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Preliminary work to unearth ancient Issos begins

A team of archaeologists has begun working on examining the site of the ancient city of Issos in southern Turkey by making use of ground-based sensors to visualize the underground features of the city's structures, the district governor has said. 

A team of archaeologists will make use of ground-based sensors to visualize the underground features of Issos [Credit: Cihan]
İskender Yönden, the district governor of Erzin, Hatay province, announced on Monday that a team of four archaeologists got to work at the reported site of the ancient city of Issos, which has been underground for some 500 years in the southern province of Hatay, as part of the work of unearthing the ancient city. 

Yönden said the excavations will continue after the archaeologists find out more about the site of the city by looking at the processed imagery from the sensors. 

Approximately five months ago, excavations at the site where Issos is believed to be revealed ruins of baths and some Artemis mosaics. Hoping there are more mosaics or other materials that are valuable to shed light on the history of the city, archaeologist Ömer Çelik, who is leading the excavation, requested a share of the provincial budget from Hatay Governor Celalettin Lekesiz to examine the site in more detail in order to conduct the excavation fastidiously and not miss any important details in the excavation area. 

After obtaining TL 50,000 from the governor, Çelik filed a request with the Erzin district governor to survey the area and its underground features. 

Erzin District Governor Yönden announced that they have arranged for a team of four archaeologists to start their work on Monday. Yönden said the team is expected to finish its work in a week's time. 

Speaking to the Cihan news agency, Çelik said: “While we were excavating in the area, we first discovered ruins of an ancient bath. Then we discovered mosaics in the bath tiles, which led us to think that there might be more mosaics or other kinds of stone that could give us clues about the time it was built or used.” Çelik added that they expect the discovery to reveal more about the history of Issos. 

Once a significant trading city, Issos dates back to the year 2500 B.C. The area where the city was located was once part of the Byzantine, late Hittite, Persian and Ottoman civilizations. 

Archaeologists believe there are more remnants of the ancient city of Issos, which they hope to reveal in due time. 

Source: Today's Zaman [December 14, 2011]

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