Excavations at Haydarpaşa Station Reveal an Ancient Apse | Smart News
Since May 2018, excavations in the history of Istanbul Haydarpaşa Station have delivered an array of historical finds, including ruins from the Ottoman, Roman and Byzantine periods. Now bring it back Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish archaeologists unearthed remains from a third or fourth century BC apse, or semi-circular recess commonly found in older churches. The architectural element – considered to be part of a monument or mausoleum – is the oldest structure discovered at the site to date.
“There is an architectural density here,” says Mehmet Ali Polat, head of the excavations. Demirören press agency (DHA). “Most of these structures were built in the third and fourth centuries AD. Additions were made to these structures in the fifth and sixth centuries. “
As Hurriyet reports, Polat and his team discovered the apse near the station waiting platforms. the Turkish Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and Ministry of Culture and Tourism started digging at the site three years ago, when restoration workers at the transport hub unearthed ancient artefacts. Since then, notes the DHA, experts have discovered more than 35,000 objects, large artifacts and columns in the approximately 3.7 million square foot excavation area.
Although researchers are not sure exactly why the former residents of Istanbul built the apse, they suspect it belonged to a sacred site. Through Encyclopedia Britannica, the apses of pre-Christian temples often played the role of “enlarged niche[s]Which contained sculpted likenesses of deities.
Other highlights of the find include ceramics and coins spanning millennia, from the seventh century BC to the modern era, according to DHA.
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“This [area] is the northwest port of the ancient city of Khalkedon, a large structure that could be a warehouse, ”says Polat Hurriyet. “Across the road we see a group of buildings that could be a small summer palace.
As the Anadolu Agency reported last March, the unusual name of the site dates back to around 667 BC. Byzas of Megara founded the city of Byzantium on the European Golden Horn peninsula, opposite Khalkedon on the Asian side. (Byzantium is known today as Istanbul.) Because the people of Khalkedon failed to settle on the “perfect” peninsula now occupied by its people, they must have been blind, postulated Byzas.
Through Encyclopedia of World History‘s Donald L. Wasson, the Roman historian Tacitus later wrote that Byzas and his followers chose the place on the order of the “god of Delphi”, who advised them to settle “opposite the land of the blind ”.
The ancients used the area extensively between the fourth and seventh centuries AD After this point, however, most of the buildings fell into disrepair.
“Then it gradually becomes active again in the middle of the Byzantine period,” Polat told DHA. “We know from the remains we unearthed that there were only small workshops here at the end of the Byzantine period.”
Experts hope recent archaeological finds will shed light on aspects of Khalkedon’s enigmatic culture. As Jesse Holth writes for ARTnews, earlier finds – including 10,000 gold pieces, the remains of a fifth-century castle, and 28 sets of human remains – have helped archaeologists determine that the bustling metropolis likely boasted an expansive trading system.
the Istanbul Archeology Museums conduct around 250 excavations in the Turkish city each year, note DHA in a separate article. Last month reports Hurriyet, Polat and his colleagues announced the discovery of a pebble mosaic floor at the site of the future Kabataş station, which also houses the foundations of Europe’s first canning factory – a late 19th-century installation. which conditioned tomatoes and peas.