Türkİye, Culture

UNESCO’s designation draws visitors to Türkiye’s Arslantepe Mound

Interest in ancient site in eastern Malatya province increased following addition to UNESCO list

Volkan Kasik   | 26.07.2022
UNESCO’s designation draws visitors to Türkiye’s Arslantepe Mound

MALATYA, Türkiye

The addition of the Arslantepe Mound in Türkiye to the UNESCO World Heritage List last year has brought the ancient site into view for visitors, according to a museum official.

Director of the Malatya Museum Samet Erol told Anadolu Agency that interest in the 8,000-year-old site in eastern Malatya province has increased after it was added to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Permanent List.

“We are in a period where visitor potential and awareness increased,” said Erol. “Our visitors are very curious about what kind of stages Arslantepe went through in the historical process and what the cultural layers are.”

Some 35,000 people visited Arslantepe in 2021 and the site saw the same number of visitors until July 2022.

Erol said Arslantepe has an important place in the historical process. “Arslantepe is important in terms of the first swords known in the world, the first drainage system and the first statehood,” he said.

But there is still work to do in Arslantepe, including arrangements for a walking route, a new roof project and welcome center.

Saime Tutar from the Aegean province of Izmir said she was very impressed. “We felt as if we lived in those years. I liked it very much.”

And Cumali Akca, who lives in Türkiye, came with his children who live in Switzerland, said: “We would like to thank those who contributed to its inclusion in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.”

The ancient mound was occupied from at least the sixth millennium BC until the late Roman era, according to UNESCO, citing archaeological evidence.

“The earliest layers of the Early Uruk period are characterized by adobe houses from the first half of the 4th millennium BCE,” it said.

“The site illustrates the processes which led to the emergence of a State society in the Near East and a sophisticated bureaucratic system that predates writing,” according to the UN agency.

“Exceptional metal objects and weapons have been excavated at the site, among them the earliest swords so far known in the world, which suggests the beginning of forms of organized combat as the prerogative of an elite, who exhibited them as instruments of their new political power,” it added.

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