Archaeology world excited about Gölmarmara findings
İZMİR – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotosThe latest findings discovered during excavations on Kaymakçı Hill in Manisa’s Gölmarmara Lake basin have aroused excitement in the archaeological world, including one that even overshadow the famous city of Troy.
“This area is four times larger than the ancient site of Troy in Çanakkale and the largest late Bronze Age settlement that has been found in the Aegean region. When the work is done, we will take a very significant step toward promoting Manisa to the world,” said Yaşar University academic Professor Sinan Ünlüsoy, the deputy head of the Kaymakçı Archaeology Project.
Excavations conducted by an excavation team formed by 42 archaeologists from leading U.S., European and Turkish universities are continuing to shed light on the unknown about the late Bronze Age (1600-1200 B.C.).
The project is being headed by Koç University Archaeology and History of Art Department members Christopher H. Roosevelt and Christina Luke.
A big castle, where the ancestors of the Lydians lived, was recently discovered in Gölmarmara’s Hacıevler neighborhood by the international team. The settlement, which is mentioned in the sources of the Hittite Empire, is located on a hill known as Kaymakçı.
For the excavation work, İzmir’s Yaşar University is providing educational support for students from various Turkish universities.
“Manisa’s Salihli district and its vicinity, which is a historical treasure, offer golden opportunities for archaeologists. While excavations have been continuing in Sardis, the capital of the Lydian Empire, other works in Kaymakçı aim to shed light on the region in the pre-Lydian era. In a doctoral thesis on the Bintepe tumulus, where the Lydian kings are buried, the head of the excavations, Roosevelt and Luke, reached the preliminary findings in 2001 and made surface surveys there in the summer months for the next 10 years,” Ünlüsoy said.
“They, together with me, got permission for excavations as part of the Kaymakçı Archaeology Project in 2014 and started solving the secret of the castle from 3,500 years ago. The findings revealed that there were six castles in the Marmara Lake basin in 2000. They were within walking distance. The Kaymakçı castle is the largest of these castles,” the professor said.
Four times larger than Troy
The three archaeologists, Roosevelt, Luke and Ünlüsoy, said they had discovered one of the largest castles of the region.
The professors also said they believed there was city underground that is not particularly deep, adding that the site was a capital where the ancestors of the Lydians lived before money came into use.
As part of the project, Ünlüsoy said they had made attempts to establish a “research and visitor center” that would include a depot, exhibition hall and conference hall.
“This center will contribute to the promotion and development of the region. It will be open throughout the year. In this way, this region will be a center of attraction thanks to its rich historical heritage from the Bronze Age to the Ottoman era as well as its natural beauty,” Ünlüsoy said.