Hundreds of World War I era hand grenades found in Turkey

Hundreds of World War I era hand grenades found in Turkey

Hundreds of World War I era hand grenades found in Turkey

A total of 782 hand grenades dating back to the World War I era were found during archaeological excavations at the historical site in southeastern Turkey.

They were found in Amida Mound, or Amida Höyük – known as the heart of Diyarbakır province – which is located in the historical Sur district.

It was home to civilizations such as the Hurri-Mitannis, Urartians, Assyrians, Medes, Persians, Tigran, the Great Kingdom, Romans, Sassanids, Byzantines, Umayyads, Abbasids, Safavids, Ayyubid dynasty, Marwanids, Seljuks, Ottomans, and Artuqids.

Professor Irfan Yildiz from Dicle University, who is heading excavations, said his team is exploring "new surprises" every day.

Hand grenades were discovered in an area where renowned Islamic scholar Ismail Al-Jazari conducted scientific studies, he said.

Al-Jazari, a man of wisdom and a genius who was born in the 12th century and died in the early 13th century, inspired cybernetic and robotic sciences with his centuries-old inventions and he influenced modern systems of the steam engine and to some extent, automatic controls.

Yildiz underlined that the team found ammunition belonging to the Ottoman period on July 29 in the northwest part of the city’s walls.

"After two days of work, all the ammunition was unearthed. It was understood that the ammunition was used by both the Ottomans and Allied powers in the World War I," he said, adding that the grenades were of Ottoman, British and German origin.

He said the grenades were taken by police for examination.

"After the examinations, those that can be emptied will be handed over to us and exhibited in museums," said Yildiz, adding that the others will be destroyed.

He also highlighted that the ammunition was buried inside a stone wall and was covered with raft stones.

"Diyarbakir was an important center in the World War I, it was the headquarters of the 13th Corps. We think that the weapons that were not wanted to be delivered after the Armistice of Mudros (signed on Oct. 30, 1918, following the World War I) were buried here and that these weapons are those ones," he added.