An inscription dating back to the 14th century was found on Giresun Island, which lies 1.2 kilometers (0.7 miles) from the Turkish province of Giresun on the southeastern coast of the Black Sea.
Giresun Island stands out as the only island with human settlement in the East Black Sea along with its mythological stories and historical remains. Excavations have been sustained on this beautiful and mysterious island under the supervision of Giresun University Faculty of Fine Arts faculty member associate professor Gazanfer Iltar since 2009.
Iltar's team has discovered a written artifact on the island for the first time this year with the unveiling of a 14th-century inscription. Iltar said that the inscription is of great importance as it will shed light on the history of the island and Giresun region.
Noting that the inscription was found on the floor of the tower structure on the island, the academician continued: “The artifact belongs to the period of Alexios III Megas Komnenos, the emperor of Trebizond. The inscription states that the structures and walls on the island were commissioned by the venerable Maria, the wife of Pinkernes Kyriakos, the son of Giresun Governor Roustam. The name of Roustam in the inscription also gives us clues about the strategic marriages between the Turkmen beys in the region and the Komnenos dynasty."
The inscription was made of terracotta, measures 30 by 50 centimeters (11 inches to 19 inches) and was written with goose feathers.
Explaining that the inscription was translated by an academic from Russia, Iltar said: "The inscription provides us with several pieces of information and perspectives. For example, the title of 'pinkernes' means the cup bearer of the emperor of Trebizond. It is actually a high court position in terms of diplomacy, and a pinkernes should be considered one of the closest people to the emperor. Therefore, it is understood that the governor of Giresun at the time was very close to the emperor of Trebizond.”
“The importance of the inscription increases even more as it reveals the relations in the region in the past and it is a unique work written in a regional alphabet of the Empire of Trebizond.” Iltar added that archaeological excavations will continue on the island in 2022 as well.