Türkİye, Culture

Archeologists discover 1,700-year-old trident in Assos ancient city in Türkiye

‘This is the first time we have found this kind of material in Assos,’ says head of excavation team

Cigdem Munibe Alyanak  | 05.10.2023 - Update : 06.10.2023
Archeologists discover 1,700-year-old trident in Assos ancient city in Türkiye Photo : ( Cigdem Munibe Alyanak - Anadolu Agency )


Archeologists in northwestern Türkiye have discovered an ancient iron trident, believed to be used for fishing, in the ancient city of Assos.

Located in Canakkale’s Ayvacik district, Assos sheds light on history with its ancient ruins on the ground and Roman and Byzantine-era artifacts unearthed during diggings.

Excavations in the ancient city are being carried out by a team led by Nurettin Arslan, a humanities and social sciences professor at Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University. The Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Turkish Historical Society are supporting the digging work.

The team last discovered an iron trident, which is believed to be 1,700 years old and used for fishing in ancient times, in the fountain area called Nymphaion (eastern fountain) during the excavations.

An expert restorer worked on the archeological find to clear the trident of soil and oxidized agents on it.

Arslan told Anadolu that the fish spear was a material they have seen especially in murals and other depictions.

“This is the first time we find such materials in Assos, because tools made of iron are the materials decaying most rapidly in ancient cities,” he said.

“Although we know that such tools were widely used in ancient times, we can say that it is an important work since the examples that have survived so far are very rare.

“As far as we know, it is said or we see in descriptions that such tools were used in ancient times to catch big fish at sea in small boats by lighting them with a torch at night,” he added.

Arslan said it is difficult to say its place of production since the harpoon was made of iron.

“Because iron is a tool found everywhere and produced everywhere. Therefore, it is difficult to say anything certain about the place of production. But there are many discoveries of iron slag or iron forging in many different places or areas in Assos. Therefore, it is possible that this piece was produced in Assos.”

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