Ottoman shop unearthed in Central Anatolia

Ottoman shop unearthed in Central Anatolia

Ottoman shop unearthed in Central Anatolia

A historical structure has been unearthed during infrastructure works carried out in the central Anatolian province of Çorum. Works have been ongoing to bring the Ottoman-era structure to light in the İskilip district.

The structure was detected when one of the tires from the construction equipment fell into a pit during environmental landscaping in the Kaleboğazı neighborhood on Dec. 14.

After permission was given by the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums, excavation works were initiated by the Provincial Cultural Director and the Çorum Museum archaeologist. Part of the historical structure, nearly 60 centimeters deep, has been unearthed. The area has also been taken under protection.

Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, the Provincial Cultural Director Ömer Arslan said excavations works had unearthed as much of the structure as possible.

Arslan said the structure dated back to the Ottoman era. “It is mentioned in manuscripts and in reports of European travelers who had visited the region that İskilip had a population of 43,000 in the 1840s. The reports also mention that there were structures including 510 shops, 108 mosques, six madrasahs, six lodges, a municipal palace, five libraries, a market place, 18 fountains, inns, 18 tanners, 62 mills, a court and a tax office. The historical structure we have unearthed is one of these 510 shops,” he said.

Arslan said they would undertake a project that would make the Ottoman structure visible in the best possible way.

“We will undertake a project that will make the whole structure visible and will not harm life in the area at the same time. First, we will cover the structure with glass and take it under protection. The urban fabric of İskilip is partially alive but some parts of it are still underground. Such infrastructure works unearth structures like this Ottoman-era building. It will serve tourism in the district, since it will be displayed in its original place,” he said.