Category Archives: TURKEY

A new chapter in the Hittite world is revealed by painted hieroglyphs discovered in the Hattusa Yerkapı tunnel

A new chapter in the Hittite world is revealed by painted hieroglyphs discovered in the Hattusa Yerkapı tunnel

A new chapter in the Hittite world is revealed by painted hieroglyphs discovered in the Hattusa Yerkapı tunnel

The painted hieroglyphs discovered in 2022 in the Yerkapı Tunnel in Hattusa, the capital of the Hittites, one of the first civilizations of Anatolia, were introduced at a conference held at the Culture and Promotion Consultancy of Turkey’s Embassy in Rome.

Professor Andreas Schachner said that the painted hieroglyphs discovered in the Yerkapı tunnel in Hattusa, the capital of the Hittite Empire, opened a new page in the Hittite world.

Turkish, German, and Italian experts who took part in the excavations gave information to those concerned about the features of the red hieroglyphs found in the 80-meter-long Yerkapı Tunnel in Hattusa in August 2022 and their work on them.

The conference was attended by Prof. Dr. Andreas Schachner from the German Archaeological Institute, Head of the Hattusa Excavation, and many participants.

In his speech, Schachner said that the discovery of the hieroglyphs in the Yerkapı Tunnel was thanks to Associate Professor Bülent Genç, Lecturer at Mardin Artuklu University Archaeology Department.

Prof. Dr. Schachner told AA correspondent after the conference that they are trying to introduce the discovery of Anatolian hieroglyphs found during excavations in Boğazköy in 2020-2023.

Stating that this is a joint work product of Türkiye, Germany and Italy, Schachner said, “The fact that the hieroglyphs are painted opens a new page in the Hittite world.

Because we had not seen these painted hieroglyphs until now. There was something in a small area, but the discovery of 250 such hieroglyphs opened a completely different world for us.”

Schachner stated that with this discovery, they also saw that there were different aspects in the use of writing in the Hittites and said: “Until now, we have been working mostly from Hittite cuneiform texts, but we see that there is also a writing system in public areas.

It is also a unique Anatolian writing system. We call it Anatolian Hieroglyphics. Thus, we see that these two systems run in parallel. This is a great innovation that allows us to understand the Hittite world.”

Stating that his work in Hattusa continues, Schachner said, “We have almost understood what is written in the inscriptions.

Now we will investigate what it means for the city in a little more detail, we will try to learn this. Of course, there is also the work of publishing it in a systematic way. But in other aspects, excavations in Hattusa continue every year. There is always the possibility of new discoveries.”

Assoc. Prof. Metin Alparslan from Istanbul University pointed out that there are not many examples of applying Anatolian hieroglyphs on stone with paint and said, “Until now, we had an example around Sivas in a very small area. Now this example shows us that we need to pay more attention to the stones.

Most probably there were such signs on the stones of the walls that are now exposed. But they have not survived until today. We will pay special attention to this in the next excavations and carry out our work accordingly.”

3,300-Year-Old Hittite Cuneiform Tablet Found In Büklükale Deciphered!

3,300-Year-Old Hittite Cuneiform Tablet Found In Büklükale Deciphered!

A 3,300-year-old Hittite cuneiform tablet found in Büklükale, Turkey, has finally been deciphered and sheds new light on the ancient Hittite civilization.

The tablet is inscribed with 70 lines of text. The form of the cuneiform characters suggests that it originates from the Hittite kingdom, dating back to the 14th century B.C.

Aerial view of of Büklükale.

The ancient city of Büklükale, located about 100 kilometers from the capital, Ankara, was a large and important Hittite city.

The Hittites, an ancient civilization that once held significant power in the region of Anatolia, have long captivated the interest of archaeologists and historians. However, uncovering factual information about this extinct culture has proven challenging.

Led by Matsumura Kimiyoshi of the Japanese Institute of Anatolian Archaeology, which is a part of the Middle Eastern Culture Center in Japan, a dedicated archaeology team has devoted 15 years to uncovering the secrets buried within the ruins of the ancient city Büklükale.

The Hittites, known for using clay tablets, recorded state treaties, decrees, prayers, myths, and summoning rituals. Recognized as the earliest Indo-Germanic language, the Hittite language remained a mystery until researchers successfully deciphered it approximately a century ago.

Upon successfully translating the 3,300-year-old Hittite cuneiform tablet Kimiyoshi and his team discovered last year, researchers learned that Büklükale was a royal palace. This suggests it may have been equivalent in status to the royal residence in the Hittite capital, Hattusa.

