Ancient seeds found in southern Türkiye
The seeds of grapes, lentils, broad beans, peas, wheat and barley have been found during archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Misis in the southern province of Adana’s Yüreğir district.
Excavations have been carried out under the Presidency of Adana Archeology Museum since 2012 in Misis by Italian and Turkish experts under the scientific consultancy of Anna Lucia D’Agata of the Rome International Research Institute and Giovanni Salmeri of the University of Pisa. The seeds, unearthed by the team, are considered to be 3,000 years old and are being studied at the Misis Mound Excavation House.
Yüreğir Mayor Fatih Mehmet Kocaispir, who visited the excavation area, said, “Misis is one of the most important locations in the history of Türkiye. Excavations are carried out in the areas around Misis Mound and Misis Bridge with the assistance of the municipality. In these excavations, we obtained very important archaeological finds.”
Stating that this is a place where life has continued uninterruptedly for 8,000 years, the mayor said, “Grape seeds dating back 3,000 years have been found. Of course, these grape seeds are an important find that shows that grape trade and grape planting were carried out here 3,000 years ago, even though they were relatively carbonized and have lost their quality. The seeds of lentils, broad beans, peas, wheat and barley seeds were found too, which makes us very excited.”
Noting that the seeds were not suitable for planting, Kocaispir said that despite this, these crops have been cultivated in the region for 3,000 years.
“These seeds reveal that there were ports along the Ceyhan River and that these products were traded. Excavations will continue in September and October. We hope that we will find more new seeds. Archaeological findings are not just sculptures. These seeds are very important for us to learn how human life was back in those times. We will report these seeds to the state. After evaluating the seeds, we will learn more about the history of agriculture,” he added.
The ancient city of Misis is located right next to the Ceyhan River, 27 kilometers east of the center of Adana on the historic Silk Road.
Misis developed and expanded in the age of the Middle Kingdom. In this era, the city covered some 80 hectares, including a wide necropolis of rock tombs. It was a border castle that changed hands numerous times until the end of the 14th century. When Sultan Mehmet IV built a caravanserai on the river in 1661, the city gained importance.