Earliest dated dam in Anatolia to open to visitors
A recreation area, formed around the Hittite Dam, known as the first dam in Anatolia at the present-day province of Çorum’s Alacahöyük site, will open to visitors this year.
According to information provided by the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, the dam was constructed by one of the world’s earliest and most sophisticated biggest civilizations, the Hittites, in the 13th century B.C.
The dam served to meet water needs of the Hittite capital Hattusa in Alacahöyük and was unearthed during excavations initiated in 2002 in the region.
The 2.5-meter-high Hittite Dam, which has an approximate capacity of 20,000 cubic meters of water, has been taken under protection and its environmental arrangement has been finished. A 277-decare recreation area is set to be opened to visitors this year, with officials expecting the number of annual visitors to increase from 35,000 to 70,000.
Social facilities, the Alacahöyük Excavations Research Center, a guest house, library, exhibition and conference hall, buffets, walking lanes, car parking places, viewing terraces, natural agricultural fields, workshops and working offices have all been established in the recreation area.
Forestry and Water Affairs Minister Veysel Eroğlu said the General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works supported the excavations.
“Then we crafted a project to keep this 3,300-year-old dam alive for future generations. The project is outside the archaeological site and our goal is to increase the number of visitors in the region. We also want to redirect the function of this historic dam to irrigate agricultural lands in the region,” Eroğlu said.
“At the same time we are carrying out the promotion of the Hittites, who had a great impact on the mythology, language, religion and politics in Europe and the Middle East,” he added.