The castle, which overlooks the scenic Lake Van roughly 200 meters (about 655 feet) below, is one of the most magnificent structures remaining from the Urartu Kingdom with its decorations, mud-brick walls and stone engravings that managed to survive to date in the Tuşba district of Van. Digging and restoration work at the site of the structure built during the reign of King Rusa II (680-639 B.C.) have been ongoing for over three decades.
Four new interconnected rooms were unearthed on the northern slope of the hill on which the castle is being excavated under the direction of lead archeologist, professor Mehmet Işıklı.
Işıklı, who is also an academic at Atatürk University, said his team encountered very surprising findings at this part of the castle dig site.
"There are rows of interconnected room groups ... Many findings, particularly ceramics, were uncovered in the rooms. Numerous groups of wooden structures were also found. These provide us with important information on the details of the Urartian architecture, but we haven't yet determined what the rooms were used for."
Excited by the "unique" bronze wall plate found in one of the rooms, Işıklı said it was the only specimen of its kind that has been unearthed in one piece, unlike fragments that had been found on other occasions.
The plate was likely used as an architectural embelishment, he added.