Expert: Mining began in southeast Turkey

Published 05.09.2019 00:46

Turkey's southeastern province of Diyarbakır, a home to many ancient civilizations, offers insight into history through its archaeological excavations. Çayönü Hill is a neolithic settlement in the northern Ergani district, where residents transformed their lives from nomadic to settled.

The settlement, which sheds light on the history of civilization in addition to regional history with its 10,000-year background, raises interest for travelers by offering a rich cultural and historical experience.

Archaeological excavations on the site started in 1964 but were suspended in 1991 for security reasons.

Excavation restarted four years ago after a 24-year break and this year a team of 29 have been carrying out activities in the region.

"The mining history begins with Çayönü" Aslı Erim Özdogan, head of the archaeology department at 18 Mart Çanakkale University told Anadolu Agency (AA). Özdogan said it is the first time in the region that pieces of copper beads and jewelry were made through heating copper.

Referring to the pre-existing discovery of house-like tombs, she said there are the skulls and bones of 400 people in the "Skull Building."

"We also observe different tomb structures in this house," she added, highlighting that these structures give great information about local people. She stressed that the average life expectancy of local people in the Neolithic age was 35, according to the remains.

Noting that the excavation is financed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, she said that the eventual goal is to turn the site into an open-air museum.

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