June 15, 2024 The sun rises from Anatolia

A fossil of a creature living on the shores of the Pacific Ocean was found in the 1900-year-old rock church in Diyarbakır

In the 1900-year-old rock church, an important structure for the Christian world in the district of Eğil in Diyarbakır, studies have revealed the fossil of a creature living on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

The fossil of the creature, known as “Sand Dollar” in the scientific world, is considered an object associated with the belief in Jesus Christ in the Christian world.

Eğil, with its castle estimated to be built by the Assyrians, cisterns, the Kralkızı Dam Lake, and historical assets, is progressing as an important cultural center.

Egil Castle
Eğil Castle. Photo: Diyarbakır Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism

Eğil, with its 1900-year-old church, has become a popular destination for many local and foreign tourists due to its belief as the burial place of the prophets Zülkifl and Elyesa.

Excavations initiated two years ago at Eğil Castle under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Vecihi Özkaya, a faculty member of the Department of Archaeology at Dicle University (DÜ), continue with the support of the Eğil District Governorate and municipality.

The cross signs found in the 1900-year-old rock church in Diyarbakır, Eğil.
The cross signs found in the 1900-year-old rock church in Diyarbakır, Eğil.

Prof. Dr. Vecihi Özkaya emphasized the connection of the rock church’s history with the history of Christianity in Anatolia, stating, “Symbols related to the religious activities of Christian minorities living in the region can be seen in this church. In the excavations we conducted here, we found coins dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, belonging to European states and the Ottoman Empire. The discovery of these coins indicates that this place was an active center until the 19th century.”

Photo: AA

The fossil of a sand dollar, which symbolizes the life of Jesus Christ.

Özkaya pointed out some remarkable findings in the church, continuing his words as follows:

“We came across a discovery here that has no known examples. We found the fossil of a creature living on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. This fossil is referred to as the ‘Sand Dollar’. This fossil has been considered an object associated with the belief in Jesus Christ in the Christian world.”

sand dollar fossil
The sand dollar fossil. The photograph has been used representatively for the news.

“The wings consisting of five stars symbolize the birth, death, and ascension of Jesus. Therefore, it has a remarkable feature as a church where some values considered sacred by all Christians are preserved, and where sacred relics valued by the Christians in the region are kept.”

Hülür: “We want to introduce Eğil Castle and the rock church to the world.

Eğil District Governor and Acting Mayor Volkan Hülür expressed their desire to introduce Eğil Castle, surrounded by deep valleys on three sides and built on a single rock surface by carving one side, to the world. He stated:

“Our church has a history of approximately 1900 years. It is an important church for the Christian world. With the efforts we are making, we aim to open it to tourism. We want to welcome foreign tourists in Eğil. Currently, we host around 400,000 tourists annually, with about 75,000 recorded as foreign tourists. By promoting our church for tourism and with the efforts we will make, we aim to increase the number of foreign tourists to 300,000.”

arkeonews.com

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