Underwater work begins in ancient basilica

Underwater work begins in ancient basilica

BURSA - Anadolu Agency
Underwater work begins in ancient basilica

A 10-person team from the Uludağ University started working underwater to reveal the basilica’s history. DHA Photo

Underwater archaeological work began on Dec. 4 in an ancient Roman-era basilica discovered at the beginning of last year under Lake İznik in the northwestern province of Bursa.

According to a written statement made by the Bursa Metropolitan Municipality, Uludağ University Archaeology Department archaeologists dove into the lake to investigate whether the basilica was a Neophytos Church or a part of the Constantine Palace, where the İznik Council had gathered. 

Bursa Mayor Recep Altepe said İznik had importance for the Christian world, adding, “We plan to organize the basilica as an underwater museum after environmental work. We want to make a project to draw the attention of the world to this region.” 

He said that within the scope of the project, they had set up platforms and offices for the divers on the shore of the lake. 

“A team of people are working in the basilica right now. They brought tiles and bone pieces to the surface from the basilica. We are determined to reveal the greatness of the project. Each finding will give us information about many things. With the findings we will be able to explain what the basilica was,” the mayor said.