Turkey's Council of Ministers has finally given permission for long-awaited excavations at Yoros castle, located in Anadolu Kavagı on Istanbul’s Asian side. An expert team from Istanbul University has started archaeology excavations under the leadership of Byzantium art history expert Professor Asnu Bilban Yalçın.
But a few days before the archaeology excavations started, a sad event happened: A huge Byzantium emblem on the outer façade of the castle was removed and stolen. Yalçın said that she was very sorry about the theft.
She said that the area surrounding the castle currently served as a picnic area and its inside was used as a toilet, adding that they had been forced to do detailed cleaning work before the archaeology excavations. Yalçın said that Turkish tourists sometimes reacted negatively to the archaeology excavation team. “They are not even aware of the historic importance of this place. They tell us that we’ve occupied their picnic area,” she added.
The base of the castle, which is 128 meters above sea level, is within the borders of military land. This is why there has been no excavation work at this level before now. The excavation team is preparing to present a project to the Defense Ministry. According to the information provided by the excavation team, on the first day of the excavations, which started on July 16 and is scheduled to continue six years, stoneware from the Ottoman and Byzantine periods was found, as well as a water pipe. The team has two big goals: One is to find a temple that is mentioned in ancient sources and the other is to determine when Greek colonies first arrived in the Black Sea.
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