31 July 2009 /TODAY'S ZAMAN WITH WIRES
A castle and an ancient city thought to be almost 1,400 years old have been discovered in southern Osmaniye province. Excavations in the area, carried out by teams from Kocaeli University's archaeology department with the permission of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, first revealed the ruins in 2006.
Stating that the castle and the ancient city were surrounded by city walls and that they have found ceramic pieces, Associate Professor Füsun Tülek told the Anatolia news agency: “We found Umayyad ceramics dating back to the late seventh and early eighth centuries. We also frequently encountered ceramics from the ninth century. Yet, we did not find ceramics dating earlier than the seventh century. We are certain that the castle and ancient city belong to the early Islamic period.”
Tülek also said the palaces, mosques, baths and military structures in the city feature elements of Umayyad architecture, adding: “This city is on the route to Baghdad and the Silk Road. This city, from the early Islamic period, is older than Anavarza Castle, which was managed by a Turkish emir during the Abbasid era.” Highlighting that the Umayyads chose flat regions when constructing cities, Tülek continued: “The [castle] was on both a military route and a trade route and served military, political and commercial purposes for a long time. Then it fell into disrepair.”