Archaeologists unearthed late Roman-era chambers and clay offering vessels during excavations in the ancient city of Antiocheia in southern Türkiye.
Excavations around the Church of St. Pierre, a pilgrimage site for many Christians, began on Oct. 10 in the province of Hatay, launched by a 12-person team led by the local archaeology museum.
"During the excavations, we found rooms and many offering vessels belonging to the settlement from the late Roman era," said Ayşe Ersoy, head of the Hatay Archaeology Museum.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ersoy said: "We think that at that time, people who visited the church on pilgrimage bought offering vessels from here, and filled it with holy water in the Church of St. Pierre."
Touching on the historical significance of the site, Ersoy said: "Antiocheia was founded by Seleukos I in 300 B.C., and then this region was inhabited during the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods."
The ancient city was situated on the foothills of Mount Starius, also known as Habib-i Neccar, and the Asi River, including the cave church, carved into the mountainside at the place where St. Pierre first preached, according to UNESCO.
These were the first scientific excavations in the residential areas of Antiocheia, noted Ersoy.
She also said the team was working on a project to turn the site of the Church of St. Pierre and the nearby Necmi Asfuroglu Archaeology Museum into an open-air museum.