Karahantepe finds chosen as most important discovery of 2021
Archaeological discoveries made in Anatolia, which has hosted dozens of civilizations throughout history due to its geographical location in the middle of three continents, are being followed with great interest in the world.
Archaeologist Professor Şengül Aydıngün, who introduced the city of Bathonea, located on the Avcılar side of Küçükçekmece Lake, to the world, brought together the most important discoveries and excavations of 2021 by consulting 71 experts in their fields to explain Turkey’s historical values once again.
Among the archaeological studies in Turkey in 2021, the Karahantepe excavations in the Haliliye district of the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa ranked first on the list with its striking results.
Some structures of the same period with Göbeklitepe and a human statue with a leopard on its back were unearthed during the excavations. The interesting Neolithic-era artifacts and sculptures were put on display at the Şanlıurfa Archaeology Museum and introduced to the world at a ceremony attended by the Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy.
Karahantepe ruins excavation director Professor Necmi Karul, stating that this year was very productive in terms of archeology, said that they found traces of great engineering with the discovery of a building, which is 23 meters in diameter.
Having been discovered in the garden of a house in the Sayburç countryside of the Karaköprü district in Şanlıurfa, the ruins belonging to the Neolithic Age took the second place on the list.
A five-figure scene, depicting humans, leopards and a bull, was unearthed on the obelisks on the garden’s walls. At the same time, in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic settlement of Sayburç, a circular planned, pit-based structure was unearthed dug into the limestone bedrock.
The Temple of Zeus, which is about 2,250 years old and unearthed during the excavations in the ancient city of Magnesia in the Germencik district of Aydın, ranked third on the list.
The Temple of Zeus was found under a four-meter filling in the ancient city’s 26,000-square-metre sacred agora (square). It is the second cult structure in Magnesia.
The Temple of Artemis in Magnesia is the fourth largest known Ionic temple in Anatolia after the ones in Ephesus, Didim and Sardes. The Temple of Zeus is believed to be larger than Artemis.
Other rich elements in Anatolia
Other findings chosen by excavation directors, museum directors and archaeologists include the Roman-era marble statue heads in the ancient city of Knidos in the Datça district of Muğla; the warrior belt of the Urartians in the ancient city of Satala in Gümüşhane; 46 kurgan tombs and pottery from 5,000 B.C. in Istanbul’s Beşiktaş neighborhood; the heads of the statues of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty in mythology, and Dionysus, the god of wine, in the ancient city of Aizanoi in Çavdarhisar district of Kütahya; the statues of Kuros, which are important for the Archaic period in the ancient city of Euromos in Milas district of Muğla; the cemetery of Gre Filla, found in the excavations in Ambar Mound in Diyarbakır; and 14,000-year-old stone tools from the Late Paleolithic Age found in a cave in Dikili, İzmir.
The academics including Rüstem Aslan, Göksel Sazcı, Mehmet Özdoğan, Daniş Baykan, Mehmet Tekocak, Engin Akdeniz, Yücel Şenyurt, Neşe Atik, Zeynep Erdem, Ertekin Doksanaltı, Tuba Ökse, Gökhan Coşkun, Berkay Dinçer, Şahin Yıldırım, Hakan Öniz, Davut Yiğitpaşa, Akın Temur, Ahmet Bilir, Abuzer Kızıl, Alpay Pasinli, Nezih Başgelen and Ahmet Boratav made such a study for the first time for daily Milliyet.