Roman-era dam found in central Turkey

Roman-era dam found in central Turkey

Roman-era dam found in central Turkey

A 110-meter-long and 10-meter-high dam, built during the Roman Empire era 2,000 years ago, has been found in Bozdağ National Park, located in the Karatay district of the Central Anatolian province of Konya.

Surface survey has been ongoing in the region since 2017 in order to determine the settlements around the Bozdağ National Park, said İlker Işık, the head of the Department of Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage at Selçuk University.

Işık stated that during the works they carried out with a team of 10 people in an area of approximately 60,000 square meters, they discovered the Roman-era dam.

Explaining that they had previously discovered the part of the “Via Sebaste” road, which was built in the ancient Roman period, Işık said, “We found that a dam was built here to meet the water need of the army on this road built by the Romans.”

Işık said that the route had never lost its importance from the Roman Empire to the Seljuk and Ottoman Empires.

“We are conducting laser scanning studies related to the dam. After aerial photographs and detailed measurements, we are trying to find the settlement network of this region by preparing the general plan of this region. We foresee that such a large dam was used not only to meet the water needs during the deployment of troops, but also to the people living in the region,” he said.

Emphasizing that the dam has a very large water basin and is an important structure that can meet the water need of the region, Işık said, “During the passage of large armies, it has enough volume to meet their water needs. When we look at its basin it is still swampy. We see that it continues to hold water in spring. We can see that a water slot was built right next to it and excess water is thrown away through this slot.”

“The dam has been preserved because it is in an untouched area. It is a great advantage that it is untouched. This region is considered one of the important regions where animal husbandry has been made since ancient times. We bring this work to light with the Konya Metropolitan Municipality and think of how we can evaluate it for tourism,” he added.