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Excavations at ancient city of Hadrianopolis in northern Turkey restarted


Excavation works at the ancient city of 'Hadrianopolis in Paphlagonia' have been restarted to unearth rare mosaics and Christian pilgrimage site in Turkey's northern Karabuk province, with the aim to protect and preserve the artifacts and open the site for tourism.

Excavations at ancient city of Hadrianopolis in northern Turkey restarted
Credit: Andalou Agency
It was inhabited at least from the 1st century BC to the 8th century AD. It was named after the Roman emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD. The city also bore the names of Caesarea or Kaisareia (Καισάρεια) and Proseilemmene.


When Emperor Theodosius I (347–395) made parts of Paphlagonia and Bithynia into a new province called Honorias, Hadrianopolis became known as Hadrianopolis in Honoriade

Excavations at ancient city of Hadrianopolis in northern Turkey restarted
Credit: Andalou Agency
Hadrianopolis was the birthplace of Saint Alypius the Stylite, a seventh-century ascetic saint and monastic founder.


Led by Professor Ersin Celikbas from Karabuk University's Archaeology Department, the excavation works are carried out with a team of 30 students, Anadolu Agency reported.

Excavations at ancient city of Hadrianopolis in northern Turkey restarted
Credit: Andalou Agency
This year's excavations will focus on an area referred to as "Church C," and the works are carried out in sections as the site is spread over a large area.


Excavation works started in 2003. Archaeological surface surveys have uncovered 14 public buildings and other structures in the ancient city. Among these public buildings are two baths, two churches, a defense structure, rock tombs, a theatre, an arched and domed structure, a monumental cultic niche, walls, a villa, other monumental buildings and some religious buildings.

Excavations at ancient city of Hadrianopolis in northern Turkey restarted
Credit: Andalou Agency
The church floors are decorated with mosaics featuring images of the rivers of Gihon, Pishon, Tigris and Euphrates, which are mentioned in the Bible.

Various animal figures, such as horses, elephants, deer and gryphons are also depicted in the mosaics of the ancient city.

First excavations at the site were launched in 2003.

Source: Daily Sabah & Wikipedia [July 07, 2019]

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