Ancient Persian post office found in Amasya
Archaeological excavations in Oluz Mound in the Black Sea province of Amasya unearthed 2,500-year-old remains from an ancient Persian era. Officials believe the remains were of a post office.
The 13th term excavations in Oluz Mound, located 25 kilometers from Amasya, started on July 24 this year. Works that are carried out by five academics, three archaeologists, 15 intern archaeologists and an architectural restoration student from five different universities will continue until the end of the month.
So far, 10 settlements have been unearthed during the excavations in the mound. All of these 10 settlements are in a mound formation.
It is observed as an uninterrupted settlement until the end of the Hellenistic years in 100 B.C., from the 4,000-4,500 B.C., the young chalcolithic ages of Anatolia.
The head of the excavations, Istanbul University Archaeology Department Professor Şevket Dönmez said that they uncovered a structure covering an area of 120 square meters and they believed it was a post office. The 2,500-year-old structure belongs to the Persian era.
“Every year we make very important archaeological discoveries here. This area is very important. Since 2010, works have been carried out in Persian layers and architecture. The importance of this place comes from the basis of the Persians coming here and building their own architecture. They built a fire-temple here and developed their city around this temple. There is a sanctuary next to the fire temple, the stone roads reaching the temple and a columned hall in the west where we have been working for the last two years. This columned hall is a structure that was unearthed for the first time in Anatolian archeology for the Persian period. There are columned halls in other periods but it is a very important building for the 5th century. This columned hall has six stone bases. We think they have wooden posts. It is a monumental building. The fact that this structure is next to the temple makes us think about the functions of this structure. For example, it may be a place for gathering or a postal center,” said Dönmez.
Stating that if it was a post office, messengers and horses were waiting in front of this place, Dönmez said.
“Messengers called ‘çapar’ were waiting in this post office. Tired horses and envoys were exchanged here and posts were being transported to their places regardless of summer and winter or day and night. The Persians were religious people. They believed in the Zarathustra religion based on the fire culture. We think that post offices were next to the columned hall and we can say that this structure is a post office,” he added.
First monotheistic belief in Anatolia in Oluz Mound
Dönmez said that the first example of a belief, called monotheism in Islamic religion and monotheism in religious philosophy, was experienced in Oluz Höyük for the first time.
He said that during the works, they obtained evidences that transition from paganism to monotheistic religion in Anatolia and Asia Minor began in Oluz mound and stressed that this is very important in terms of archeology of religions.
“It can be thought that a community living here formed a new religion that worshiped fire. Until this period, Anatolia had paganism under the influence of both the Greek gods and the Phrygian period. For the first time, we see that in this period all the gods united and people began to worship a single god.”