June 23, 2024 The sun rises from Anatolia

One of the oldest known Byzantine churches was found in Diyarbakır

The excavation uncovered one of the oldest Byzantine churches found in Diyarbakır. The church, estimated to be 1500 years old, contains 46 tombs.

The team conducting surface surveys in Diyarbakır’s Kulp district found a coin dating back to the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I. Following this discovery, an excavation was initiated in the area by the Diyarbakır Museum Directorate in 2021.

During the excavations, where various artifacts such as coins, oil lamps, columns and pedestals were unearthed, the ruins of a building were unearthed this season. Experts determined that the building, whose outer walls were exposed, was a church.

One of the oldest known Byzantine churches was found in Diyarbakır
Photo: AA

Diyarbakır Museum Acting Director Müjdat Gizligöl expressed that during their ongoing excavations, they discovered a structure that they had not previously identified as remnants of a church. Gizligöl stated, “This year, it became clear during the excavation work that this is a Byzantine church. Our work here accelerated. The church was likely used in the 5th, 6th, and 7th centuries, then suffered damage, and was used as a cemetery until the 13th century. Within the church, 46 tombs were found, belonging to a wide array of individuals, including adults, children, women, and men. These tombs are scattered throughout the entirety of the church.”

One of the oldest known Byzantine churches was found in Diyarbakır
Photo: AA

“Gizligöl mentioned that they have found 13 inventoried and 39 studied artifacts during the excavations, which have been transferred to the museum. He stated, ‘Coins, spindles (a half-spherical object found under the needle used for spinning thread), lamps, columns and their bases, tomb findings… It’s possible to come across every kind of historical cultural asset reflecting its era. The artifacts we’ve discovered, through the analysis conducted on them, are valuable in providing information about the culture and way of life of that period.”

The field supervisor archaeologist, Kemal Atak, informed the AA correspondent that they commenced the excavation based on the coin they discovered in the area, dated back to the reign of Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I, between 491-518 AD.

Atak expressed that the establishment of the church dates back to the 5th-6th centuries, stating:

“The remains of the church closely resemble examples found in Syria. The church initially had a single nave, later expanded through additions. Currently, we have identified the surrounding walls of the church. The church has a rectangular plan, measuring 25 meters in length and 15 meters in width.

One of the oldest known Byzantine churches was found in Diyarbakır
Photo: AA

Within the church, there are metal crosses and cross motifs drawn on architectural blocks. Its architecture presents a basilica plan to us, with a rectangular structure containing an apse (a standard two-dimensional representation’s vertical axis).

When examining the findings and architectural plan, this church represents one of the earliest examples. This corresponds to 1500 years ago from today.”

Atak mentioned that the apse part of the church is very narrow, suggesting they believe the structure was initially a small shrine built as a chapel, and later, with the increasing population, additions were made to transform it into a larger church.

Cover Photo: AA

Banner
Related Articles

The Romans built an irrigation tunnel 1,700 years ago by digging through the mountain

September 13, 2023

September 13, 2023

It has been revealed that the Romans built a 150-meter-long tunnel by digging through the mountain 1,700 years ago to...

Rare talismanic healing bowl found in Hasankeyf excavations

December 4, 2023

December 4, 2023

During the ongoing excavations in Hasankeyf Mound, one of the oldest Neolithic settlements in Anatolia, an 800-year-old talismanic bowl used...

3,000-year-old rock rare paintings have discovered in Rize

August 2, 2023

August 2, 2023

Archaeologists have discovered approximately 3,000-year-old rock paintings believed to belong to the Bozkurt tribes during their surface survey. The discovery...

2,000-year-old tomb unearthed at the Temple of Apollo Smintheus

December 27, 2023

December 27, 2023

A 2 thousand year old tomb was unearthed in the Temple of Apollo Smintheus in Çanakkale. More than 10 skeletons...

A sarcophagus was found during a drilling excavation at a construction site in Bodrum

February 24, 2024

February 24, 2024

A sarcophagus and its lid belonging to the ancient city of Myndos were found during a drilling excavation for a...

Treasure hunters destroyed the Kubbeli church built in the 14th century

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

The rock-carved Kubbeli church built in the 14th century in Soğanlı Valley, known as the entrance gate of Cappadocia, was...

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...

The statues on Mount Nemrut are being preserved with nano cells

October 23, 2023

October 23, 2023

Stone statues of many Greek and Persian gods, built by Antiochos Theos, king of Commagene, on the summit of Mount...

1800-Year-Old Roman Theater in Iznik Restored

March 21, 2024

March 21, 2024

The Iznik Roman Theater, a 2nd-century structure built during the Roman Empire, has been fully restored after extensive renovations. The...

The cuneiform tablet found in the Hittite city of Samuha indicates the famous temple of the Goddess Sausga

September 16, 2023

September 16, 2023

The cuneiform tablet unearthed in the Hittite city of Samuha reveals the famous temple of the Goddess Sausga. The ancient...

The 2600-Year-Old Altar Unearthed at Oluz Mound Will Shed Light on the History of Ancient Near Eastern Religion

November 24, 2023

November 24, 2023

The 2600-year-old Median period altar discovered in Oluz Höyük, which has a history of 6000 years, will shed light on...

The center of Helenapolis Ancient City will be revealed with ground-penetrating radar

December 8, 2023

December 8, 2023

The central part of the ancient city of Helenapolis, which was an important port city in the late 4th century...

Urartian water cistern revealed at the site of illegal excavation

June 21, 2024

June 21, 2024

The site of illegal excavation in the eastern Turkish province of Tunceli turned out to be an Urartian water cistern....

A 2000-year-old Urartian object was unearthed in the excavations of Divriği castle, which started with the information in Evliya Çelebi’s Seyahatname

January 3, 2024

January 3, 2024

Excavations at Divriği Castle in the Divriği district of Sivas province, located in northeastern Turkey, unearthed many finds, especially a...

In the Hattusa excavations, a decoration piece made of 2,800-year-old elephant ivory was discovered

November 13, 2023

November 13, 2023

A decoration piece made of 2,800-year-old ivory was found during the ongoing excavations in Hattusa (today Boğazköy), the capital of...

Comments
Leave a Reply

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