Second church found in ancient city

Second church found in ancient city

BALIKESİR
Second church found in ancient city

1,200-year-old church has been unearthed in Adramytteion in the western province of Balıkesir’s Burhaniye district, becoming the second church to be found in the ancient city.

Carried out by a team of 30 people and consulted by Assistant Professor Hüseyin Murat Özgen, the excavations have been continuing in the ancient city in the Ören neighborhood, with this year’s works having been finished recently.

Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Özgen said they were conducting surface survey in the ancient city for the last three years and documenting ancient artifacts.

He said they obtained important archaeological information during surveys in the ancient city and the Edremit gulf.

Speaking about the new findings in the region, Özgen said, “We found permanent settlement camps from the Chalcolithic age in Bergaztepe in the north of the ancient city. It continues to five to six meters in depth underground. There are also Bronze Age, Iron Age, ancient Greek and Roman settlements in the ancient city. The Eastern Roman period gave big damages to the former settlements. We are working on these cultural layers."

Özgen said they were working in different spots in Ören. “We also worked in different parts of the neighborhood and we named these places. We found an Eastern Roman storage field in field A. We found a big public building from the 2nd-3rd-century Roman era in the other field, field E, which is now a municipal public housing place. We partially finished the excavations in the mosaic backyard. In field D, we found daily kitchen utensils,” he added.

Özgen said the discovery of the second church structure in the ancient city came after an 11th century church was unearthed earlier. “In field C, there was the church from the 11th century. We carried out 70 drilling works in the ancient city and found one more church that dates back to the 8th century. The city was destroyed here in the 11th century. Then the Eastern Roman empire was formed here. The church turned into a tomb chapel with some annexes. The church built in the 11th century continued serving, too,” he said.
Özgü Çömezoğlu Uzbek, an Associate Professor at Istanbul University and a member of the history of art department, said the Eastern Roman settlement had great importance in the chronology of the ancient city.

“Other than the church we previously unearthed, we found one more church which survived at least two phases. We believe the first church was built in the 8th century. Later on, this church was minimized in the 11th century and served with a different function. Some tombs were also found under the church. Among the findings in the church we found pieces of ceramic bowls from the 11th and 13th centuries. We believe the church served until the beginning of the 14th century,” Uzbek said.

Archaeology, Adramytteion, church