The ancient clay tablet also contains information about enemies of the Hittite Empire.

3,300-Year-Old Hittite Cuneiform Tablet Found In Büklükale Deciphered!
This 3,300-year-old Hittite cuneiform tablet has now been deciphered.

Mark Weeden, an Associate Professor of Ancient Middle Eastern Languages at University College London, has translated the cuneiform text on the tablet.

The initial six lines are in Hittite language and indicate that “four cities, including the capital, Hattusa, are in disaster.” The subsequent 64 lines consist of a prayer in the Hurrian language seeking victory.

Previously, tablets inscribed with the Hurrian language were exclusively discovered in the remnants of significant ancient cities closely associated with royal families, like Hattusa. The recent discovery of such a tablet suggests that Büklükale was one of these influential cities.

Hurrian, once the language of the Mitanni kingdom that later fell under Hittite control, remains a bit of a mystery. Despite its historical significance, it is not well understood. Scholars have spent several months trying to decipher the ancient inscription.

Historical records suggest that this tablet was created during a political marriage between the king of Hittite and a princess from one of these eastern kingdoms.

It is widely believed that following this union, the Hittites adopted the religion of their new allies and incorporated Hurrian into their religious ceremonies.

Hittite carvings at Hattusa.

According to Yamamoto Hajime, an expert on the Hittite kingdom at Yamaguchi University, the Hittite Empire was in conflict with a western neighboring nation at the time. Concurrently, Egyptian diplomatic records indicate that the pharaoh arranged a political alliance through marriage with a woman from this rival country.

The tablet reveals the name of the enemy nation’s king, suggesting that the city might have been under siege due to its geographical position at the farthest western point of Hittite territory.

Yamamoto also says that the Hittite kingdom subsequently emerged as a significant regional force. Therefore, he anticipates that future discoveries from the site may show how this achievement was accomplished.

A 3,300-year-old tablet found at Büklükale from Hittite Empire describes catastrophic invasion of four cities

A 3,300-year-old tablet found at Büklükale from Hittite Empire describes catastrophic invasion of four cities

A 3,300-year-old tablet found at Büklükale from Hittite Empire describes catastrophic invasion of four cities

Archaeologists have unearthed a 3,300-year-old clay tablet depicting a catastrophic foreign invasion of the Hittite Empire in Büklükale, about 100 km from Turkey’s capital Ankara.

A translation of the tablet’s cuneiform text indicates that the invasion occurred during a Hittite civil war, presumably in an attempt to support one of the fighting factions.

Previously, only broken clay tablets had been found in the excavations at Büklükale, but this one is in almost perfect condition.

Based on the typology and distribution of the collected pottery shards, Büklükale is thought to be a single-period city belonging to the Hittite Empire Period and having a diameter of 500 m.

The palm-size tablet was found in May 2023 by Kimiyoshi Matsumura, an archaeologist at the Japanese Institute of Anatolian Archaeology, amid the Hittite ruins at Büklükale.

The Hittites used the Hurrian language for religious ceremonies, Matsumura told Live Science, and it appears that the tablet is a record of a sacred ritual performed by the Hittite king.

“The find of the Hurrian tablet means that the religious ritual at Büklükale was performed by the Hittite king,” Matsumura told Live Science in an mail. “It indicates that, at the least, the Hittite king came to Büklükale … and performed the ritual.”

According to a translation by Mark Weeden, an associate professor of ancient Middle Eastern languages at University College London, the first six lines of cuneiform text on the tablet say, in the Hittite language, that “four cities, including the capital, Hattusa, are in disaster, ” while the remaining 64 lines are a prayer in the Hurrian language asking for victory.

Büklükale site consists of two archeological areas, namely “Lower City” and “Upper City”.

The Hurrian language, which was spoken from the last centuries of the third millennium BCE until the Hittite empire’s final years (c. 1400–c. 1190 BCE), is now extinct and is not related to either the Indo-European or Semitic languages. Hurrian was originally the language of the region’s Mitanni kingdom, which later became a Hittite vassal state.

The language is still poorly understood, and experts have spent several months trying to learn the inscription’s meaning, Matsumura said.

It turns out, the Hurrian writing is a prayer addressed to Teššob (also spelled Teshub), the Hurrian name of the storm god who was the head of both the Hittite and Hurrian pantheons.

