3,000 year-old nutshell found in Black Sea

3,000 year-old nutshell found in Black Sea

3,000 year-old nutshell found in Black Sea

Excavation works carried out in Nerik, the holy city of the Hittite civilization, have unearthed a 3,000 year-old nutshell along with 3,000-year-old wood pieces cut with bronze tools. 

The ancient city, which belonged to the god of weather, is located in the village of Oymaağaç in the Vezirköprü district of the Black Sea province of Samsun. 

Excavations have been ongoing in the ancient site for 11 years with the participation of academics from the United States, Australia, Germany and Turkey under Uşak University Archaeology Department Professor Rainer Czichon. 

This year’s works on the site have unearthed the 3,000 year-old nutshell and the wooden pieces inside a 52-step tunnel, known as the holy water of the Hittites. 

“The nutshell, which is an important source of living in the Black Sea region, gives evidence that it was produced in this region 3,000 years ago. The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey [TÜBİTAK] reports revealed that the nutshell dates back 3,000 years ago,” said the Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Adnan İpekdal. 

“It is mentioned as a holy city in the Boğazkale excavations in [central Anatolian province of] Çorum. We believe this sanctuary served for long years; from the 16th century to the 12th century B.C.,” said Czichon, adding there were a few holy cities in the Hittite geography. 

He said the Hittitte King Hattusili III came to Nerik from Hattusha a few times a year to make special visits to the god of weather, according to their opinion. 

He said excavations were carried out this year in Nerik only in the tunnel, where the holy water was. 

“We found a tunnel on top of the sanctuary and then reached the water eight meters deep. We found Nerik has a history of 3,500 years. We changed the excavation methods and found the wood pieces in the tunnel, which was a big surprise for us because there is no wet material in Anatolia. Then we found the nutshell in the same area. It shows that the Black Sea was the center of nut production 3,000 years ago too,” Czichon said.