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Human remains found in historic Greek church

Excavations in the garden of a 19th-century Greek church in the western Turkish province of Muğla’s Datça district have unearthed a grave, human skull and pieces of bone.

Human remains found in historic Greek church

The church, situated in the Hızırşah neighborhood six kilometers from the district center, has undergone recent restoration as part of a project backed by Datça Municipality.

Restoration experts working on the rear façade of the historical church recently found the grave and human bones, informing the Marmaris Museum Directorate of their discovery.

Officials from the museum began examining the grave and other artifacts, with expectations that an expert team from the Culture and Tourism Ministry will open the grave and begin closer inspections. The grave is believed to date back to the Byzantine era.

The church, which was abandoned after the massacres inflicted upon Asia Minor's Greek population in 1922 by the Kemalist Turks, passed into the municipality’s hands in 1970. It served for many years as a storage to keep historical artifacts that were unearthed during archaeological excavations.

Lying in ruins due to neglect, the church will be converted into a cultural center after the restoration project, hosting exhibitions as well as cultural events.

As the district does not have a museum to display the archaeological artifacts unearthed from the ancient city of Knidos, the church will also bridge this gap, according to officials.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [March 21, 2016]

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