Urartu Castle’s walls unearthed after 2,700 years
VAN - Doğan News Agency
After 2700 years the walls of Urartu Castle have been unearthed in the Ayanis neighborhood of the eastern province of Van.
Excavations at the Urartu Castle site, situated 38 kilometers from Van, have been ongoing for 25 years, leading to new discoveries every day. After the discovery of the temple, this year the walls, a defining part of the castle, have been unearthed.
Some 25 years after the construction of the castle it was damaged by an earthquake and a fire, which was followed by the dismantlement of the adobes and hence the closure of the castle, Head of Excavation Doç. Dr. Mehmet Işıklı said.
“Excavations at the castle have been going on for years. We have regained many important artifacts for the museum. However, 2,700 years after the construction of the castle the most enticing part of the castle, the walls, have been discovered. This made us very excited, as even though these walls witnessed great earthquakes, their architecture remained quite robust and unchanged. Also we learn so much about the history of Urartu from the walls. Lastly, even the earthquake in 2011 with a magnitude of 7.2 didn’t harm the building. The Ayanis Castle is full of surprises,” Işıklı added.
Excavations carried out in certain castles in the former lands of the Urartu around modern-day Van have revealed signs of destruction that has been dated to approximately 590 B.C., which could have been inflicted by an ancient Iranian people called the Medes, according to data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
From that time onwards, the Urartians ceased to dominate the Van region. However, data obtained from excavations point to the fact that some of the Urartian castles in the area around Lake Gökçe continued to exist for some time after 590 B.C. With the collapse of the Urartu Kingdom, Van lost its status as a “capital,” which it had borne for more than 300 years, according to the data.