June 22, 2006

"Port of Theodosius" unearthed in Istanbul

Archeologists shudder at the thought of digging train tunnels through the core of ancient cities. Destruction of important material is inevitable, and the huge costs of construction delays mean that what archeological investigation takes place will be hasty and limited. Yet at the same time, that investigation will be carried to areas otherwise unlikely ever to be explored, because overlaid by modern construction. What has been taking place in Istanbul is no exception:

Turkish archaeologists announced on Tuesday that they have discovered an ancient Byzantine port in an area that was planned to be an underground station for a modern rail tunnel.

They're calling the find the "Port of Theodosius," after the emperor of Rome and Byzantium who died in the year 395, and say the items they're digging up here could shed significant light on the commercial life of this ancient city.

The excavations are being conducted in the Yenikapı area, which is located south of Istanbul's historical peninsula, home to numerous Byzantine and Ottoman structures. . .

So far, the archaeologists have found what they think might be a church, an old gate to the city and eight sunken ships, which archaeologist Cemal Pulak says he believes were all wiped out by a giant storm more than 1,000 years ago.

From Turkish Daily News.

Posted by David on June 22, 2006 8:28 AM


But if there was no digging then none of these artifacts would come to light. It is very doubtful that somebody would just start to dig underneath a city on their own.

Posted by: Charles on June 22, 2006 9:39 AM

Plus, with a little imagination, one can integrate the finds into an exhibit at the station that will be interesting, unique, and may inspire an interest in history and archeology in some passerby.

Posted by: Acad Ronin on June 22, 2006 10:03 AM
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