Türkiye launches ambitious archaeological project-Xinhua

Türkiye launches ambitious archaeological project

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-07-10 21:54:45

ISTANBUL, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Türkiye has recently launched a major archaeological project to uncover and preserve its heritage, ensuring these assets are passed on to future generations.

Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry said in a statement that the initiative aims to achieve in the next four years what has taken 60 years in Türkiye's archaeology field, ensuring this period is remembered as "the Golden Age of Turkish Archaeology."

The "Heritage to the Future Project" consolidates excavation, restoration, and landscaping efforts at all archaeological sites, which started within the past four years, it said.

Under the project, Turkish scientists, appointed by the ministry, will oversee coordination at sites managed by 28 foreign researchers across 224 archaeological sites nationwide.

Serdar Aybek, an academic at Dokuz Eylül University in Izmir, has been appointed coordinator for the ongoing 160-year archaeological excavations at Ephesus, led by the Australian Archaeological Institute.

Aybek told Xinhua that the project will enable collaboration across various excavation sites and between Turkish and foreign scientists.

Aybek also leads excavations at Metropolis, an ancient city in the Torbali district of Izmir near Ephesus. The site has been continuously occupied since the Neolithic period and boasts artifacts from the Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Eastern Roman, and Ottoman eras.

He emphasized the historical bond between Ephesus and Metropolis, saying the project would yield new data, enhancing people's understanding of the interconnectedness between these ancient cities.

The ministry has allocated 1.1 billion Turkish liras (about 33.4 million U.S. dollars) for excavation, restoration, and landscaping works, with plans to allocate an additional 6 billion liras in 2025.

Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy recently emphasized that the government has begun allocating budgets for conservation and restoration for the first time to achieve their project goals.

"With restoration budgets now included, we can conduct much faster and more detailed work," he noted.

As part of the project, improvements of visitor welcome centers, lighting installations, and visitor management plans are also being implemented in publicly accessible areas.