KARS - Anatolia News Agency
The Ani Ruins between Turkish-Armenian border draw great attention from tourists. DHA photo
Excavation and conservation works continue at the Ani Ruins, which lie just outside the city of Kars between the Turkish and Armenian border, after a two year hiatus. Excavation works first began in the Ani Ruins in 1909 and were resumed a few decades later in 1946, according to Culture and Tourism Provincial Director Hakan Doğanay. “No excavations were carried out in the region in 2010 and 2011,” Doğanay said, adding that five restoration projects have been completed at the ruins so far since 2009.
Surface excavations have been carried out by a group of 20 people under the leadership of Professor Fahriye Bayram of Denizli Pamukkale University.
“We regard the Ani Ruins as ‘a living city with seven layers.’ Excavation works should be conducted systematically to bring these seven layers to the light. We initiated these systematic excavations this year and they will continue in 2013 to reveal the historical heritage,” Doğanay said. The Ani Ruins draw great attention from tourists, said Doğanay, who said increased interest in the ruins would revive the city of Kars.
“This historical site in Kars province will get the value it deserves. So far tombs, skeletons and broken pots have been recorded in an inventory. The items found during the excavations are first cleaned and then exhibited at museums. But we unfortunately lack an excavation house. If we had one the works would progress more rapidly,” said Doğanay.