Ancient seeds to be resurrected
VAN – Anadolu AgencyWheat and sesame seeds dating back 2,800 years ago that were taken from an excavation in an ancient castle in the eastern Van province will soon be brought back to life.
Ancient wheat and sesame seeds were discovered during excavations that began on Çavuştepe Castle in 2014 under the direction of Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Archaeology Department Professor Rafet Çavuşoğlu.
Çavuştepe Castle, which was built in the eighth century B.C. by Urartian King Sarduri II and has survived along with cisterns, city walls, temples and palace structures, is located in the Gürpınar district, 25 kilometers from the city center.
“Three cereal storages were found during the excavations in the castle,” Çavuşoğlu said. “The castle is on the trade route through northwestern Iran, thus the findings may reveal some important information about trade at that time.”
The seeds, confirmed to be 2,800 years old, will now be regenerated in a laboratory environment.
Çavuşoğlu said the cereals cultivated from Gürpınar used to be preserved in storages in the castle.
“The ceramic containers in which the cereals were stored are called pithos. Most of the harvests used to be kept in these containers,” Çavuşoğlu said.
“We packed the wheat and sesame with due care. We will analyze these seeds in laboratories. If the seeds were carbonized by themselves, the possibility of regenerating them is quite high. However, if it was because of a fire, we have less chance of resurrecting them.”