Excavations start at Mokissos
The first excavations have been initiated in the ancient city of Mokissos, also known as “Nora,” which could become the “Ephesus of the Cappadocia region,” with its history dating back to the Hellenistic period.
The ancient city, located on the skirts of Hasan Mountain in the Helvadere town of the Central Anatolian province of Aksaray, is home to monumental Roman tombs, masonry churches from the fourth to the seventh centuries, as well as unique natural beauties.
Mokissos is one of the largest ancient cities of the Central Anatolia region and has survived to the present day with its structures, including houses built with natural basalt blocks, monumental tombs made of smooth cut stone, churches and cisterns.
Tolga Uyar, associate professor at Nevşehir Hacı Bektaş Veli University’s (NEVÜ) Art History Department and the head of the excavations, said they started the excavation work following the surface researches carried out last year.
Stating that after completing the technical bases and mapping works, they started the first excavation in the area, Uyar said: “This year’s excavation plan includes the main building group in the center of the city. We are working on their function and history. We also carried out drilling at three spots. Our aim is to reach the data on the building groups under the soil. There is very dense fill soil in the center of the city. By removing this soil, we aim to see the layers and reach the ground level of the city. We got some preliminary information about them. We also got small finds during the works, such as pottery fragments and jars used for storage. We found arrowheads, hooks and two coins. One of these coins is from the sixth century and the other is from the 17th century.”
Uyar stated that it would be understood at the end of these excavations whether the history of Mokissos dates back to the Hellenistic period or not, adding, “If we are lucky, we will soon find it out. Mokissos is a place with the most settlement ruins in the Cappadocia region. It covers an area of more than 200 hectares. There are many monumental buildings; very large stone blocks were used. There is no other site in this region with such large constructions. In this sense, Mokissos will be a center of attraction for tourists.”
Noting that they made a pedestrian path and visitor reception center project for visitors, Uyar said the construction would begin as soon as possible.