A 1,600-year-old basilica re-emerged due to the withdrawal of waters from lake iznik
The 1600-year-old basilica found under Lake Iznik in crystal clear water shows breathtaking aerial images. Archeologists, and art historians believe that after an earthquake in 740, the religious structure collapsed during an earthquake in 740, before sinking further into the lake.
The underwater building lies between 1.5 and 2 meters below the sea and can be clearly seen for the first time, as the coronavirus lockdown has resulted in less water pollution.
The local authority recently flew a drone over the site to take stunning images, revealing the basilica’s walls and structure just below the lake surface.
In 2014, when it was first found by experts, the Archaeological Institute of America named the basilica as one of the top 10 discoveries of the year. It was discovered while photographing the area from the air for an inventory of historic sites and cultural artifacts.
Five years ago the Doğan News Agency reported that the submerged structure was set to become an underwater museum. Experts believe it was built in AD 390, to honor St. Neophytos, who was among the saints and devout Christians martyred during the time of Roman emperors Diocletian and Galerius.
Neophytos was killed by Roman soldiers in A.D. 303, a decade before an official proclamation permanently established religious toleration for Christianity within the Roman Empire, they say.
I thought to myself, ‘How did nobody notice these ruins before?’ said Prof Mustafa Sahin
Uludag University Head of Archaeology Department Prof Mustafa Sahin told the agency in 2015 the church was built in tribute to him, at the place that he was killed.
He said: “We think that the church was built in the 4th century or a later date.
“It is interesting that we have engravings from the Middle Ages depicting this killing. We see Neophytos being killed on the lake coast.” Ancient resources show that Christians definitely stopped by Iznik in the Middle Ages while making their pilgrimage to visit the church.
“Rumour has it that people in Iznik were asking for help from the body of Neophytos when they were in difficulty,” Sahin said.
The researcher told Live Science that he been carrying out field surveys in Iznik since 2006, and “I hadn’t discovered such a magnificent structure like that.
“When I first saw the images of the lake, I was quite surprised to see a church structure that clearly.”
He also told the Archaeological Institute of America: “I did not believe my eyes when I saw it under the helicopter.
“I thought to myself, ‘How did nobody notice these ruins before?’”
And, there might be a pagan temple beneath the church, reports The Weather Channel. Researchers have uncovered fragments of an ancient lamp and early coins from the reign of the emperor Antoninus Pius – indicating a more historic structure buried under the church.
Sahin said he believed the basilica could have been built on top of a temple to Apollo. The information shows there is a connection with the Roman emperor Commodus – to a similar temple at Iznik, then known as Nicea, outside city walls.
“Could this temple have been underneath the basilica remains?” Sahin asked of the church, which is to be transformed into an underwater archaeological museum.
The early Byzantine-era basilica has architectural elements from the early period of Christianity and is situated 20 meters from the banks of Lake Iznik in the north-western Turkish province of Bursa.
Archaeological finds excavated since 2015 include the memorial stamp of the Scottish knights, who were believed to have been among the first foreign visitors to the basilica, reports Daily Sabah.
2,400-year-old mask of Dionysus unearthed in western Turkey
During excavations in the western part of Turkey, researchers unearthed a terracotta mask that dates back almost 2,400 years.
Archaeologist Kaan Iren who led the excavation team told Anadolu Agency that the mask depicts the ancient Greek god Dionysus and it is considered to be one of the most interesting discoveries of this year.
Dionysus was the ancient Greek god of wine, wine-making, grape cultivation, ritual madness, theatre, fertility, and religious ecstasy. He has also been referred to as the Greek god of carnivals and masquerades as well as a patron of the arts.
He was the son of Zeus and the mortal princess of Thebes named Semele. Dionysus was believed to have hidden his power as well as his identity.
Mycenean Greeks have been worshipping Dionysus perhaps as far back as 1500 to 11000 BCE. According to legend, if you wear a mask that honours him, you will be released of regret and secret desires.
As for where the mask was discovered, the ancient city of Daskyleion was situated on the shore of Lake Manyas in the Bandirma district of the Balikesir province at a time when Asia Minor had several Greek settlements.
The city received its name in the seventh century BC after a well-known Lydian King named Daskylos arrived there from Sardis because of a dispute within his dynasty.
Daskylos’ son Gyges was born in Daskyleion but was eventually called back to Lydia where he was crowned their king. After he became king, the city was renamed Daskyleion (the place of Daskylos) around the year 650 BC.
Getting back to the mask, Iren noted that it is “possibly a votive mask” meaning that it may have been used to express a vow or wish.