 “It praises the god and his divine ancestors, and it repeatedly mentions communication problems between the gods and humans. The prayer then lists several individuals who seem to have been enemy kings and concludes with a plea for divine advice,” Matsumura said.

The Hittite Empire collapsed in the early 12th century for a variety of reasons, including civil war, climate change, and invaders such as the Sea Peoples, Kaskis, Phrygians, and Mycenaean Greeks pushing the borders of Hatti.

But it seems that the invasion indicated by the tablet has nothing to do with the end of the Hittite Empire. Matsumura said the tablet dates to the reign of the Hittite king Tudhaliya II, between about 1380 to 1370 B.C. — roughly 200 years before the Late Bronze Age collapse.

The tablet “seems to come from a period of civil war which we know about from other [Hittite] texts,” he said. “During this time, the Hittite heartland was invaded from many different directions at once … and many cities were temporarily destroyed.”

Although the Hittite Civil War is known as a period of civil war that destabilized the Hittite Empire in the last decades of its existence, it is understood that this problem has been ongoing since the past.

Cover Photo: The ancient tablet is inscribed with cuneiform text in both the Hittite and Hurrian languages. The Hittite inscription describes the outbreak of war, and the Hurrian inscription is a prayer for victory. Image credit: Kimiyoshi Matsumura, Japanese Institute of Anatolian Archaeology.

2,700-year-old Children’s Cemetery unearthed in Turkey’s Tenedos

2,700-year-old Children’s Cemetery unearthed in Turkey’s Tenedos

2,700-year-old Children’s Cemetery unearthed in Turkey’s Tenedos

A 2700-year-old children’s cemetery was discovered during ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Tenedos in Bozcaada,  southeast of the Dardanelles.

Bozcaada (Tenedos) Bozcaada is the modern Turkish name for the legendary island of Tenedos. The name Tenedos refers to the legendary hero Tenes, who ruled the island during the Trojan War.

According to legend, Tenedos was the staging station of the Greek task force under Agamemnon during the Trojan War. It was used by Xerxes as a base during the Persian War.

Discoveries continue in the ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Tenedos under the direction of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Archeology Department Faculty Member Professor Turan Takaoğlu.

During the 2023 excavations, many child graves were detected in the necropolis area of the city. It was noteworthy that children who died at an early age had different types of burial practices. The children were buried with their grave goods in Pithos tombs, amphora tombs, and stone masonry tombs.

Grave within a grave

The most interesting of the children’s graves was a 6th century BC pithos or cube grave into which a second pithos grave was placed in the 4th century BC.

Six terracotta figurines and a bronze pin in the shape of a horse’s foot were placed inside the later pithos grave.

These statuettes depict two dancers wearing Phrygian headdresses, one of them a woman playing the stringed musical instrument lyre, and the remaining three standing women in Eastern costumes that can be associated with the cult of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine.

Bronze needle.

The figurines were subjected to restoration and conservation procedures by Dr. Çilem Yavşan. After the excavation season, the finds were delivered to the Troy Museum Directorate.

Professor Ömer Can Yıldırım, Vice President of the Excavation, told İHA that excavation works were carried out in Bozcaada Castle and Ancient Necropolis Area in 2023.

Yıldırım said, “Especially in the studies carried out in the Necropolis area, an area previously unknown in the archaeological literature and limited as a burial area for children was detected. Among the graves identified in this area, the structure we defined as a pithos grave showed the feature of a pithos within a pithos and provided the emergence of data that was not previously known in archaeological data.”

“The first burial here was made in the 6th century BC and then, after a period of about 200 years, a second burial was made in the 4th century BC, that is, in the Late Classical Period,” said Professor Yıldırım.

Yıldırım said, “When we look at the general characteristics of the artifacts, the way they are dressed, the goddess motifs are indicative of the beliefs that prevailed in this period and the respect for children buried at a young age related to reaching God.

When we evaluate these artifacts in terms of history, the stylistic and analogical features of the artifacts show that these artifacts were manufactured approximately 2,700 years ago and placed in the grave of a child who died at a young age.

“We can say that the types of clothing found on the artifacts are more related to the eastern Phrygian culture and the cult of Cybele as well as Dionysus. This feature clearly shows us that this religious ideology was dominant especially in the 4th century BC in the Necropolis of Tenedos.

The typological features reflected by the artifacts provide us with significant data in understanding the cultural characteristics of the Tenedos Necropolis during the Late Classical Period,” he said.

