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archaeological excavations in turkey 2008

Archaeological excavations continued across Turkey last summer.

Turkish-led excavation projects were conducted in the historic city of Hasankeyf in the eastern province of Batman.

Anatolia, the “cradle of civilizations,” was the site of numerous excavations conducted by both foreign and local archaeological teams last year.

While İzmir ranks first with 15 excavation projects, Antalya will hosted such projects, and other provinces around Anatolia also saw the excavation of historical sites.

İzmir unearthed a great deal of its historical heritage in 2008. In Ephesus, one of Turkey’s most popular tourist attractions, Professor Johannes Koder from the Austrian Institute of Archeology headed archaeological teams; Professor Antonio La Marca from the University of Calabria oversaw excavation in Kyme; and Professor Felix Pirson from the German Institute of Archeology spearheaded excavation in Pergamon. Teams under the supervision of Turkish excavators will worked at sites in İzmir’s Ayasuluk, Bayraklı, Limantepe, Erythrai, Klaros, Klezomenai, Metropolis, Mt. Nif, Phokaia, Smyrna Agora, Panaztepe and Yetilova.

Fourteen important excavation sites in Antalya saw intense work for the rest of the year. On the UNESCO World Heritage List, Xanthos hosted leading excavators from France, while Limyra was excavated by Austrian archaeologists. Turkish teams wee working on the Alanya and Alara castles, at Olympos, Patara, Bademağacı, Perge, Hacımusalar, Karain, Saint Nikolaos, Rhodiapolis and the Side theatre.

An archaeological team led by Swedes was responsible for excavations in Muğla, whereas Turkish teams carried out similar projects in Stratonikeia, Pedesa, Iasos and Tlos, Beçin Castle and Burgaz.

Excavation teams were working hard to reach historical artifacts underground even amid the scorching summer heat.

German excavation teams in Aizonai (Çavdarhisar, Kütahya) and Didyma (Aydın), Belgian teams in Pessinus (Eskişehir), Dutch teams in Bursa-Barçınhöyük, American teams at the Çadır tumulus (Yozgat), Italian teams in Tyana (Niğde) and English teams at Domuztepe (Kahramanmaraş) began excavations at the start of July.

Chief excavators from abroad started last year’s excavations on July 15 in Troia (Çanakkale), Pompeiopolis (Kastamonu) and the Porsuk tumulus (Niğde); on July 21 in Priene (Aydın); on July 25 at the Oymaağaç tumulus (Samsun); on July 30 in Yumuktepe (Mersin); and on July 31 in Alexandria Troas (Çanakkale).

Furthermore, Elaiussa Sebaste (Mersin), the Beaded tumulus (Konya) and Doliche (Gaziantep) was excavated by the teams of foreign chief excavators in August, followed by excavation of the Sirkeli tumulus in September.

Other excavation projects led by foreign archaeologists were:

German teams in Boğazköy (Çorum), Göbeklitepe (Şanlıurfa) and Miletos (Aydın)

English teams in Amorium (Emirdağ), Çatalhöyük (Konya, Kerkenesdağ (Yozgat) and Kilisetepe (Mersin)

American teams in Aphrodisias (Aydın), Kinet tumulus (Hatay), Sardis (Manisa) and Zincirli tumulus (Gaziantep)

Italian teams in Malatya-Aslantepe and Denizli-Hierapolis

Moreover, Austrian teams excavated at Gordian, Japanese teams at Kalehöyük (Kırşehir), Belgian teams at Sagalassos (Burdur) and Canadians at the Tel Tayinat tumulus (Hatay).

Turkish archaeologists were planning new excavations at the Yeşilova tumulus (İzmir), the ancıent city of Tios (Zonguldak) and an iron foundry in Kırklareli.

Excavations that initiated in previous years by Turkish archaeology have been maintaining their rate of progress as well.

Excavations started in July 2008 in the cities of Çankırı-Çorakyerler, Manisa-Aigai, Balıkesir-Kyzikos and Aydın- Tralleis, and the ancient harbor city Soli Pompeiopolis.

Also in July, teams began searching for traces of ancient sites in Karabük-Hadrianapolis, Bursa-Aktopraklık, the İznik Theater, the Kırklareli tumulus, the Niğde-Tepecik tumulus, the Amasya-Oluz tumulus, Eskişehir Şarhöyük, Kadıkalesi in Aydın and Nysa.

