A 100-year ginnery in the southern province of Mersin’s Tarsus district has been restored and has started serving as the Gözlükule Mound Research Center for academic research and archaeological works.
The opening of the center was held on Feb. 18 by Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University at a ceremony with the participation of Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı, Development Minister Lütfi Elvan and Boğaziçi University Rector Professor Mehmed Özkan.
Avcı said the Gözlükule Mound was “very important” as one of the three areas, along with Alacahöyük and Troy, that received official permission for archaeological excavations in the Republic era.
He also referred to Hetty Goldman, the first person who started excavations in the region in the 1930s and 1940s, as well as the Günhan Danışman, an academic from Boğaziçi University’s History Department, as two key names who had carried the project to the present day.
Özkan noted that the project had been carried out by Boğaziçi University in Tarsus with the support of relevant ministries.
Excavations have been ongoing in the region since the 1930s, revealing the lifestyle and cultural history of Anatolia as well as its architectural styles, he added.
The ginnery, which lost its function after the decrease of cotton production in Çukurova, was partially assigned to the university in 2002 and then completely in 2013. Restoration works had been carried out by the university after 2002.
The head of the Gözlükule Mound excavations team, Professor Aslı Özyar, said they unearthed findings in the mound from the Bronze Age, the Hittites era, the Abbasid era, and the Roman era.
“The allocation of the old ginnery, which is located right next to the mound, to the university provided us with a very important environment to carry out these works. The goal of the works in the Gözlükule Mound is to shed light on questions unanswered from Goldman’s times,” Özyar added.