Holy Hittite city being unearthed in northern Turkey

Holy Hittite city being unearthed in northern Turkey

SAMSUN - Anadolu Agency
Holy Hittite city being unearthed in northern Turkey

The gaol of the excavations in Oymaağaç village is to prove that it is the holy city of the Hittite, which is Nerik.

Archaeological excavations have been ongoing for eight years in the village of Oymaağaç of Vezirköprü district in the northern province of Samsun, aiming to unearth the holy Hittite city of Nerik. The head of the excavations, German archaeologist Associate Professor Rainer Czichon said that works in Oymaağaç had started in 2005 and this year’s excavations had now ended.

Czichon said that they had carried out surface survey during the first two years, and then started excavations. “Our goal is to prove that Oymaağaç is the holy city of the Hittite, which is Nerik. “We already know that this region is a Hittite settlement. We have found cuneiform tablets that will prove that this place is Nerik. There are scriptures about Nerik in four cuneiform tablets that we found this year. There is a part named ‘Tahanga’ in two of the tablets. Tahanga is a section in Nerik’s ‘god of air’ temple. This is a strong proof that Oymaağaç is Nerik. We are sure for 95 percent,” Czichon said.

He said that besides cuneiform tablets, there were also seal impressions in the excavation area, adding, “They belong to a clerk. This is normal in Hattusa but we are in the very northern part of the Hittite Empire. This is extraordinary for the region. For us, it is very important of the people who lived in this era. Because what they thought, what they did, what they talked about and their lifestyle will shed light on our work.”

Czichon said that this year excavations continued in the temple of the god of air, and added, “We found at last three temples built on each other. Also, for the first time, we found floor in a building. It is important because we previously found the yards but could not reach the floors.”

He said that the excavations works were joined by archaeologists, philologists, geologists, architects, anthropologists and zoo archaeologists from all around the world. “An international team of nearly 40 people come to Turkey every summer for three months and search Turkey’s history,” he said.