Hittite sculpture atelier to open to tourism
YOZGAT - Anadolu Agency
Lion sculptures were found in the Hapis Boğazı area of the Karakız neighborhood, which served as a sculpture atelier during the Hittite period. AA PhotoHuge granite sculptures found in the central Anatolian province of Yozgat’s Sorgun district are waiting to be opened for tourism. The Yozgat Museum Director Hasan Şenyurt said the unfinished sculptures were found in the Hapis Boğazı area of the Karakız neighborhood, which served as a sculpture atelier during the Hittite period.
“In 1987, this area was taken under protection as the Hapis Boğazı ruins. Detailed scientific research was not carried out in Hapis Boğazı until 2009. The Yozgat Museum Directorate made a joint effort with Hittite University in 2009 in order to unearth a cylindrical architectural structure. In the same year, this area was divided and registered into two parts, the Hapis Boğazı ruins and Karakız Sculpture Atelier.”
Şenyurt said they had proved the existence of a settlement in Karakız in mid-1000 B.C. and continued:
“The most important feature of this settlement is that it is close to Hattusha in central Anatolia. Hattusha and other important settlements around it have big buildings in the entrance of the city and there are sculptures in front of these buildings. There is a sculpture atelier here. The Hittites used granite to create huge sculptures. This area is home to this material. We got permission this year from the ministry to remove two lion sculptures from this area and put it in the garden of the municipality. I hope we will do it soon and the sculptures will be brought under protection.”
Şenyurt said there is a wide granite layer in an area in Karakız and added, “There are the remains of lion sculptures and other architectural structures in this area. We see these pieces in a 1.5 kilometer area. We can present these artifacts to visitors in the future in their own place. We have applied to the ministry about the issue.”
Karakız Mayor Durmuş Erdal said they had put great effort to protect the sculptures and the Culture and Tourism Ministry gave permission for their preservation.
He said that archaeologists working in the region reported that Hittites were creating sculptures there. “If the stone pit in Karakız is unearthed, it will shed light on the history of Anatolia.”
Erdal said the historic sculptures in the region received damage from treasure hunters, adding, “Some people excavated the area to find treasure and damaged many sculptures. In 1997, this area was declared as an architectural site to preserve the sculptures.”