Sultan’s cannonballs unearthed in Konya
KONYA – Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoCannonballs from the 15th century period of Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II have been unearthed during recent archaeological excavations in a castle on the Takkeli Mount of the Central Anatolian province of Konya, which was once the capital of the Anatolian Seljuk state.
The mount, which has traces of Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, Karamanoğulları and Ottoman remains, also houses 5,000 year-old city walls. Excavation works in the Gevele Castle on the mount are continuing with the collaboration of the local Necmettin Erbakan University, the Selçuklu Municipality and the Konya Museums Directorate.
Necmettin Erbakan University Professor Ahmet Çaycı said that thanks to its structure and location, the castle had served as a natural observation tower throughout history, adding that it had an important role in defending the city.
Excavations started three years ago with surface surveys and are due to continue indefinitely.
“There are Roman artifacts around the Takkeli Mount. We have determined Roman and Byzantium rock tombs in the lower parts. All these things show the great interest in the region in history,” Çaycı said.
He added that the Gevele Castle, which dates back to the Seljuk era, was the “key to Konya” in the past.
“Seizing Gevele meant seizing Konya,” the professor said. “Findings and surface surveys reveal that the castle was built for defense. The structures inside the castle boost this idea. It is located on an area 700 meters high. It was a significant place where sultans and governors sheltered in the Middle East. It was almost like the Kürecik Radar Base of today.”
Çaycı said many arrow heads were found during excavations, which led the team to believe that the castle had been besieged many times.
“We also found many cannonballs and think they belonged to Sultan Mehmet II, the conqueror of Istanbul. The castle received its greatest attack from the Ottoman army, commanded by Gedik Ahmet Paşa. The Karaman Beylik regional authority kept the Ottoman state busy for a long time. When Sultan Mehmet ordered Gedik Ahmet Paşa to remove the danger of this beylik, he destroyed this castle, the key to Konya. Then he destroyed the castle in Larende. In this way, the Karaman Beylic lost its power,” he added.
“We found the cannonballs scattered around the castle. Their inventory was taken and delivered to the museum. These cannonballs have a place in the history of science as the most important elements of the war technology of the Middle Ages,” Çaycı said.