Ancient border monitoring towers found in Konya
KONYA – Anadolu Agency
A hundred border monitoring towers have been discovered in the Bozdağ National Park in the Central Anatolian province of Konya’s Karatay district. The towers were built in the Roman Empire to serve as border posts and also used in the Byzantine Empire as well.
The field, where the towers were found, served as the military garrison in the Roman era, the center of eparchy in early Christianity and then became an important trade center in the Seljuk era.
The remnants in the field have been unearthed by a team of eight people headed by Selçuk University (SU) Conservation and Restoration of Movable Cultural Heritage Department President İlker Işık.
“Military bases and towers have been determined in many spots in the field. The goal is to provide security, protect the road and take measures against the enemy earlier. This place has never been searched; a virgin field,” he said.
“We have found 100 towers, where one or two guards could wait. We have photographed 42 of them. We will work on the other towers in the coming days,” said Işık, adding they had examined an area of 3,500 hectares in two years.
He also noted the towers lost their function after the Roman and Byzantine eras and were used “as a sheep pen and granary.”
“We have also found silver coins from the era of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, which shows us the region was important in the field of trade until the 16th century,” said Işık, adding traders and travelers in the Seljuk era had passed from this field along their route.