He went on to say, “More information will become available over time with more research.” It should be interesting to find out what more they can uncover. A picture of the mask and the excavation site can be seen here.
Additional searches are being conducted as Iren stated that earlier this year a cellar was discovered in the Lydian kitchen in Daskyleion’s acropolis, “Work continues to obtain seeds and other organic parts from the excavated soil in the Lydian kitchen and its surroundings through a flotation process.”
More research at the site will hopefully help the experts to have a better understanding of the ancient people’s food preferences and habits.
8,600 years old Textile tools found in western Turkey
Hurriyet Daily News reports that 8,600-year-old textile tools have been uncovered in western Anatolia at the ancient settlement site of Ekşi Höyük.
Fulya Dedeoğlu of Ege University said the bone needles and round stones for spinning thread were found in a building dated to the Neolithic period.
Bone needles and round stones used for spinning thread dating back some 8,600 years were found in an excavation site in Ekşi Höyük, one of the oldest settlements in western Anatolia, located in the present-day Denizli province.
“During excavations carried out in this Neolithic-era settlement, we discovered some of the first tools used for textiles in history,” Ege University’s Fulya Dedeoğlu, head of the excavation team, told Anadolu Agency (AA).
“The architectural remains here are in very good condition. You can see all of the typical materials of the era here.”
She added: “One of the most striking things we found is the needle bones, which we think date back to 8,600 years ago, and carved round stones for spinning thread.”
She stressed that Denizli is known for its history in textiles and that many bone needles used in textiles were found at the excavation site.
“The findings here prove that the textile tradition in Denizli dates back to earlier times. We’ve discovered them in a building that we think was built in 6400 B.C.,” Dedeoğlu added.
Along with Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry, academics from universities across the country are helping in the excavations, which started in 2015.
1,000000-year-old artificial underground complex has been discovered
Dr Alexander Koltypin recently came out to state that the process through which we identify just how old a relic or a ruin really it shouldn’t be considered the definitive end of the debate as it is heavily flawed, to say the least.
In most cases, there is no clear proof of how old a ruin really is which is why we look at the surroundings and more specifically at how old the surrounding structures are. But, this is unfair as there is always the possibility that they weren’t built around the same time period.
In recent years, many researchers have started looking at the history of civilization on Earth with an open mind. One of those researchers is without a doubt, Dr. Alexander Koltypin, a geologist, and director of the Natural Science Research Center at Moscow’s International Independent University of Ecology and Politology.
During his long career, Dr Koltypin has studied numerous ancient underground structures mainly in the Mediterranean and has identified numerous similarities which have led him to believe that many sites were interconnected. But most incredibly, the weathering of the structures, together with their material composition and extreme geological features has led him to believe, these megastructures were built by advanced civilizations that inhabited Earth millions of years ago.
Dr. Koltypin argues that mainstream archeologists who work in the region, are used to date sites by looking at the settlements located on them or in their vicinity, however, some of these settlements were created upon much older prehistoric structures.
Writing on his website, Dr. Koltypin states: “When we examined the constructions… none of us never for a moment had a doubt that they are much older than the ruins of the Canaanite, Philistine, Hebraic, Roman, Byzantine, and other cities and settlements that are placed on it and around.” (source)
During his travel to the Mediterranean, Dr Koltypin was able to accurately record the features present in different ancient sites, something that allowed him to compare afterwards, their incredible similarities and details which tell an incredible alternative history, one that has been firmly rejected by mainstream scholars.
While traveling near the Hurvat Burgin ruins in Adullam Grove Nature Reserve, central Israel, Dr. Koltypin recalled a similar felling when he climbed on the top of the rock city Cavusin in Turkey, almost as a Deja vu feeling, Dr. Koltypin said: “I was personally convinced once again (in the first time the same feeling came to me after I climbed to the top of the rock city Cavusin in Turkey) that all these rectangular indentations, man-made underground structures and scattered debris of megaliths were one underground-terrestrial megalithic complex which was opened by erosion to a depth of several hundred meters” (source)
In his work (source), Dr. Koltypin argues that nor all parts of the giant complex are located underground, there are some parts that have come above ground due to geological shifts that have occurred throughout the history of our planet, where Dr. Koltypin includes the incredibly rocky towns of Cappadocia in modern-day Turkey.
“On the basis of this, we can conclude that the underground cities of Cappadocia (including Tatlarin rock city) intended for the accommodation of the ordinary population and the rock city of Cavusin (or its part) was the residence of the kings of underground.
Though almost nothing is known about subterranean, nevertheless we can assume that the people who built the underground cities (if they even were men) were sun-worshipers professed religion of sun gods (harmony and life by the Divine principles – nature laws). After many thousand or million years, this religion had become a basis of the Christian religion.” — Dr Alexander Koltypin.
