Cameras watch royal tombs in Alacahöyük
ÇORUM - Anatolia News Agency
The royal tombs at the Alacahöyük site display the skeletons of the princes and princesses buried there and the gold and silver objects found in their graves. The new camera system is protecting the artifacts in the area. AA photo
The Culture and Tourism Ministry has installed a security camera system at the Alacahöyük ancient site in the Central Anatolian province of Çorum. The camera system will prevent damage to the ancient graves of princes and princesses at the site.
Alacahöyük was a Hittite settlement and is one of the most important archaeological sites in Turkey. It is located 15 kilometers from the Alaca district center in the northeast of Boğazköy, where the ancient capital city Hattuşa of the Hittite Empire was situated.
Excavations have been conducted at the ancient site for more than 100 years. The site, which has been settled continuously since the Chalcolithic Age in 4000 B.C., was also one of the most important centers in the Hittite Empire.
Graves reconstructed to original size
Thirteen royal tombs in Alacahöyük were richly adorned with gold fibulae, diadems and belt buckles and gold-leaf figures. Many of the artifacts discovered at Alacahöyük, including magnificent Hattian gold and bronze objects found in the royal tombs, are displayed today in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara.
Six of the 13 royal graves at Alacahöyük have been reconstructed in their original sizes and opened to visitors. The tombs display the skeletons of the princes and princesses buried there and the gold and silver objects found in their graves. The camera system was placed by the ministry to protect these graves and the ancient site.
Ankara University member and the head of the Alacahöyük excavations, Professor Aykut Çınaroğlu, said the ancient site received nearly 50,000 visitors a year and they sometimes caused minor damage to the site. He said eight cameras had been placed in the area in order both to protect the Alacahöyük Museum at the ancient site and prevent damage.
“This work has been done considering the increase in the number of visitors to Alacahöyük. As part of this work, ancient sites began to be protected with camera systems. Eight cameras have been placed in certain places. Now the area can be monitored 24 hours a day. Previously tourists used to step up on the walls and reliefs to take photos and damaged the artifacts. Thanks to these cameras, this will be prevented.”