Searching through an ancient fortress in eastern Turkey, Turkish students have uncovered inscriptions dating back nearly 900 years.
The 883-year-old inscriptions as well 5,000-year-old pieces of ceramic pottery were uncovered by postgraduate archaeologists working at the site with the permission of Turkey's Culture and Tourism Ministry. The excavations started in July in the Ahlat district, also known as "Kubbetul-Islam," located in the eastern Bitlis province. During the exploration, the students were able to date parts of the fortress in the old city of Ahlat and the ancient inscription back to the dynasty of Shah-Armens, centuries ago in Anatolia, around the same time the Seljuk Turks were carving out an empire. The Turkmen Shah-Armens or Ahlatshahs rulers, centered on the northwestern shore of Lake Van, reigned between 11th and 12th centuries.
Mehmet Kulaz, who heads the Ahlat excavations, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that people lived in parts of the fortress 5,000 years ago, according to findings from their digs.
Kulaz, who also heads the Fine Arts department at eastern Van's Yüzüncü Yıl University, said that they found numerous pieces of ceramics around the fortress, at the bottom of the fortress's walls, and on the surface. He added that the fortress was home to various historic civilizations and was rich with the remnants of long-ago cultures, now lost to the sands of time.