Ancient sewer system unearthed in Mardin
An ancient historical site dating back 11,800 years was unearthed in southeastern province of Mardin.
The excavations in Mardin, which has been home to 25 different civilizations including the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Hittites, Urartians, Romans, Abbasids, Seljuks and Ottomans, shed light on history.
The ancient settlement is located in the Çemka mound in Dargeçit neighborhood’s rural Ilısu quarter on the banks of the Tigris River.
The site is registered as a first-degree archaeological area, where 15 restorers and archaeologists and a team of 50 workers of Artuklu University and Mardin Museum Directorate are working. Along with the 11,800-year sewer system, the excavations unearthed nearly 20 architectural structures.
The head of the excavations, Ergül Kodaş said the Çemka mound was discovered last year.
Stating that two roads passed over the mound and were heavily destroyed, Kodaş said, “The settlement is dated to about 9,800 B.C. before the “Neolithic phase A stage.” It has been inhabited for a long time. It has an eight-storey and seven-meter archaeological embankment.”
Kodaş expressed that they reached all the chronology of the settlement during the studies carried out in the region.
“All of the buildings are round-planed and mostly buried under the ground, which we call ‘pit shelter.’ They are close to each other with almost common walls,” he said.
This year, Kodaş said, excavations were carried out for two months in the region, and so far more than 20 architectural remains belonging to the structure have been unearthed.
[HH] Sewer system partly unearthed
Pointing out that they found the oldest known sewer system structure among the houses in the excavation, Kodaş said, “This was very interesting for us as well. We unearthed it, which was adhered to the bottom of a wall. At first we thought it was a wall, but with the progress of the excavation we saw that it was a sewer. We partially unearthed it.”
An excavation team member, Yunus Çiftçi said, “There is no mention of such a sewer structure even in the pottery Neolithic period. It is built on a sloping base to prevent water from entering the buildings. We think that rainwater or wastewater are allowed to flow east to the Tigris because of its slope. We consider that the sewage is used for this purpose.”