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Early Iron Age castle discovered in Van

Academics have discovered a new castle dating back 3,000 years to the Iron Age in the eastern Turkish province of Van.

Early Iron Age castle discovered in Van
A castle that dates back to early Iron Age has been discovered in the eastern province of Van. 
Now works will start for the documentation and restoration of the castle [Credit: AA]
Yüzüncü Yıl University (YYÜ) History of Art Department Professor Mehmet Top, with the help of village head İrfan Yücel, recently revealed the existence of the castle in the Yurtbaşı neighbourhood of Gürpınar district.

The castle, located on a high hill overlooking the region around 80 kilometers from the city centre, is accessed after a challenging, hour-long climb. The walls of the castle have been ruined through time.

Professor Top recently visited the castle to collect some pieces of pottery to conduct further examinations.

He said that they had carried out excavations at the Hoşap Castle since 2007 and conducted research on the cultural artefacts around the castle. “We reached the castle in Yurtbaşı neighborhood when Yücel informed us about it,” he said.

Top said the structure was known among people of the region as Derbend Castle. “My examinations showed that this castle might be from the early Iron Age. The remains of stones and ceramic pieces on the ground prove that this place was a settlement. Probably it was a tableland settlement. Traces show us that it dates back to the pre-Urartian era, namely the early Iron Age. This age starts in 1200-1300 B.C. and continues through 1800 B.C. We already know that castle architecture began in this era and continued later on.”

A castle of nearly 3,000 years

The professor said they had made preliminary examinations in the castle and further examinations should be made by archaeologists. “We have informed the Van Museum about the castle but since the castle is not documented in records, works will start soon for it to be documented first,” he added.

“This is a castle from 3,000 years ago,” he said. “They were mostly built in valleys overlooking the valleys and tablelands. It is possible to see all these features here.”

Yücel said he met with Top during Hoşap castle excavations and told him about the castle in their neighbourhood.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [December 29, 2014]

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