Early Christian pilgrimage site to be excavated in Turkey’s south
Works have been initiated by Istanbul University in the ancient field of Aya Tekla (Greek Hagia Thékla), one of the oldest centers of Christianity.
|Interior of Aya Tekla Church [Credit: Cobija/WikiCommons]|
During 10 days of work, a research group consisting of academics and post-graduate students will measure and photograph a cistern structure for the first time. They will also work on two other cisterns that were discovered in previous years.
|Interior of Aya Tekla Church [Credit: Yolda Olmak]|
“The data we obtain from this work will be reported to the ministry. We also plan to present a report during the 39th International Excavation Research and Archeometry Symposium in May 2017. We are seeking sponsors in order to have more people in the research team,” Almaç said.
|Ruined wall of Hagia Thékla Church in Silifke [Credit: AA]|
The cave where Thékla lived became a secret pilgrimage site for Christians until 312 A.D. when Christianity was legalized in the Roman Empire. The cave was then turned into a church in the fourth century. The church and other buildings around such as the cistern and the ruins of city walls have drawn attention from tourists.
Source: Hurriyet Daily News [November 19, 2016]