Dr. Koltypin continues explaining that certain sites in central and Northern Israel, and central Turkey were exposed after cutting into the ground some one hundred meters. “According to my estimates, such depth of erosion … hardly could be formed in less time than 500,000 to 1 million years,” he wrote on his website.
Dr Koltypin suggests that certain parts of the complex surfaced as a result of mountain formation processes. According to his estimates, there is evidence to support that the composition of building material found on a site in Antalya Turkey, referred to by Dr. Koltypin as “Jernokleev site,” are up to One Million years old, even though mainstream scholars refuse to accept that age, proposing that the site dates back to the Middle Ages.
Dr. Koltypin further adds that as a result of Earth’s crust moving throughout the centuries, parts of the underground complex were plunged into the sea.
“Practically in all the studied underground constructions of Israel and in the majority of underground constructions of Turkey, sediments of lithified (hard) and calcareous clay deposits are widely developed on their floor,” Dr. Koltypin writes on his website.
Returning to the subject, Dr. Koltypin suggests that the similarity seen in numerous megalithic ruins is evidence of a profound connection present in ancient sites, which were connected in one giant prehistoric complex.
According to Dr. Koltypin, numerous megalithic blocks weight tens of tons could have been directly attached to underground complexes in the distant past.
“This circumstance gave me a reason to call the underground structures and geographically related ruins of cyclopean walls and buildings as a single underground-terrestrial megalithic complex,” writes Dr. Koltypin in his website.
He further adds that the megalithic construction which is seen in all corners around the world seem to surpass by far the technological capabilities of ancient civilizations which according to mainstream scholars built them.
Making reference to the technological capabilities of the ancients, Dr. Koltypin states the stones fit together perfectly in some parts without cement, and the ceilings, columns, arches, gates, and other elements seem beyond the work of men with chisels.
Adding to the mystery of these incredible sites, Dr. Koltypin notes that structures built on top of, or near sites by the Romans or other civilizations are completely primitive.
Dr. Alexander Koltypin believes that the mysterious markings that extend along the Phrygian Valley, in central Turkey, were made by an intelligent race between 12 and 14 million years ago.
“We can assume that ancient vehicles with “wheels” were driven into the soft ground, perhaps a wet surface,” said the geologist. “Because of the great weight of these vehicles, they left behind very deep grooves which eventually petrified and turned into evidence.”
Geologists are familiar with such phenomena as they have found petrified footprints of dinosaurs that were preserved in the same way. Together with three colleagues, Dr Koltypin, director of the Natural Science Scientific Research Centre at Moscow’s International Independent Ecological-Political University, travelled to the site in Anatolia, Turkey where these markings can be found. Upon returning from his trip, he described the observed as ‘petrified tracking ruts in rocky tuffaceous [made from compacted volcanic ash] deposits’.
The archaeological team uncovers massive Roman mosaic in southern Turkey
An archeological team from a University of Nebraska – Lincoln has discovered a huge Roman mosaic in southern Turkey — a meticulously crafted, 1,600 square feet of decorative handicrafts constructed during the imperial zenith of the region.
It is believed to be the largest mosaic of its kind in the world and reveals the magnitude and cultural impact of the Roman Empire in the third and fourth centuries A.D., said Michael Hoff, professor of Art History at Hixson-Lied at United Nations Local University and curator of the excavation.
“Its large size signals, in no small part, that the outward signs of the empire were very strong in this far-flung area,” Hoff said. “We were surprised to have found a mosaic of such size and of such caliber in this region — it’s an area that had usually been off the radar screens of most ancient historians and archeologists, and suddenly this mosaic comes into view and causes us to change our focus about what we think (the region) was like in antiquity.”
Since 2005, Hoff’s team has been excavating the remains of the ancient city of Antiochia ad Cragum on the southern Turkish coast. Antiochus of Commagene, a client king of Rome, founded the city in the middle of the first century.
“This region is not well understood in terms of history and archaeology,” Hoff said. “It’s not a place in which archaeologists have spent a lot of time, so everything we find adds more evidence to our understanding of this area of the Roman Empire.
“We’re beginning to understand now that it was more Romanized, more in line with the rest of the Roman world than was suspected before. (The nature of the mosaic) hammers home how Roman this city truly is.”
Antiochia ad Cragum had many of the trappings expected of a Roman provincial city — temples, baths, markets, and colonnaded streets, said Hoff. The city thrived during the empire from an economy focused on agricultural products, especially wine and lumber.
