Rock paintings in danger in Milas

Rock paintings in danger in Milas

MUĞLA – Doğan News Agency
Prehistoric rock paintings in the ancient city of Heraklia in the western province of Muğla’s Milas district cannot be protected, according to locals and experts. The paintings are from 8,000 years ago.

Located around the Beşparmak Mountains, Heraklia is one of the most popular places among tourists thanks to its historical and natural beauties. Among the most interesting pieces at the ancient site are rock paintings.

The rock paintings, which were discovered in 1994 by Dr. Anneliese Peschlow-Bindokat, a member of the Berlin German Archaeology Institute, which carries out archaeological works in the region, are in danger of perishing because of damage.

Religious motifs and figures, which were painted on a rock next to the semi-ruined Yediler Monastery, have been damaged recently by unidentified people.

Locals said the paintings in cavities of rocks were protected very well in the past but have been damaged over time.

“A rock painting close to the Yediler Monastery could be fully seen in the past but most parts of the painting have been scraped off, especially the faces of the figures,” locals said, asking for the paintings to be taken under protection.

Stating that lots of mine pits in the region and uncontrolled tourist visits have damaged historic artifacts, environmentalists and experts particularly cited the use of dynamite used in the mine pits as a great danger.

“Some parts of the Yediler Monastery collapsed a short while ago. There are also points that may harm tourists visiting the area but no security measures. We need a tourism policy to protect these historical natural beauties,” one local environmentalist said.