The excavations at the ancient Urartu fortress in eastern Turkey's Van province will unearth the mysteries of a 2,700-year-old temple, the excavation head told reporters.
Led by Archeology Professor Mehmet Işıklı from Erzurum Atatürk University, the excavations have been ongoing uninterruptedly at the Ayanis Fortress for the past three decades.
Professor Işıklı told Ihlas News Agency that excavations resumed in July and have become the longest-lasting excavations in the Anatolian and Eastern Anatolian regions.
"Ayanis is one of the best-protected fortresses of Urartu, and is accepted as the last magnificent one," Işıklı said, adding that excavations aim to unearth the glory and mysteries of the ancient compound.
"We have come across cultural artifacts, unique Urartu pieces and architectural works that could be considered masterpieces," Işıklı said.
He noted that the temple that they are currently unearthing was one dedicated to the God Haldi and they aim to open the site to tourists when the work is done.
Işıklı highlighted that their work aims to unearth the lounge with a platform, the marble-ornamented platform and other ancient works soon.
Urartu was an Iron Age kingdom located near Lake Van and the mountainous plateau between Anatolia, Mesopotamia, the Iranian Plateau, and the Caucasus Mountains.
The kingdom was established around mid-ninth century B.C. and was conquered by the ancient Iranian people of Medes in the early 6th century B.C.