Archaeologists discover 1,600 yr old port city in Turkey

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Istanbul, August 20 (ANI): A team of archaeologists has discovered the ancient port city of Bathonea, located in Istanbul's Kucukcekmece basin in Turkey, which is estimated to be 1,600 years old.

According to a report in Today's Zaman, Dr. Sengul Aydingun from Kocaeli University explained that an ancient city had been found after they had conducted surface research in Yarimburgaz, the oldest settlement area in the Kucukcekmece basin.

Aydingun, head of the Istanbul Prehistoric Research (ITA) Project, said they had found out about the ancient port, located 20 kilometers away from Byzantium (old Istanbul), during research conducted last year into historic documents and compositions written by geographers several centuries ago.

Permission has now been granted to start the excavation, and Aydingun said they are currently at the start of a very long dig. "It might take a century," he added.

Aydingun said they had detected the remains of the port during their initial search and had found ceramics and similar small findings near the surface.

They also detected a "grid system" of roads from aerial views, and they expect to unearth a city built in a manner similar to the planned urban developments of Ephesus and other ancient cities.

The area where they have started to work is the most important spot, according to Aydingun, who said they think a structure possessing important architectural features such as columns and doors might be a temple.

Pointing out that the city is situated on a peninsula, Professor Hakan Oniz, a marine archeologist from Eastern Mediterranean University said that structures in the city connect with a pier, port and a lighthouse in the farthest point of the city.

Explaining that the connection between Lake Kucukcekmece and the Sea of Marmara was wider 1,000 years ago, Oniz said that divers are conducting research on the lighthouse.

Culture and Tourism Ministry Monuments and Museums Department General Director Orhan Duzgun said Bathonea was added to the 150 ancient cities that are currently being excavated. (ANI)

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