Turkish archaeologists find 2,400-year-old monument in Haydarpaşa
Istanbul’s historic Haydarpaşa train station has been known for some time to be an archaeological paradise, as numerous excavations at the site have revealed, piece by piece, the history of the famous district of Kadıköy, once known as the ‘land of the blind. “. The most recent find to be unearthed is a structure dating from the third and fourth centuries BC, making it the oldest structure at the site to date.
Mehmet Ali Polat, the chief archaeologist of the Haydarpaşa station archaeological excavations, said the structure is the oldest monument on the site architecturally and they believe it is the remains of a monument or a mausoleum.
The structure, dating from the Hellenistic period, was discovered during excavations carried out jointly by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. More than 35,000 artefacts, large rooms and columns have so far been unearthed at the site.
“It’s a very large area, an excavation area of around 350,000 square meters (3.7 million square feet),” Polat said and noted that their excavations are focused on an area of 65,000 meters. squares. “So far we have discovered small finds of pottery and coins from the fifth, sixth and seventh centuries BCE,” he added.
The recently discovered monument is the oldest building on the site. “There is architectural density here,” Polat told Demirören News 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. “
Polat noted that there was a main street ending at the fourth or fifth century coast, and a cluster of buildings on either side. The area was once the northwest port of the ancient seafaring city of Chalcedon.
“There are architectural structures of different sizes and qualities here. It was used extensively from the fourth century to the seventh century,” Polat added. After the seventh century, or after the time of the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, the popularity of the site waned, and with it most of the structures were destroyed.
“Then he gradually became active again in the middle of the Byzantine period. We know from the remains we unearthed that there were only small workshops here at the end of the Byzantine period, ”Polat said.
During the Ottoman period, the city was almost entirely abandoned as a settlement area. The reason is, explains Polat, that the area was covered with silt and therefore used as grassland during the Ottoman Empire.