Historic castle gate unearthed in central Turkey

Gevale Castle carries traces of long-lost Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman eras

Abdullah Doğan   | 24.08.2021
Historic castle gate unearthed in central Turkey

KONYA, Turkey

The gate of an ancient castle used by several civilizations over thousands of years has been unearthed in central Turkey, according to a senior academic involved in the dig.

Excavators found one of the gates of Gevale Castle, located on Mount Takkeli in the central province of Konya, inside the area of ​​the bulwarks, said Ahmet Cayci, who heads the art history department at Necmettin Erbakan University in Konya and consults on the ongoing excavations

“According to the available evidence, we have stated that the building dates back to the Hittites,” one of the most ancient Anatolian civilizations, Cayci told Anadolu Agency.

“The bulwarks and castle ruins can be said to contain signs of the Roman and Hellenistic eras,” he added.

“This gate is mostly Seljuk era, an 800-year-old gate,” he said, referring to a Turkish state before the Ottomans.

“There must have been another door here before. We got samples in pieces,” he added. “We’re trying to complete them.”

9th year of excavations

Cayci said that excavations on the 1,720-meter (5,643-foot) mountain continue in their ninth year, and important findings emerged from digs at Gevale Castle, which carries the traces of thousands of years of civilizations, from the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, Karamanogullari, and Ottoman eras.

The excavations are carried out by the Konya Museum Directorate, Selcuklu Municipality, and Necmettin Erbakan University.

Saying that the gate discovered between the two bulwarks on the castle’s east-facing slope is the main entrance, Cayci said: “We’ll try to find the second gate as well.”

“Here we came across more service areas,” he said. “Kitchen, cellar, and storage structures are lined up around. It goes up gradually. The findings exceeded our expectations.”

Noting that restoration work on the unearthed architectural structures is ongoing, Cayci said that the bulwarks will be restored based on the original structures.

“Approvals have been obtained from the relevant bodies and we’re currently in the implementation phase,” he said.

“Soon these bulwarks will be visible from central Konya.”

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