ANTALYA – Doğan News Agency
Treasure hunters have destroyed the Çağman Hill in the southern province of Antalya’s Korkuteli district.
Breaking tomb relievos with heavy construction equipment, the treasure hunters also dug large holes up to six meters around the hill.
Çağman Hill in Kozağacı neighborhood is home to Roman-era rock tombs as well as many tomb relievos dating back to the first and third centuries. Some of the artifacts were also shot by gun by the treasure hunters.
Antalya Surveying and Monument Director Cemil Karabayram, who recently inspected the area, said he was in dismay over what he saw.
Stating that treasure hunters were trying to realize impossible dreams and give big damage to many historical structures and artifacts, Karabayram said all treasure hunters were “people with chronic disease.”
He said their wish to find gold was equivalent to having an addiction to gambling.
“I am calling on the families of treasure hunters, if your husbands or sons are chasing after treasures they should receive treatment for it. You should persuade them to receive treatment. Every morning they wake up, they feel that they will find gold. They experience the same feeling every day. Psychologists in Turkey should organize panels and symposiums on the treatment of treasure hunters. Several people lose their families in this process. These families’ union breaks,” he said.
Karabayram stated treasure hunters do not miss symposiums organized by heads of archaeological excavations. “What prompts them to attend such symposiums is not to get academic information but to learn about the regions and data in order to make illegal excavations easier,” he added.
He said stones had animal figures on them in some fields, which indicate a warning.
“If you see a snake figure on a stone, it means that there are snakes there. And if you see a bear figure, it means there are bears and you have to be careful. If you see a partridge figure, it means hunting partridges is banned. But our people think that these figures symbolize historical artifacts and they destroy the field,” he said.