2,800-Year-Old ‘Pharmaceutical production area’ discovered in ancient Thracian City

2,800-Year-Old ‘Pharmaceutical production area’ discovered in ancient Thracian City

2,800-Year-Old ‘Pharmaceutical production area’ discovered in ancient Thracian City

Archaeologists have unearthed a “pharmaceutical production area” supported by a water source during ongoing excavations in the Thracian Ancient City Heraion Teikhos,  in the northwestern province of Tekirdağ.

Heraion Teichos ancient city on the İstanbul-Tekirdağ highway, situated on the banks of the Marmara Sea in Tekirdağ Province, is extremely important since it is the only Thracian city excavated in Türkiye.

In recent years, scientific data revealed by archaeological excavations prove that the city has been inhabited from third millennium B.C.E. to XIII century. Century A.D. The city lived its most brilliant periods from 5Th century B.C.. to 1st century A.D.

In 2021, a team of researchers from Istanbul Rumeli University unearthed a 2,800-year-old temple in Türkiye’s ancient Thracian city of Heraion Teikhos. Now, a water system has been identified leading to a space within the temple that researchers call an “ancient pharmaceutical production area.”

Professor Dr. Neşe Atik told Hurriyet Daily News, “Heraion Teikhos is a Thracian City, the first Thracian settlement in our country where excavations are still being carried out, and the only excavation site that yields Thracian finds.”

Atik stated that the aim of the excavations is to identify pharmaceutical production areas, the size of which is not yet known, and how the water was transported.

“Water systems in hilltop settlements were usually built with large water cisterns in ancient times.

The 2023 excavations at the Heraion Teikhos settlement yielded findings indicating that water was transported not from cisterns but from an area a few kilometers to the east of the excavation site, which is still wooded today. In addition to this, a new pharmaceutical was unearthed in the west of the settlement.

Terracotta pipes connecting the pools and stone channels also revealed that there was a pharmaceutical production area spread over the entire excavation area,” Atik said.

“The fact that the medicine ovens and the clean water system and pools required for medicine making were located close to each other in the same areas is scientifically important since it is the first time they have been identified archaeologically,” she concluded.

The Thracians were a group of tribes renowned for their rich culture and formidable warriors, that thrived in Southeast Europe from as early as 2000-1500 BC. They were a group of tribes who occupied the southeastern part of the Balkan Peninsula.

The Thracians are most famous for their magnificent metalwork, particularly in gold and silver, and for people like the fabled Spartacus, who was descended from them. Their culture, interwoven with Greek and later Roman influences, contributed significantly to the tapestry of classical antiquity, but it remains shrouded in mystery due to a lack of written records.

3,000-Year-Old Castle Built by Mysterious Civilization Found at The Bottom of a Lake in Turkey

3,000-Year-Old Castle Built by Mysterious Civilization Found at The Bottom of a Lake in Turkey

3,000-Year-Old Castle Built by Mysterious Civilization Found at The Bottom of a Lake in Turkey
Underwater ruins of Armenian castle in lake Van ( Anadolu Ajansı )

A team of Turkish archaeologists has discovered the remains of what is believed to be a 3,000-year-old castle from the Armenian kingdom of Urartu (Ararat) submerged underwater in Lake Van.

The underwater excavations were led by Van Yüzüncü Yıl University and the governorship of Turkey’s eastern Bitlis Province. The castle is said to belong to the Iron Age Armenian civilization also known as the Kingdom of Van, Urartu, Ararat, and Armenia.

The lake itself is believed to have been formed by a crater caused by a volcanic eruption of Mount Nemrut near the province of Van. The current water level of the reservoir is about 150 meters higher than it was during the Iron Age.

“Civilizations living around the lake set up large villages and settlements while the water level of the lake was low, but they had to leave the area after it increased again,”

said Tahsin Ceylan, one of the researchers of the newspaper.

The researchers are expecting to conduct further excavations to reveal the full scale of this discovery. The discovery is expected to attract tourism.

Although now within the borders of the Republic of Turkey, the Lake, and town of Van is the very heartland of Armenian civilization since times immemorial. In fact, so much so, that it is considered the very place where Armenian ethnic identity was first born. According to the records of the 5th-century Armenian historian Movses of Khorene, Hayk (the legendary founder of the Armenian nation) settled near Lake Van in 2492 BC where he first founded the village of Haykashen and build there the mighty fortress of Haykaberd.

