Excavations begin in Trabzon to bring to light traces of four empires
An archaeological excavation that will last for five years has been initiated in the northern province of Trabzon. The aim of the work is to unearth the structures and finds belonging to the Roman, Byzantine, Komnenos and Ottoman Empires that ruled in the region throughout history.
The traces of empires will be traced during the excavations to be carried out in an area of 20,000 square meters in İçkale, a part of the Trabzon Castle in Ortahisar district’s Bahçecik neighborhood. Archaeologists and scientists from seven universities are taking part in the excavations.
The finds will be turned into an archaeopark or open-air museum to serve tourism.
The structures in the excavation area, which are believed to belong to the palace and courtyard of the Komnenian dynasty, have been damaged through time. The structures in and around the historical castle, which resists time, draws attention. While there are many idle structures in and around the city walls, residents of the region plant vegetables on the land inside the castle and use it as a garden.
Professor Mehmet Yavuz, the head of the excavations, said that the area known as İçkale consists of a total area of 20,000 square meters but in the first stage, an area of 5,000 square meters will be excavated.
“The area where we are now is actually the courtyard part of the palace, which belongs to the Komnenian period, and it is mostly in ruins. Unfortunately, not too many buildings survived from the palace ruins,” he added.
Stating that the main purpose of the excavation is to reveal cultural, architectural, small finds, socio-cultural or ethnographic artifacts belonging to Roman, Byzantine, Komnenos and Ottoman civilizations, he said, “These are very important in terms of reach evidence related to the history of Trabzon. The known history of Trabzon dates back 4,000 years. But its real history begins in 500 B.C. We aim to reveal the concrete cultural remains of the pre-Roman administrative structures, the Persian administration and local governments.”
Stating that drilling works will be carried out on the bottom of the city walls of the Trabzon castle, Yavuz said: “We will attempt to reveal the construction phases of the castle, especially what the pre- and post- structuring was during the invasion in 257 A.D. When we look from the outside, we can reach some information, but the most important thing is its inside. We will reveal it during the excavations.”