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Byzantine-era fountain, 1,000-year-old skeleton found in Istanbul

The archaeological excavation carried out as part of the restoration works in Istanbul's landmark Haydarpaşa Train Station continues to recover precious historical artefacts that potentially shed light on the city's Byzantine history.

Byzantine-era fountain, 1,000-year-old skeleton found in Istanbul
Credit: AA
A nearly-intact skeleton wearing what is described as "a scented necklace, believed to be some 1,000 years old", was found Thursday, the latest discovery at the site.

Three museum experts, 18 archaeologists, one restorer, one photographer and nearly 400 workers resumed efforts at the Haydarpaşa restoration site on May 11.

The excavation recovered dozens of remains of graves, in addition to some 2,000 gold and silver coins and ornaments. Some coins date back to 6th century AD and bear the sign of Justinian I, while some others of Constantine III from the 7th century.

Byzantine-era fountain, 1,000-year-old skeleton found in Istanbul
Credit: AA
Another surprising discovery was a Byzantine-era fountain recovered in working condition, the only one of its kind in Istanbul. The water flowing from the fountain is fed by water channels also recovered during the excavation.

Archaeologists said that the water is of drinking quality, attesting to the utmost care given in the original architectural with enabled the fountain and its channels to endure centuries and heavy layers of construction in surrounding areas.

In the area where train platforms are located, a podium was found which is believed to date back to the Hellenistic period and was constructed with iron clasps and quadrangle blocks of stones. Just north of the platforms, a large wall was also found.

Byzantine-era fountain, 1,000-year-old skeleton found in Istanbul
Credit: AA
The exact construction period of the three-metre-wide wall, which intermittently spans 100 metres, is yet to be determined.

Archaeologists believe that the wall, dating back some 2,000 years, is either the extension of the city walls of the ancient city of Chalcedon or the breakwater of its port.

A mid-Byzantine era ceramics kiln was also found in digs near the İbrahimağa neighbourhood.

Source: Daily Sabah [October 25, 2018]


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