Interest grows in İzmir’s oldest settlement
İZMİR – Doğan News Agency
Visitors have been flocking to İzmir’s Yeşilova Mound, a site that proves that settlements in the city date back 8,500 years.
The head of the Yeşilova Mound excavations, academic Zafer Derin, told the Doğan News Agency that the mound had been visited by 36,000 people in two years.
Derin, who was giving a presentation about the mound, one of Turkey’s most important archaeological ruins, at the Bornova Municipality Assembly, said the number of visitors was approaching the number of visitors to the İzmir Archaeology Museum.
He particularly noted that the new Visitors Center next to the excavation field had made a difference.
“Other excavation fields in Turkey do not give this opportunity to visitors. We thank the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality and the Bornova Municipality for their contributions to this. Thanks to these contributions, we have continued excavations in the field for 11 months. In 2016, we unearthed 542 pieces of artworks at the mound and delivered them to the İzmir Archaeology Museum,” Derin said.
He added that the Aegean University had been carrying out excavations in the Yeşilova Mound and the nearby Yassıtepe Mound.
“Along with the Neolithic- and early Bronze-age artifacts unearthed in Yeşilova, we have reached important artifacts in the Yassıtepe Mound, which is located opposite from the Forum Bornova Mall. We have even found 5,000 year-old grape seeds. The seeds are estimated to belong to the world famous Bornova Misket grape, which the Bornova Municipality is studying for potential production. We will continue contributing to the Western Anatolia’s cultural history with new findings from the excavations,” Derin said.
Bornova Mayor Olgun Atila said their goal was to turn Bornova into a tourism hub.
“The Yeşilova Mound is the oldest settlement area in İzmir. We are conducting joint studies with the Aegean University to promote this area, and the Yeşilova Visitor Center has importance in this sense. We also organize cultural tours to this place,” Atila added.