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Archaeologists unearth 9,000-year-old settlement in Seydişedir

ANKARA - Turkish Daily News | 3/16/2006 12:00:00 AM |

As a result of four years of painstaking excavation, a settlement dating back 9,000 years was discovered in central Anatolia. The tumulus is unique for the region as it is surrounded by walls

A settlement dating back 9,000 years was discovered during archaeological excavations in Seydişehir, a district of the central Anatolian province of Konya.

Following a visit to Gökhüyük, where the settlement was unearthed, Konya's Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Abdüssettar Yarar told the Anatolia news agency that excavations have been conducted for the past four years by a team under the supervision of archaeologist Enver Akgün.

He said the 50-strong team worked at site every year between June and November.

“The tumulus dates to the Neolithic era,” he said. “We are putting special emphasis on similar excavations to unearth the hidden historical wealth of our region.”

Noting that the tumulus is unique in central Anatolia as it is surrounded by walls, Yarar said: “Settlements from the Neolithic period surrounded by walls are rare in Anatolia. Gökhüyük is, therefore, very important historically.”

“Dishes, filters and millstones as well as offerings for the dead, a tradition of the day, have been found,” Yarar said. “They appear to have been a developed civilization taking into account the time in which they lived.”

He also said over 200 artifacts had been unearthed during the four years of excavation and that they are on display at various museums in Konya.

Seydişehir Mayor İbrahim Halıcı said Seydişehir was one of the oldest settlement areas in Anatolia, adding: “As the municipality we are lending support in order to unearth the area's historical wealth. We will be holding a conference on ancient Seydişehir during tourism week in April.” 

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