June 12, 2024 The sun rises from Anatolia

A skeleton of an Urartian man with partially preserved brain tissue was found in Ayanis Castle

During the excavations of the Urartian period Ayanis Castle located on the shores of Lake Van in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey, a skeleton belonging to a Urartian man was found, with partially preserved brain tissue.

In this year’s phase of the ongoing excavation efforts that have been carried out for 36 years at Ayanis Castle, built on a hill overlooking Lake Van by Urartian King II. Rusa, a new complex consisting of 4 rooms, believed to be connected to the temple section, has been discovered. Additionally, for the first time, a human skeleton was unearthed.

The excavations at Ayanis, one of the most magnificent structures built by the Urartians 2700 years ago, are being conducted under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Mehmet Işıklı, a faculty member of the Department of Archaeology at Atatürk University.

Ayanis Castle
Ayanis Castle Photo AA

For the first time, an archaeological discovery was made in the structure complex believed to have been used by the ruling class of the Urartians. An intact human skeleton was found adorned with ornaments such as necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.

With the findings set to be analyzed by anthropologists in the laboratory, it is anticipated that new insights into the Urartian period at the fortress will be gained, contributing to our understanding of the era.

Prof. Dr. Mehmet Işıklı, mentioning the architectural features of a newly discovered structure complex resembling the Haldi Temple area to the north of the fortress, stated:

Prof. Dr. Mehmet Işıklı
Prof. Dr. Mehmet Işıklı Photo: AA

“These northern areas are truly significant. The excavation in this area is quite challenging due to the monumental architecture we are facing. We have reached a depth of about 6 meters. Rich assemblages of artifacts are greeting us. We know that there are 4 major spaces, which might even increase to 5. Understanding their function isn’t easy. The first space revealed very important findings. Last year, we uncovered a bronze plate and a uniquely designed wheeled chariot in these areas. This year, we encountered an even more exciting discovery. The prevailing assumption was that there might have been earthquakes or attacks within the fortress. Until now, no human remains had been found inside the fortress. We hadn’t come across any trace of human bones. This marks the first instance of finding a human skeleton in well-preserved condition. We are talking about the skeleton of a young adult.”

A skeleton of an Urartian man with partially preserved brain tissue was found in Ayanis Castle
Photo AA

Işıklı said “The skeleton will be examined in a laboratory environment. We will conduct studies on the skeleton. One of the most remarkable aspects is that part of the brain tissue has been partially preserved. The skull is positioned downwards, and due to the fractured skull, we could see parts of the brain. This excited the anthropologists greatly. In the near future, we will gather information about how and why the owner of this skeleton died. Some findings related to the skeleton have also emerged. Pieces of earrings, beads, necklace fragments, arrowheads, and a considerable amount of pottery and ceramics were found. The nature of the findings suggests that this area was likely used by priests or the elite class, possibly within the temple context. An inscription was also uncovered. We will analyze the preserved 6-7 lines of the inscription. It will provide us with significant clues.”

This meticulous examination of the skeleton and the associated artifacts promises to shed light on various aspects of the individual’s life, the society they lived in, and potentially even offer insights into the practices and beliefs of the Urartian culture.

Cover Photo AA

Banner
Related Articles

Two open-air temple thought to belong to the Urartians discovered in Tunceli

March 26, 2024

March 26, 2024

Archaeologists have discovered two separate open-air temple, one in the easternmost and the other in the westernmost part of Tunceli...

As the waters receded, the 2,000-year-old salt field came to light again

September 29, 2023

September 29, 2023

A two thousand year old salt field in the Kaunos Ancient City, which is placed on the UNESCO World Heritage...

2200-year-old mosaic floor depicting the muse Kalliope was discovered in the ancient city of Side

May 24, 2024

May 24, 2024

During excavations in the ancient city of Side in southern Turkey, a 2nd century BC mosaic floor depicting the legendary...

The mosaic depicting paradise in one piece in the ancient city of Perre attracts great attention of visitors

May 18, 2024

May 18, 2024

The 1500-year-old mosaic bearing the traces of the Roman period in the ancient city of Perre is one of the...

Historic Surp Garabet Church to be auctioned

May 15, 2024

May 15, 2024

The 19th century Surp Garabet Church will be sold at auction. Surp Garabet Church is located in the Hafik district...

Stones inscribed with Allah in Arabic found in Byzantine church ruins

May 6, 2024

May 6, 2024

Stones inscribed with ‘Allah’ in Arabic were found among the ruins of a Byzantine church in the 1001 churches region...

2,100-year-old steles transported by military helicopter will be exhibited in Perre Ancient City

May 11, 2024

May 11, 2024

The 2100-year-old steles carried by military helicopter from Kımıl Mountain in Adıyaman’s Gerger district will be exhibited in Perre Ancient...

Hattusa: A Journey into the Heart of the Hittite Empire 

December 6, 2023

December 6, 2023

Hello history enthusiasts! Today, let’s embark on a time-traveling adventure to Hattusa, the mysterious capital of the Hittite Empire, peacefully...

A rare 3,300-year-old bronze helmet from the Hittite Empire is on display at the Çorum Archaeology Museum

March 17, 2024

March 17, 2024

The 3,300-year-old bronze helmet unearthed during the excavations carried out in 2002 at the ruins of Şapinuva, one of the...

An 1800-year-old water nymph statue was found in the ancient city of Amastris

September 8, 2023

September 8, 2023

In the ancient city of Amastris in the district of Amasra in Bartın, excavations have unearthed a statue of a...

Ancient reliefs become target of treasure hunters in Mersin

January 8, 2024

January 8, 2024

An academic has cautioned that urgent protection is required for the historic Adamkayalar (Men of Rock) reliefs in the southern...

1400-year-old coins found in a piggy bank discovered during Hadrianopolis excavations

January 2, 2024

January 2, 2024

Ten 1400-year-old coins were found in a jug discovered during the ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Hadrianopolis, also...

Mammoth fossils luckly found in a mine are exhibited in Samsun Museum

April 3, 2024

April 3, 2024

14 years ago, mammoth fossils found by luckly in a mine in Samsun’s Ladik district started to be exhibited in...

How did the non-seafaring Hittites of the Bronze Age maintain control over Eastern Mediterranean trade?

August 18, 2023

August 18, 2023

During the Bronze Age, Anatolia possessed significant overland trade routes. The trade colonies established by Assyrian merchants formed the main...

Roman artifacts discovered during a drilling for a housing complex construction

March 9, 2024

March 9, 2024

Gold earrings, rings, tear bottles and lamps dating back to the Roman period were discovered during a drilling for a...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *