Moscow, Oct 3 : Turkish archaeologists have found artifacts showing that Istanbul, earlier believed to be founded 2,700 years ago by the Greeks as Byzantium, is 8,500 years old, putting back the age of the settlement of the city by almost 6,000 years.
According to Russian News Agency RIA Novosti, the Al-Watan newspaper said that the excavations in Istanbul, which have gone on for four years, have uncovered four skeletons, as well as wooden and ceramic pieces, shedding new light on the history of the Turkish city.
The discovery was made two months ago at a depth of six meters below sea level at the site of an ancient settlement.
Ismail Karamut, who directs Istanbul's Archaeological Museum, said that the finding would force historians to rewrite the country's history.
Istanbul, Turkey's largest city with a population of around 12 million, was the country's capital until 1923, when the government moved to Ankara.
The city, historically known as Constantinople, was given its modern Turkish name in 1930.