BODRUM- Anatolia News Agency
Tavşan Island in the ancient city of Myndos in Bodrum’s Gümüşlük town will open to cultural tourism in 2018. The most interesting finds from this year’s excavations are two coins from the Selçuk period
Excavations at the ancient Myndos aim to open theisland to cultural tourism. The photo (below) shows two coins from the Selçuk period.
Two coins from the Selçuk period have been found during excavation work at the ancient city of Myndos in Bodrum’s Gümüşlük town as the area is prepared for cultural tourism.
Speaking about the excavations, which have been conducted in the ancient city since 2005, Uludağ University Archaeology Department member and the head of the Myndos excavations, Professor Mustafa Şahin, said excavations at Asar Island, which is located within the ancient city, also known as Tavşan (rabbit) Island, had also been continuing since 2009. “The main purpose of these excavations is to open the island to cultural tourism. When it comes to Asar Island, people think of the rabbits that live on the island. But from now on, the cultural artifacts on the island will come to the fore. The island will attract cultural tourism when the work is done.
Şahin said the two coins from the Selçuk period were the most interesting finds in this year’s excavations on the island, which began on July 10.
Turkish population at Myndos
He said that after the dissolution of the Great Selçuk Empire in Iran, Turks had immigrated to the west in three groups, and while one of the groups went to Konya through Erzincan, the other two groups went to Iraq and Syria.
He said it was known that the Turks who went to the west came to Bodrum in the last quarter of the 11th century. “As a result of this year’s work, we have found out that Gümüşlük and Myndos were first encountered by Turks in this period. The Turkish population began to appear around the ancient city of Myndos from the beginning of the 11th century. We did not have a document about it so far but we have revealed that the last region that Selçuk Turks had come to was Myndos in the very western part of the Bodrum peninsula.”
Şahin said the Lelegs, the native population at Myndos, were a very important civilization in Anatolian history. He said there had been no evidence about the culture, civilization and language of the Lelegs, and they were trying to learn about the Leleg civilization during excavations of the ancient city of Myndos.
Şahin said Myndos was one of the most important cities founded by the Lelegs and that they would obtain crucial information as excavations continued in the region. “After the environmental rearrangement and restoration on the island, we plan to open it to cultural tourism in 2018. Then we will continue excavations in different parts of the island.”
Locals and tourists wade through the sea to Asar Island to watch the excavation work behind wire fences.