July 18, 2024 The sun rises from Anatolia

1500-year-old church is being unearthed in Harran Ruins

The excavations in Harran Ruins, one of the oldest settlements in the world, are uncovering 1500-year-old church ruins.

Harran is a remarkable ruin with the Moon Temple dedicated to the Moon God Sin in the 4th century BC. Only the foundations and some wall remains of the Moon Temple have survived to the present day.

Moon God Sin Temple
Temple of the Moon dedicated to the Moon God Sin

The archaeological excavations at the Harran Ruins, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, are headed by Prof. Dr. Mehmet Önal from Harran University Archaeology Department.

Stating that the church is located 200 meters north of the Harran Grand Mosque, Mehmet Önal gave the following information to AA correspondent.

1500-year-old church is being unearthed in Harran
Photo: AA

“We excavated a part of the church, it is a very large church. We are in its northern nave (main corridor) and most of the nave has been revealed. This is a basilica-planned church and it has ornamentation. The capitals of the columns have acanthus, which are embossed column capitals with kenger leaves. During our excavations, we came across both a large part of the northern nave and a portico to the north, and the columns of the portico were revealed. The column capitals have fallen. In other words, the structures under the soil in Harran are waiting to be excavated with their columns. As we dig in this way, the entire church will be revealed with its apse (the place where prayers are said in the church) and other naves.”

1500-year-old church is being unearthed in Harran Ruins
Photo: AA

“It is the largest cathedral-level church in the southeast, more than 70 meters long and made of cut block stones. During the excavations, we also found mosaic tesserae (colored mosaic stones) made of glass, which were mostly used on the walls and arches. We dated this church to the Eastern Roman period, i.e. the 5th century. Therefore, the floors of the churches in the region built at this time are mosaic. We expect mosaics on the floor of this church as well.”

1500-year-old church is being unearthed in Harran

The church has suffered from earthquakes and the Mongol invasion.

Cover Photo: AA

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