Excavations were launched at four points in the Ani ruins, located along the Turkey-Armenia border, to reveal the underground history and the cultural treasures of the site. Art historians, archaeologists, architects and restorers from 12 different universities are taking part in the excavations on the site, which is one of the riches of Turkey on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Ani, which is located on the Turkish banks of the Arapaçay district, was ruled by the Bagrationi dynasty between 884-1045 and the Byzantines between 1045-1064. When it was conquered by the Seljuk Sultan Alparslan on August 16, 1064, the site joined the Anatolian lands.
In the past, Christians and Muslims lived together in the Ani ruins, which hosted dozens of civilizations along with Turks throughout history.
Therefore, Ani is also called "World City," "Cradle of Civilizations," "1001 Churches" and "40-Ported City.” The site features religious buildings such as mosques, churches and cathedrals, each of which has a different beauty and historical value, as well as priceless structures and cultural buildings.
This season, excavations are being carried out at four different points in Ani, which is of particular importance as it is the first entrance gate from the Caucasus to Anatolia. Launched in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums and Kafkas University, the works continue under the watchful eye of professor Muhammet Arslan.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Arslan said that his team of 35 members is able to work the various points across the site. “Our work this year continues in six different areas – as excavations at four different points and conservations and restorations of findings in two different areas. Excavations are concentrated on the areas where the Seljuk bath, Seljuk bazaar and Seljuk residences are located.”
Reminding that the excavations continue meticulously, he added: “Cultural treasures and findings obtained from the excavation sites are restored under the leadership of scientists in our excavation house in Ani and added to the museum inventory.”
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