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ARCHAEOLOGY > Ilısu River dam excavation sheds light on new artifacts

DİYARBAKIR - Anatolia News Agency

Work on the new ‘Ilısu Protection Excavation’ is taking place at sites around Diyarbakır on a river that is soon to be controversially dammed. The total number of excavation works will increase to 17, Diyarbakır Museum manager Nevin Soyukaya says, noting that important discoveries have already been made at the sites

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The excavation works at the southeastern province of Diyarbakır’s Ilısu River are soon to begin with seven local and two foreign teams. The works are slated to protect the areas that would otherwise be submerged after the construction of the contentious Ilısu Dam.

The “Ilısu Protection Excavation” works will be located at Körtik, Salattepe, Karavelyan, Hakemi Use, Müslüman Tepe, Ziyarettepe and Hırbemerdon. The total number of excavation works will be 17, Diyarbakır Museum manager Nevin Soyukaya told the Anatolia news agency. Works at Hakemi Use and Salattepe have already begun and the other works will begin this year.

Some of the excavations at other venues such as Aluçtepe, Gre Abdurrahman and Aşağısalat tumulus have already finished and very important discoveries have been made as a result of these excavations, Soyukaya said.

Works will continue not only in the Bismil district, but also in other cities such as Batman, Mardin and Siirt, and all the areas around the lake have been excavated and taken under protection, Soyukaya said: “The museums of Diyarbakır, Batman and Mardin are supporting the projects.”

“Until 2000 not many excavations had been done in the area,” said Soyukaya, adding that a total of 7,000 artifacts had been unearthed and 17,000 works had been sent to museums thanks to the new excavations. “[Our] museum has received many important artifacts thanks to the excavations,” she said.

Even more information about Mesopotamia has thus been revealed. “Mesopotamian civilization started here, and the excavations also revealed this fact,” said Soyukaya.

“History is being rewritten, and we have also showed people how we can increase the social aspects of building a dam,” she said.

Similar features at Göbeklitepe and Körtik

Soyukaya also noted that Körtik and Göbeklitepe in Şanlıurfa displayed similar features. “Körtiktepe used to host a society that was nomadic and hunting-based, and we saw many beautiful stone examples there.” These excavated stones indicate to the team that a society lived in the area 11,000 years ago.

“We can also see that this civilization made wines and we have also found remains from Neolithic times,” added Soyukaya. All of these artifacts will be displayed in museums, she added. Earlier in an article, Anatolia News Agency reported, Measures to resettle the population of Hasankeyf are continuing in preparation for the day when the historical district of Batman is submerged by the waters of the Ilısu Dam, which is part of the vast Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP). The new Hasankeyf district in the southeastern province will consist of four neighborhoods, Hasankeyf District Gov. Cevat Uyanık told, adding that the new neighborhoods would have shopping malls and sports centers.

July/21/2012

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