Archaeologists unearth ancient settlement in SE Turkey

An ancient historical site dating back 11,800 years was unearthed on Thursday in southeastern Turkey.

Now part of the province of Mardin, the area has been home to many different civilizations including the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Hittites, Urartians, Romans, Abbasids, Seljuks and Ottomans.

Archeologist Ergul Kodas said his team was excavating the site as part of a project focusing on documenting and rescuing cultural sites located in the Dargecit district, when they came across the 11,800-year-old sewer system and over two dozen architectural artifacts.

A total of 15 restorers and archaeologists as well as 50 workers are currently excavating the area, which was designated a historical and cultural site by Turkish authorities.

Kodas, the head of the excavation team, said the historical site was inhabited for a long period around 9800 B.C. and that there were eight-story historical buildings reaching up to seven meters in height.

He noted that the sewer system was the oldest known in history, saying: "We were only able to unearth a certain portion of the sewer system, and confirmed it was [located] in a public use area."

On Oct.31, an ancient temple estimated to be over 11,000 years old -- which belongs almost to the same period as Gobeklitepe, the famed "oldest temple in the world" located in southeastern Sanliurfa province of Turkey -- was found at the same excavation site.

Source: Anadolu Agency