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Old Port City Found In Turkey

At 1,600 year old ancient port city Bathonea was discovered by a team of archaeologists in Istanbul"s Kucukcekmece basin in Turkey, after a surface research in Yarymburgaz, which is the oldest settlement area in Kucukcekmece basin.


Dr. Sengul Aydyngun from Kocaeli University, who lead the team research said they found out about the ancient port, located 20 kilometers away from Byzantium (old Istanbul), during research conducted last year into the historic documents and compositions written by geographers several centuries ago.

Aydyngun, who is also the head of the Istanbul Prehistoric Research (ITA) Project and his team have started the excavation after they were granted permission from the government, while on how long will it would take to unearth the site, the archaeologist said they are currently at the start of a very long dig. "It might take a century," he added.

Aydyngun said they had detected the remains of the port during their initial search and had found ceramics and similar small findings near the surface. They also detected a "grid system" of roads from aerial views, and they expect to unearth a city built in a manner similar to the planned urban developments of Ephesus and other ancient cities.


The area where they have started to work is the most important spot, according to Aydyngun, who said they think a structure possessing important architectural features such as columns and doors might be a temple.

Pointing out that the city is situated on a peninsula, Professor Hakan Oniz, a marine archaeologist from Eastern Mediterranean University said that structures in the city connect with a pier, port and a lighthouse in the farthest point of the city.

Bathonea has been added into list of 150 ancient cities that are currently being excavated by the Culture and Tourism Ministry Monuments and Museums Department.


Story first published: Friday, October 9, 2009, 16:22 [IST]
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