1,600-year-old octagonal church found in Central Anatolia

1,600-year-old octagonal church found in Central Anatolia

1,600-year-old octagonal church found in Central Anatolia

Excavation works in the ancient city of Tyana located on the Christian holy pilgrimage path in central Turkey’s Niğde province have been going on.

The new church with an octagonal plan and coins believed to be from the 4th century, which is rare in Anatolia, were found during the excavations.

Noting that the coins belong to the beginning of the 4th century, Osman Doğanay, an academic and the head of the excavation, stated that they have evidence of the construction date of the city walls and aqueducts.

“The most important finding of the excavations that started in our period is the octagonal planned church. There are very few examples in Anatolia,” Doğanay said, stressing that the church is the only example of this size in the Cappadocia region.

While highlighting that the aqueducts, pool, and Roman baths are significant structures for the ancient city of Tyana, Doğanay said the history of the city goes back to 4,000 years.

He also added that the ancient city had stayed inhabited since it is located right at the mouth of the Gülek Pass, which connects the Central Anatolian region to the Mesopotamia Basin and the Mediterranean coast.

Despite the city’s favorable location as it is close to Niğde’s Kemerhisar district it is seldom visited by tourists.
Therefore, not many travelers have had the opportunity to admire the beautifully preserved Roman aqueduct, learn about the Hittite past of the settlement, or take a closer look at the biography of Apollonius of Tyana.