Excavation has focused on a third-century imperial temple, and also a street lined with shops. In July, the team began to explore the mosaic, which was part of a Roman bath. The decoration consists of large squares, each filled with different colored geometric designs and ornamentation.
“This would have been a very formal associated pavement attached to the bath,” Hoff said. “This is a gorgeous mosaic, and its size is unprecedented” — so large, in fact, that work crews have uncovered only an estimated 40 percent of its total area.
Hoff said it appears the mosaic served as a forecourt for the adjacent large bath, and that at least on one side, evidence shows there was a roof covering the geometric squares that would have been supported by piers. Those piers’ remains are preserved, he said.
Meanwhile, the middle of the mosaic was outfitted with a marble-lined, 25-foot-long pool, which would have been uncovered and open to the sun. The other half of the mosaic adjacent to the bath is expected to contain similar decoration, Hoff said. Crews expect to unearth the entire work next summer.
Team members first noticed the mosaic in 2001 when a large archaeological survey project that included Hoff noticed a local farmer had plowed up pieces of a mosaic in a field next to a still-standing bath structure.
The find was brought to the attention of the archeological museum in Alanya, which two years later made a minor investigation that revealed a small portion of the mosaic.
Last year, the museum invited Hoff to clear the mosaic and to preserve it for tourists and scholars. Hoff’s 60-person team also included Birol Can, assistant professor of archaeology at Atatürk University in Erzurum, Turkey, a sister university to the University of Nebraska; students from UNL; other students from Turkey and the United States; and workers from a nearby village. About 35 students participated in the project as part of a summer field school Hoff runs.
Phalin Strong, a sophomore art major from Lincoln, said the work was difficult but satisfying.
“It is strange to realize that you are the first person to see this for centuries — a feeling that also made me think about impermanence and what importance my actions have on humanity and history,” Strong said.
Ben Kreimer, a senior journalism major, agreed: “(Working on) the mosaic was great because the more soil you removed, the more mosaic there was,” he said. “Visually, it was also stunning, especially once it got cleaned off. It wasn’t very deep under the surface of the soil, either, so … we had to be careful not to swing the handpick too hard so as not to damage the priceless mosaic that lay just inches beneath us.”
Hoff said the significance of this summer’s discovery has him eager to return to the site and see what the rest of the excavation uncovers.
Buried temple in Turkey Built During 12,000 B.C almost 7,500 years older than Egyptian Pyramids
Göbekli Tepe in southeast Turkey has been billed as the oldest temple in the world at about 12,000 years of age. It is many millennia older than Stonehenge or Egypt’s great pyramids, built in the pre-pottery Neolithic period before writing or the wheel. But should Göbekli Tepe, which became a Unesco World Heritage Site, also be regarded as the world’s oldest piece of architecture?
Archaeologists are fascinated by Göbekli Tepe, an artificial mound spread across eight hectares at the top end of the Fertile Crescent near the present-day city of Sanliurfa. It features a series of circular sunken structures that had been occupied for a thousand years before they were back-filled and abandoned.
Construction techniques vary but in the most elaborate there is a ring of T-shaped monolithic columns with a pair of larger, carved T-columns at the center up to five meters tall.
These not only supported a roof (for at least some of their life) but also represented abstracted human figures that were part of a belief system that is not yet understood. They are sculptural as well as structural, with animal figures in relief.
The largest circle is 17m by 25m but geotechnical surveys suggest there are bigger structures waiting to be unearthed. The earliest limestone monoliths were quarried locally but stones were later transported long distances.
The communal effort involved in this endeavour must have involved hundreds of people at a period when most social groups had no more than 25 members.
Göbekli Tepe was built by hunter-gatherers, apparently, before the Agricultural Revolution when fully permanent settlements came into being with plant cultivation and animal herding.
Rather than architecture being the product of organised societies, as has long been thought, there is new thinking that, in fact, it may have been the organisation needed to build on such a scale that helped usher in agriculture and settled society.
Archaeological definitions of architecture tend to be broader than those of design professionals; it includes structures that create artificial space with, say, mud bricks, smoothed floors and right-angles.
Architects tend to separate building—a simple vernacular shelter assembled out of utility—from architecture, in which conscious design that goes beyond the utilitarian comes into play.
Moritz Kinzel, an archaeologist and architect based at Copenhagen University who is working on the site, says: “Building becomes architecture not just because it is monumental but because of technical solutions and perceptions of space—it has a mindset.” Göbekli Tepe also goes beyond the human scale. He reminds us, however, that the domestic and the ritual cannot be separated to the degree they are today, and that older houses with ritual components have been discovered at sites in Jordan and the southern Levant.