Other excavation sites led by Turkish chief excavators include:

Ağrı-Bozkurt Necropolis, Van-Hoşap Castle, Mersin-Oylum tumulus, Bursa-Paşalar, Artvin-Şavşat Castle, Aşıklı tumulus in Aksaray and Güvercinkayası.

While excavation began last year in Osmaniye-Karatepe, Turkish-led excavation projects were ongoing or were completed last year at the following sites:

Hatay-Aççana, Ahlat and Bitlis Castles in Bitlis, Çorum-Alacahöyük, Erzincan-Altıntepe, Balıkesir-Antandros, Çanakkale-Assos, Ayanis Castle in Van, Pedasa, Lagina, tile stoves in Bursa, Mersin-Gözlükule and Kelenderis, Şanlıurfa-Harran, Batman- Hasankeyf, Samsun-İkiztepe, Konya-Kubad, Kayseri-Kültepe, Denizli-Laodikeia, Aydın-Magnesia, Nevşehir-Ovaören, Kütahya-Seyitömer, Çorum- Şapinuva, Adana-Tatarlı Mound, Gaziantep-Zeugma.

Adapted from original source Today's Zaman 17 July 2008

İzmir hails big year in archaeology

İZMİR - With thousands of artifacts retrieved from excavation sides, 2008 was a busy year for İzmir’s archaeological agenda. According to figures released by the Culture and Tourism Directorate of İzmir, 143,617 historical artifacts were surfaced from 16 dig sites during 2008, revealing the desperate need of more museums in the city.


The year 2008 was a busy year in for history boffins and archaeologists with 143,617 historical artifacts being excavated from 16 dig sites throughout the year and 10,125 on display in museums. Although is a veritable feast for those fascinated by ancient times, more museums are desperately needed in the region to exhibit the further 133,492 artifacts that remain in storage. In some cases, there are so many items of significance to be unearthed that excavations have been ongoing for over 100 years. The Culture and Tourism Directorate of Izmir told the Anatolian News Agency that the oldest of the archaeological digs within the borders of Izmir is the excavation occurring at Ephesus that began in 1896.

The excavation at Bergama, the location of the ancient city of the same name, dedicated to the god of medicine, Asclepius, began in 1900. The agora of Izmir, a centre as important as Ephesus and Bergama in ancient times, has been in the process of excavation since 1936, one of the first excavations to begin during the republican era. The excavation site in Bayraklı, where Izmir was first established, began more recently in 1948 and the dig at the the birthplace of olive oil production, Klazomenai in Urla County, has been ongoing since 1979.

One of the world’s most important oracle sites in ancient times, Claros in Menderes County began in 2000 and the most recent excavation site is at the Yeşilova Mound. Other excavations around Izmir include, the Bergama Ayasuluk St. Jean excavation which began in 1960, the dig at Urla Limantepe that started in 1992 and the Torbalı Metropolis excavation that has been ongoing since 1992.

Artifacts on exhibition

The artefacts retrieved from these excavation sites and that are on exhibition at the Archeology Museum number 1,775 while the museum has 23,847 artefacts in storage.

The Museum of Ephesus, where a new museum building is being constructed due to the sheer volume of artefacts being unearthed, currently has 804 artefacts on display, while 58,907 artefacts are in storage.

Artefacts in the museums of Tire and Çeşme, and the Ethnography, Atatürk, History and Art museums are currently suffering the same fate.

Officials say there are enough artifacts in storage to fill more museums and new museums were especially needed in Ephesus and Bergama.

From January 2009



Sadberk Hanım Museum - Turkey

Kurulustan Kurtulusa Bilecik Kazilan (in Turkish)

Ank-yra (in Turkish)

Suna & Inan KIRAÇ Research Institute on

In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great

Hattuscha - Hattusa - Hattusha

New Excavations at Troy

Turkey - Troy - Images

Mysteries of Çatalhöyük

Catal Hoyuk

Catal Huyuk

Focus on Catal Hoyuk

The Konya Plain Survey, Central Anatolia

Excavations at Pinarbasi, near Çatalhöyük in central Turkey

Nemrud Dagi, Turkey

Archaeological Settlements of Turkey

The Kerkenes Project

Amuq Valley Regional Projects

The Konya Plain Survey, Central Anatolia



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