Centuries-old cistern found in ancient city
A cistern, believed to be 700 years old, has been found in the ancient city of Beçin in the Milas district of the western province of Muğla. The ancient city is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.
The ruins unearthed in the ancient city of Beçin, which is one of the most important archaeological sites of the region and where excavations are conducted throughout the year, shed light on history. The surviving historical buildings have been restored and brought to tourism.
The head of the excavations, Professor Kadir Pektaş, told state-run Anadolu Agency that the historical cistern was found during the excavation on the foundation of a house in the area.
Stating that the cistern was built with cut stone and it is a rectangular structure with a barrel vault supported by an arch in the middle, Pektaş said, “The cistern, which we consider to belong to the 14th century, had a special function especially during the war periods. When the castles were besieged, the first thing that was done for the people inside to surrender was the destruction of the waterways. Thus, water supply was made difficult and those inside could surrender. The cisterns inside the castle were actually activated at that time. This structure is also very important for us in that respect. This cistern, together with its finds, is a good example that has almost survived to the present day.”
He also noted that cisterns could be found in other parts of the castle.
Explaining that a piece of a female figure carrying water was unearthed during the excavations, Pektaş said that this piece was also a very important find.
He stressed that the female figure dating to the 5th century B.C. was found in sacred areas, especially in ancient times.
“There are examples of it found in the Caria Region. But it was not known that it was also in Beçin Castle. Its existence here suggests that this place might have been a sanctuary in ancient times. This is no surprise to us. Because tombs and finds dating back to much earlier periods, chalcolithic ages, were also found in Beçin,” Pektaş said.