Beginning of excavations in Mokissos
The first excavations were initiated in the ancient city of Mokissos, also known as “Nora”, which could become “the Ephesus of the Cappadocia region”, whose history dates back to the Hellenistic period.
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The ancient city, located on the slopes of Hasan Mountain in the town of Helvadere in the province of Aksaray in central Anatolia, is home to monumental Roman tombs, masonry churches from the 4th to the 7th century, as well as unique natural beauties. .
Mokissos is one of the largest ancient cities in the Central Anatolia region and has survived to the present day with its structures including houses built with natural basalt blocks, monumental tombs of smooth ashlar stone, churches and cisterns.
Tolga Uyar, associate professor in the art history department of Nevşehir Hacı Bektaş Veli University (NEVÜ) and responsible for the excavation, said that they had started the excavation work as a result of the surface searches carried out Last year.
Stating that after completing the technical basics and mapping work, they started the first excavation in the area, Uyar said, “This year’s excavation plan includes the main construction group in the city center. We are working on their function and their history. We also drilled at three locations. Our goal is to reach the data on construction groups under the ground. There is a very dense fill soil in the center of the city. By removing this ground, we aim to see the layers and reach the ground level of the city. We have obtained some preliminary information about them. We also obtained small finds during the work, such as fragments of pottery and jars used for storage. We found arrowheads, hooks and two coins. One of these pieces dates from the 6th century and the other from the 17th century.
Uyar said it would be understood at the end of these excavations whether the history of Mokissos dates back to the Hellenistic period or not, adding: “If we are lucky, we will find out soon. Mokissos is a place with the most settlement ruins in the Cappadocia region. It covers an area of over 200 hectares. There are a lot of monumental buildings; very large blocks of stone were used. There is no other site in this region with such important constructions. In this sense, Mokissos will be a magnet for tourists.
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Noting that they have made a project for a pedestrian path and a visitor reception center, Uyar said construction will begin as soon as possible.