May 27, 2024 The sun rises from Anatolia

Structures dating back to the Roman period have been unearthed in the dam water retention area in Balıkesir

In Burhaniye district of Balıkesir, excavation work is being carried out to save the ruins of the ancient city in the water retention area of Reşitköy Dam.

Remains of a late antique settlement were found during the rescue excavations.

The area to be flooded by the dam is located 10 kilometers south of the ancient city of Adramytteion, near the Tahtacı Neighborhood.

Roman structures discovered during ongoing dam construction in Balıkesir
Photo: Adramytteion Research

The rescue excavation, which was started about 9 months ago by the Adramytteion Research committee after the surface research between 2015-2016, reached an ancient settlement dating from the late Roman and early Byzantine periods of the 4th to 7th centuries.

Roman structures discovered during ongoing dam construction in Balıkesir
Photo: Adramytteion Research

During the excavation led by the Directorate of Balıkesir Kuva-yi Milliye Museum, a two-phase church, baptistery, environmental tombs, rock-carved tombs, storage spaces for agricultural production, a high-capacity wine workshop and a ceramic kiln were found.

Roman structures discovered during ongoing dam construction in Balıkesir
Photo: Adramytteion Research

Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Archeology Department Member Hüseyin Murat Özgen said that the largest and oldest church known to date in the Edremit Bay region, 15 meters wide and 25 meters high, is located in this region.

Özgen stated that the region where the finds were found is within the sphere of influence of the ancient city of Adramytteion, known as Edremittene, which also gave its name to the Gulf.

Roman structures discovered during ongoing dam construction in Balıkesir
Photo: Adramytteion Research

Around the church with a baptistery, about 60 graves, many of them multiple burials, were found, as well as commercial spaces associated with agriculture.

Özgen said, “The two-phase church with a mosaic floor covers a very large area. The church complex yielded a large number of ritual-related material culture products such as ceremonial crosses and hangers, as well as finds from the surrounding graves that provide us with data about the period. 100 meters further on, commercial spaces begin.”

Roman structures discovered during ongoing dam construction in Balıkesir
Photo: Adramytteion Research

Hüseyin Murat Özgen said that among the new findings, the large-capacity wine works was preserved as a cistern, which was profiled in order to settle the sediment at the bottom with a deposition basin.

During the rescue excavation, archaeologists also found traces of a late Byzantine and early Ottoman area.

Roman structures discovered during ongoing dam construction in Balıkesir
Photo: Adramytteion Research

The artifacts will be exhibited at the Balıkesir Kuva-yi Milliye Museum.

Cover Photo: Adramytteion Research/AA

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