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Excavations start at ancient Greek city of Olba in southern Turkey

Archaeological excavations that have been initiated in the ancient city of Olba (Turkish Uzuncaburç) in the southern province of Mersin’s Silifke district are expected to unearth important artifacts.

Excavations start at ancient Greek city of Olba in southern Turkey
Temple of Zeus at Olba [Credit: Klaus-Peter Simon/WikiCommons]
“We believe we will be able to activate our real tourism potential when our different values like castles and ancient cities in Silifke are presented.  Of course, in addition to cultural heritage, Silifke also has natural beauties with its 115-kilometer Mediterranean coast, beautiful coves and islands in these coves. Our guests can swim in the sea, spend time on the beaches and visit our islands. Dana Island is the most important of these islands. It will become a museum island as well,” she said.

Yılmazer noted the museum has been continuing three excavations and four surface survey projects in the ancient city of Kelenderis (Turkish Aydıncık), Silifke Castle and the ancient city of Olba.

Excavations start at ancient Greek city of Olba in southern Turkey
The ancient theatre at Olba [Credit: AA]
Stating that about 20 drilling excavations and two rescue excavations were carried out this year, Yılmazer also said they had started the archaeological excavation preservation and restoration project in Uzuncaburç with the participation of Associate Professor Ümit Aydınoğlu of the archaeology department at Mersin University.

“Unfortunately, Uzuncaburç, which is one of the biggest ancient cities in the region, cannot get the value it deserves. We are now working on it. This project that continues under the leadership of university academics is very important in terms of tourism and archaeology as well as in terms of the region’s economy. Uzuncaburç has the characteristics of the world-known ancient city of Ephesus thanks to its archaeological ruins. It is our responsibility to revive and preserve Uzuncaburç and to make use of it for tourism,” said Yılmazer, who stressed that their goal is to revive the tourism potential in the historical site.

Yılmazer added that the excavations started in the theatre section and they plan to continue working on the monumental fountain in order to rearrange the entrance of the ancient site.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [July 30, 2017]

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