Göbekli Tepe was built by hunter-gatherers, apparently before the Agricultural Revolution
Kinzel argues that the design experimentation found at Göbekli Tepe should encourage us to avoid chicken-and-egg arguments about the primacy of architecture or agriculture. Instead, the site illustrates a cusp period, with architecture emerging alongside more complex organizations that produced surpluses and gradually shifted from gathering wild crops to farming.
Some of the earliest domesticated wheat was found in the area and the Göbekli Tepe stones feature depictions of dogs—the first animal to be domesticated by humans.
It was a trial and error period, an age of architectural and societal experiment at the beginnings of the Agricultural Revolution rather than one preceding the other.
“Permanent buildings do not necessarily reflect permanent settlements,” Kinzel says, suggesting seasonal use at Göbekli Tepe.
The construction process of the monumental structures may have triggered [people] staying longer, forcing them to invent new ways of dealing with arising new challenges.”
Current thinking is that Göbekli Tepe may not have been solely a cult center but had other social and economic functions such as feasting, exchanging goods and finding partners, and other activities that promoted a common social identity. The architecture may mark the beginnings of class society and patriarchy.
Noting the functional as well as the aesthetic purpose of Göbekli Tepe’s T-columns, an architectural researcher who works with Kinzel, Dietmar Kurapkat from the Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Regensburg, Germany, has written: “It is no exaggeration to label these… buildings with the term architecture.”
World’s Oldest Toy Car – Could This 5,000-Year-Old Discovery Be The Earliest Evidence Of The Wheel?
Many gearheads grew up playing with toy cars. Loyalties to Hot Wheels or Matchbox were as divisive as those between Ford and Chevy are today.
But kids have been fascinated by wheels since long before these companies—or even the car itself—existed.
An archeological dig in Turkey has revealed that our fascination with toy wheels goes back at least 5,000 years, reports the International Business Times.
A toy chariot dating back 5,000 years – which archaeologists believe may be the world’s oldest ‘toy car’ – has been discovered in Turkey.
The little chair on wheels, made from earthenware, was found during an excavation of the ancient city of Sogmatar, in the south-east of the country.
Sogmatar is believed to have been the home of Moses when he had run away from the Pharaoh.
Digs in the city have uncovered a number of tombs, including the child’s grave the mini-chariot was found, which have provided a fascinating insight into how ancient civilizations lived.
In total, 45 tombs have been opened, including three that have remained untouched since the Roman era.
A 4,000-year-old baby’s rattle dug up in the city of Kultepe in the central Anatolian province of Kayseri in 2014 was at that time hailed as the world’s oldest toy.
Sogmatar Excavation Head and Sanliurfa Museum Manager Celal Uludag said that Sogmatar was one of the most important excavations in the area.
He added: ‘The excavation in this area continues with the permission of the ministry. In the necropolis part, in a tomb room, we found a toy carriage which belongs to the Bronze Age and believed to have been made for the children of kings or the leaders.
‘This finding is very important for us as shows the aesthetic and cultural understanding of the period.
‘The item will be exhibited in the biggest museum complex of Turkey, the Sanliurfa Archaeology Museum. We believe that we are going to find even more important things in the excavation.’
Turkey: 3rd-century statue unearthed in the ancient city
Archeologists have unearthed a 1,700-year-old statue of a female from the Hellenistic period in the ancient city of Perge, now in Turkey’s Mediterranean Antalya province.
ANTALYA, TURKEY—The Anadolu Agency reports that a third-century A.D. sculpture of a woman has been unearthed at the ancient Greek city of Perge on the southwest coast of modern-day Turkey.
A team led by Istanbul University archaeologist Sedef Cokay Kepce also discovered the broken head that belongs to the figure, which is depicted in full-length robes.
Believed to have been made around the year 300 AD, during the time of the Roman Empire, the exquisite piece of sculpture portrays a woman in floor-length robes. Her head has been broken off but it survives.
The ancient city was known to have had females in its administration. It is unknown, however, at this point, just who is depicted in the sculpture.
The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s excavation department triumphantly announced the amazing find yesterday, stating “First sculpture of 2020 found in Perge excavations,” in a tweet.
According to the Ministry, Sedef Cokay Kepçe, an archaeology professor at Istanbul University, is heading up the excavations which unearthed the stunning find.
The plans are currently to display the third-century statue in the Antalya Museum when all the necessary cleaning on the piece has been completed. The area has always been known for its wealth of sculpture, according to UNESCO.
The ancient Greek city of Perge has been the site of systematic excavations beginning in 1946; the area was included on UNESCO’s Tentative Heritage list in 2009 for its great historical significance.