At the very shores of Lake, Van Hayk assembled his army and told them that they must defeat the Babylonian tyrant king Bel who had marched against him and his people, or die trying to do so, rather than become his slaves. At Dyutsaznamart (meaning: “Battle of Giants”) near Lake Van, Hayk finally defeated Bel. Hereafter Hayk named the region where the battle took place after his own name and the site of the battle Hayots Dzor (meaning: “Valley of the Armenians”). Thus the Armenian nation and its first free kingdom were born on the very shores of Lake Van after which the Armenians call themselves ‘Hay’ and their country – ‘Hayk’ or ‘Hayastan’, in honor of the legendary founder Hayk.

The ancient Hittite inscriptions deciphered in the 1920s by the Swiss scholar Emil Forrer testify to the existence of a mountain country called ‘Hayasa’ and its vessel lying around Lake Van. The Annals of Mursili (14th century BC) describes the campaigns of Mursili against Hayasa:

And when I arrived in Tiggaramma, the chief cup-bearer Nuvanza and all the noblemen came to meet me at Tiggaramma. I should have marched to Hayasa still, but the chiefs said to me, ‘The season is now far advanced, Sire, Lord! Do not go to Hayasa.’ And I did not go to Hayasa.

Map of historic Armenian with Lake Van at its center. (from Encyclopædia Britannica Online)

It was exactly the works of Movses of Khorene that led to the initial discovery of the Armenian kingdom of Van (Urartu). The existence of this kingdom was unknown to science until the year 1823 when a French scholar, J. Saint-Martin, chanced upon a passage in the ‘History of Armenia’ by Movses of Khorene who had recorded the kingdom in great detail. Inspired by these writings Jean Saint-Martin sent a team to the described location and discovered a kingdom completely unknown to Western academia at the time.

Khorenatsi had described the ancient settlements in Van and attributed them to one of the descendants of Hayk; Ara the Beautiful son of Aram. His description exactly matched, the later discovered, Assyrian clay tablet attributing the foundation of the kingdom to the first king of Urartu; King Aram (c. 860 – 843 BC).

“Urartian history is part of Armenian history, in the same sense that the history of the ancient Britons is part of English history, and that of the Gauls is part of French history. Armenians can legitimately claim, through Urartu, an historical continuity of some 4000 years; their history is among those of the most ancient peoples in the world.”

– Mack Chahin, The Kingdom of Armenia, A History, 1987, revised in 2001

The lake was the center of the Armenian kingdom of Ararat from about 1000 BC, afterward of the Satrapy of Armenia, Kingdom of Greater Armenia, and the Armenian Kingdom of Vaspurakan. Along with Lake Sevan in today’s Armenia and Lake Urmia in today’s Iran, Lake Van was one of the three great lakes of the Armenian Kingdom, referred to as the Seas of Armenia. Its name “Van” is one of the ancient Armenian words for “town” which is still reflected in many Armenian toponyms such as Nakhichevan (meaning: “place/town of descend”), Stepananvan (meaning: “town of Stepan”), Vanadzor (meaning: “valley of Van” ), Sevan, and even the capitol city of Armenia; Yerevan.

Lake Van and its adjacent town also named Van is today part of Turkey, however, its historic Armenian traces are still visible. At the very center of this lake, there is an island called Akhtamar that still holds a thousand-year-old Armenian church; the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

Armenians lived in Van up until the early 20th century when Armenians were prosecuted by the Ottoman Turks during the Armenian Genocide. One of the last stands of the Armenian people known as the Resistance of Van, where over 55,000 Armenian civilians were massacred by Ottoman militias and bandits, was extensively discussed in newspapers of that time around the world.

The resistance occupies a significant place in Armenian national identity because it symbolizes the Armenians’ will to resist annihilation at the very heartland of the Armenian people.

General view of Akdamar (Akhtamar) Island and the Armenian cathedral of the Holy cross (915 AD).
Medieval Armenian gravestones, Lake Van.
An early 20th century picture of the 10th century Armenian monastery of Narekavank, which once stood near the southeastern shore of the lake.

1,400-year-old coins found in a piggy bank in ancient city of Hadrianopolis

1,400-year-old coins found in a piggy bank in the ancient city of Hadrianopolis

1,400-year-old coins found in a piggy bank in the ancient city of Hadrianopolis

Archaeologists unearthed a collection of 10 coins believed to date back nearly 1,400 years, retrieved from what appears to be a piggy bank in the ongoing excavations at the ancient city of Hadrianopolis in Karabük’s Eskipazar district, Türkiye.

