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ARCHAEOLOGY > Excavation unearths Bronze Age cultures

MALATYA - Anatolia News Agency

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The large building unearthed during the Aslantepe excavations in Malatya shows that there was an important person lived there, according to archaeologists. AA photo

The large building unearthed during the Aslantepe excavations in Malatya shows that there was an important person lived there, according to archaeologists. AA photo

Excavations at the Aslantepe tumulus near the central Anatolian city of Malatya have unearthed a large building containing two spearheads and a necklace, all of which appear to date to the early trans-Caucasian culture.

Excavation work continued this year on part of a structure in the southern portion of the tumulus that is believed to be the world’s first palace, the head of the Aslantepe excavations, Professor Marcella Frangipane of Rome’s La Sapienze University, told members of the press. Some other buildings found to the north of the palace in earlier phases of the excavation date from the Bronze Age, she said.

“We also dug below part of a city wall dating back to 2,800 B.C., and found a palace hall underneath it. In the middle of this hall, we found a large Bronze-Age building, reflecting features common to the early trans-Caucasian culture. So far only smaller buildings belonging to this culture have been discovered; this is the first time we have found such a large building. It shows us that there was an important person here,” Frangipane said.

As for the objects found in the building, Frangipane said, “Just as we do in every year’s work, we found many ceramic pieces and shards. We restored those, and gave them to the Malatya Museum. We also found two beautiful copper spearheads that look like they came from the javelins used in the palace.

We also found a necklace made of tin, with very beautiful decoration, which is the most important of our findings. I have never seen something like it before.”

The excavation work in the area will end for the season on Oct. 9, Ziya Kılınç, the representative of the Culture and Tourism Ministry at Aslantepe tumulus said. “The early trans-Caucasian culture originated in northern Mesopotamia. It dates back to the early Bronze Age in Anatolia, from 3,100-2,900 B.C. The large building we found this year shows us that there was an aristocracy among the early trans-Caucasian culture, and they lived in palaces,” Kılınç said.

September/29/2012

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