Byzantine medicinal bottles found in ancient Greek town of Bathonea
Researchers carrying out excavations at the ancient Greek city of Bathonea located in Istanbul's Avcılar district have found hundreds of unguentaria - small ceramic or glass bottles - containing traces of antidepressants and heart medications. The finding provides the first concrete evidence of the siege of Constantinople by a joint Avar-Sassanid force in 626.
|Some 700 unguentaria were found at Bathonea [Credit: DHA]|
The excavations at Bathonea were launched in 2007 and are jointly led by Kocaeli University and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Teams consisting of hundreds of students and historians from Selçuk University, Ege University and Istanbul University, as well as many foreign historical institutions take part in the excavations. They are currently led by Dr. Şengül Aydıngün, an associate professor from Kocaeli University.
Aydıngün said that the latest excavation work has focused on laboratory, storage and analysis and has brought together hundreds of pieces of ceramics to form unguentaria.
She noted that 700 is a significant number for the ancient period, marking the first time that such an amount has been found in a single archaeological dig.
|Excavation of unguentaria at Bathonea [Credit: DHA]|
The analysis of residue found in unguentaria has reportedly been conducted by the state-run Scientific and Technological Research Council (TÜBİTAK) in Gebze district.
TÜBİTAK findings suggested that the residue contained Methanone and Phenanthrene, which are substances used for depression and have a soothing impact.
Professor Aydıngün continued by saying that a large fire residue has been found in Bathonea excavation site, and it can almost be seen on all structures throughout.
|Analysis of the residue revealed that the unguentaria contained drugs for treating depression, |
as well as heart problems [Credit: DHA]
"If this is clarified, Bathnoea excavations will add a new page in the history of Istanbul" Aydıngün said.
Bathonea excavation site has been home to the traces of oldest agricultural activities in Europe dating back to 7,000 BC, as well as Hittites dating back to 2,000 BC. The ports of Bathonea have also been used by the Vikings in the 9th and 11th centuries.
Author: Nurbanu Kizil | Source: Daily Sabah [October 16, 2016]