Alacahöyük diggings reveal 4,000-year-old canals
ÇORUM - Anadolu Agency
AA photoThe excavation area in Çorum’s Alacahöyük district reveals an ancient dam and water canals from the Hittite era, several thousand years ago.
Alacahöyük excavation president Professor Aykut Çınaroğlu said the dam was discovered in 2004 during the excavations however the water canals are the new findings from the excavation works.
Noting that the dam excavation had been carried with the support of a construction firm, Çınaroğlu said the dam has believed to have been constructed by Hittites around 4,000 years ago. The dam was used for irrigation and providing drinking water to the city, he added, noting that this was the oldest dam to have been found so far.
The team also found a hieroglyphic tablet which was written in the 1250s. The tablet is believed to have been written for the Hittites’ strongest king, Budahepa, and the goddess Hepata.
“The technique used during construction by the Hittites is the oldest one. While generally cement fillings are used in the dam making, the Hittites used clay.” Çınaroğlu said
Çınaroğlu said state waterworks had analyzed the area and the water that passed through was still clean and could be drunk. The water canals extended to the north and south of the city, said Çınaroğlu.
“These canals are on private lands. Our aim is to restore these canals and make them a part of the ancient city. The final aim is to open those canals to visitors.”
According to Çınaroğlu, the best thing to do is flow the waters through the canals for everyone to see.
“If we can open them then this means Alcahöyük will have another open air museum for itself,” he said adding that, “The dam alone does not mean anything, the important thing is combining this with the canals.”
Alacahöyük, which currently draws around 50,000 visitors a year, uncovers more clues like those found each year. The first excavations had started at the ancient site in 1907, and lasted only 15 days, and were then restarted in 1935 on the order of Atatürk.
Excavation president professor Aykut Çınaroğlu
says, after the dam in 2004 in Aalacahöyük,
the water canals’ discovery, which belongs to
4,000 years ago is a new hope to expect a second
open air museum. AA photo
We could not have found a Neolithic settlement but objects that will shed light on this settlement. Thus we saw that housing dated back to 1,500 years earlier than we had known so far. This year we will focus on these objects and try to find the traces of this settlement.”
He said that their goal was to reach a Hittite layer in this year’s works, adding, “This is what we expect this year. We may find it or not. Or perhaps we will find it in future excavations. The objects that we found in the last years were a very good discovery. We don’t know yet what to find this year.”