Zeytinliada, a small island linked to the western Balıkesir's Erdek district, is expected to become Turkey's first "island museum," following an archeopark project. The area has long been a religious center dating back to at least 300 B.C.
It has four churches and a pagan temple along with other Roman-era structures like a bath and houses. Known as Kera Panagia in antiquity, the small island has been undergoing excavations for the last eight years, which will finish soon. Boardwalks will be placed along the archeopark to allow visitors to more easily explore the area.
According to some historical accounts, the area was a religious center in the Roman era from at least 300 B.C. During the Ottoman era, Zeytinliada was a quarantine place. During the excavations, a baptismal fountain was unearthed. "The excavations resumed for two years but have finally finished," Nurettin Öztürk of Erzurum Atatürk University, a team member, said. Landscape design is currently ongoing and the island museum will open within a month.