from the early Islamic period, is older than Anavarza Castle, which was managed by a Turkish emir during the Abbasid era," he said.

Highlighting that the Umayyads chose flat regions when constructing cities, Tulek said, "The castle was on both a military route and a trade route and served military, political and commercial purposes for a long time. Then, it fell into disrepair."