Ancient perfumery found in Turkey's southeast

Ancient perfumery found in Turkey's southeast

ŞANLIURFA – Anadolu Agency
Ancient perfumery found in Turkeys southeast

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A perfumery and many perfume bottles have been unearthed in one of the oldest settlements in the world, the ancient city of Harran, in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa. The findings are believed to date back to 1,000 years ago.

This year’s excavations have been continuing in the ancient city. Settlement had existed here without interruption since the sixth century B.C. to present times and had been the capital city of the Assyrians and the Omayyad.

Professor Mehmet Önal, head of the Harran excavations, said the ancient city has important potential and they are working precisely to unearth this potential.

So far, they have reached very important findings in the excavations, including the ruins of a perfumery and over 300 cone-shaped perfume bottles in the Ulu Mosque Complex, said Önal.

“We have obtained these findings in a rectangle-shaped room. Along with them, we have found basalt bowls and pithos pieces. The conic bottles are nearly 10-centimeters high and made of terracotta. They have a coarse texture and are called ‘globe-conic’ due to their form. The surface of these bottles have a tear-drop motif as well as botanical figures,” he said.

Önal said hundreds of globe-conic bottles were found next to basalt bowls and pithos in a room. 

“They were also found in other rooms in the excavation field. These rooms are close to the bath, water-tank, mosque and bazaar. It shows us these bottles were used to contain perfume. Islam gave importance to cleanliness and nice scents in that era too. Today, cologne is used to freshen up and offered to our guests. A similar version of it was used in ancient times in Harran. The use of these perfume bottles may be associated with wealth,” he said. 

Önal said they believed the perfumes put in the bottles were produced in the same place during the Zengid dynasty. He said they hope to find more artifacts during the excavations, adding that they will provide information about their findings so far at an international symposium which will be held in Harran.