Excavations started in 2003 at the structures in Hadrianopolis and continue in periods under the direction of Ersin Çelikbaş, a lecturer at the Archaeology Department of Karabük University (KBÜ).

The ancient city is known as “Zeugma of the Black Sea” due to its mosaics depicting various animals such as horses, elephants, panthers, deer, and griffons. Zeugma is a mosaic museum in Gaziantep, Türkiye’s southeastern province.

Hadrianopolis, known for its churches decorated with mosaics, has produced important discoveries that include walls, villas, defensive fortifications, rock tombs, theaters, arched and domed structures, and monumental cultic niches.

Discussing the recent findings with Anadolu Agency (AA), Çelikbaş highlighting their efforts to uncover new structures across extensive areas with a dedicated team of approximately 60 individuals.

Explaining the discoveries within a particular building whose exact function remains partially ambiguous, Çelikbaş suggested: “We presume it might have served as a kitchen based on the artifacts found within.

Various vessels and kitchen utensils were among the unearthed items. Stratigraphy indicates the building’s prolonged use, though specifics about its final phase remain elusive.”

The 1,400-year-old coins were unearthed in the ancient city of Hadrianopolis, Karabük, Türkiye.

Remarkably, a significant archaeological finding emerged from this area in the form of a money box containing 10 coins dating back to the era of Constans II, believed to span from A.D. 641 to 666, marking the apparent culmination of the building’s usage during the seventh century.

While defining these coins as a treasure in archaeological terms, Çelikbaş suggested an alternative use, saying: “We suspect it was employed as a primitive form of a piggy bank, possibly by a female member of the household during that era, rather than for hiding or burying money.”

The unearthing of these coins provides a glimpse into the final phase of the building’s utilization. It offers valuable insights into ancient domestic practices, highlighting the intersection of archaeology and everyday life in antiquity.

Hadrianopolis in Paphlagonia, also known as Eskipazar, was a city situated in southwestern Asia Minor, located approximately 3km west of the modern town of Eskipazar in the Karabuk Province.

The city was inhabited from at least the 1st century BC until the 8th century AD and was named after the Roman emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD.

Hadrianopolis was established during the late Hellenistic, Roman, and early Byzantine periods.

When Emperor Theodosius I (347-395) established a new province called Honorias, combining Paphlagonia and Bithynia, the city became known as Hadrianopolis in Honorias. It was largely due to its Christian diocese that it was listed among the current titular sees in the Annuario Pontificio.

Statue Heads Of Dionysus And Aphrodite Discovered In The Ancient City Of Aizanoi

Statue Heads Of Dionysus And Aphrodite Discovered In The Ancient City Of Aizanoi

Statue heads of ancient Greek deities have been unearthed several times in the ancient city of Aizanoi, Turkey. Now, archaeologists report they have found even more heads.

The research team found the heads of the goddesses of love and beauty, Aphrodite, and the deity of wine, Dionysus, in Kutahya province.

Statue Heads Of Dionysus And Aphrodite Discovered In The Ancient City Of Aizanoi

Situated 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Kutahya, the ancient city of Aizanoi has a history that can be traced back to about 5,000 years.

Aizanoi had its golden age in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD and became the center of episcopacy in Byzantine times.

The city has a temple built for Zeus, the best-preserved temple in Anatolia. There is also a large theater and a stadium adjacent to the theater.

Archaeological excavations are underway in Aizano, and we can expect many interesting discoveries to be made in this ancient city eventually.

Archaeology professor and excavation team leader Gokhan Coskun told Anadolu that numerous statue pieces were discovered during the excavation.

“The most exciting development for us this season is uncovering new heads of the goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, and the deity of wine, Dionysus,” Coskun said.

“In the excavation works we have conducted in the region so far, we have unearthed more than 100 statue pieces. Some of the heads found are from statues that are 2-3 meters long,” he noted.

“These statue heads, which we first discovered three years ago, are in very well-preserved condition. During our excavations, so far we have discovered two Aphrodite and three Dionysus statue heads,” Coskun said.

Zeus temple in the ancient city of Aizanoi.

As Coşkun previously explained,” the heads of the statues give information about the faith system in the Roman period.

We know that the ancient Greek gods Aphrodite and Dionysus existed with different names in the Roman period as well.

These are important findings for us as they show that the polytheistic culture of ancient Greece existed for a long time without losing its importance in the Roman period. The findings suggest that there may be a sculpture workshop in the region.”