Excavations to resume on Giresun Island
Archaeological excavations will be carried out again after four years with a team of archaeologists and art historians on Giresun Island. Officials have also made applications to UNESCO for the inclusion of the island, located off the northern province of Giresun, in the Temporary List of World Heritage.
Giresun Island is one of the two islands in the Black Sea, with a total area of 38,000 square meters. The island, which is home to 71 species of natural herbaceous, mainly true laurel and locusts, as well as woody plants, is a natural and archaeological site where cormorants and seagulls breed naturally.
According to a written statement made by the Giresun Governor’s Office, the island, which has been known by many names such as Aretias, Nesos, Areos and Khalkeritis throughout history and has traces of life since the ancient ages, is the subject of many legends and mythological narratives.
The ruins of the city walls surrounding the island, second-century temple ruins, church ruins, chapels, water wells and many tomb structures believed to have been built in the 12th century reveal the life and historical richness of the island. In order to reveal the historical fiction of Giresun Island, archaeological surveys were carried out for two years in 2009 and 2010 and many findings were made.
In light of these findings, the archaeological excavations continued in 2011 and 2012 in collaboration with the Giresun Museum and Selçuk University’s archaeology department.
The statement emphasized that some of the structures on the island surrounded by walls were partially unearthed during the excavations.
“On the island, structures such as churches, towers, administrative buildings, chapels and cisterns, which were built on the temple belonging to the Medieval ages, as well as the harbor area and offering pits belonging to the Classical and Hellenistic periods were unearthed. During the archaeological excavations carried out in 2015, the ruins of the chapel and the areas where the Pithos, known as wine cube, were found,” it said.
It added that Byzantine-era coins, glazed ceramic bowls, roofs and tomb tiles, as well as many skeletons, were also found.
“During the archaeological excavations carried out in 2016 and 2017 in the excavation area, which was opened in the previous years, findings such as ceramic, fresco and mosaic pieces, glass beads and architectural stone pieces were made,” it said.
Scientific studies will start on the island as of September, said the statement, adding, “The island, which has many more unknowns in the deep blue waters of the Black Sea, awaits many new researches and scientific studies.”
Giresun Island, one of the two islands in the Black Sea, is 1.6 kilometers off the coast. The island, where cormorants and seagulls breed naturally in the Black Sea, is also a resting place for migratory birds.
The island, where “Amazonian” women once lived, is mostly known for mythological stories like how Hercules came to the island to find golden fur.