Van discovery sheds light on Ottoman sewage system
VAN - Anadolu Agency
Excavations are continuing with a team of 60 people in the ancient district to the south of Van Castle. AA photo
A century-old drainage system has been discovered during excavations in the eastern province of Van that are being led by the Culture and Tourism Ministry.
The excavations, directed by the manager of the Istanbul University Van Region History and Archaeology Center, Professor Erkan Konyar, are continuing with a team of 60 people in the ancient district of Van, to the south of Van Castle. The archaeologists working in the region, which was demolished after the 1915 Russian invasion, have reported discovering important artifacts dating back hundreds of years.
The assistant manager of the center, Professor Banu Konyar, said they had discovered the first signs of a drainage system that was used in the 19th century, and there were two drainage systems that ran beneath the stone pavements of the road.
“In the first system, the main road is paved in a manner that has drainpipes on both sides of it, while in narrower streets, the drainpipe becomes central. The second system is a drainage mechanism that runs under the road. It was very important for us to find these, since the Van region, especially the ancient city of Van, lies on extremely marshy land. We had to learn how water was drained in this area in the past,” Konyar said.
Emphasizing that these systems were significant in relation to the customs of Ottoman urban architecture, Konyar said, “We used to think that this system that we see frequently in other Ottoman cities, especially those in Western Anatolia, would change or even disappear as we go to eastern cities. However, with this recent finding, we see that the Ottoman Empire, after its classical period, applied its urban planning methods.”