Archaeologists excavating an ancient settlement in Edirne in northwestern Turkey, discovered a 1,500-year-old Byzantine-era church. Professor Engin Beksaç who leads the team of archaeologists, says that their initial findings showed this was one of the oldest churches in Trakya, Turkey's northwestern region, which was part of ancient Thrace spanning from Greece to Turkey.
The church was discovered in Sinanköy, an area where the first settlement was 3,000 years ago. The excavation revealed the foundations of the church and stones belonging to the building that survived without any decay. The settlement is also home to graves belonging to ancient Thracian people and remains of city walls of a long gone citadel.
Professor Beksaç says Sinanköy - whose ancient name is Prabadon - is an important archaeological site in the region and a place inhabited from B.C. 1000 to the Middle Ages. "It was a big city in the past. We unearthed sacred sites belonging to the Thracians, such as sacred graves carved into rocks," he said. The church was built after Byzantine rule came to Prabadon. "Prabadon was the biggest city here after Hadrianapolis [ the ancient name of Edirne]," Beksaç said.
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