Turkey

Turkey's ancient city of Duluk to shed light on history of religions

Ancient city hosted different religions for thousands of years, says head of excavation team

Adsiz Gunebakan   | 04.10.2021
Turkey's ancient city of Duluk to shed light on history of religions

GAZIANTEP, Turkey

One of the 25 oldest settlements across the world, the ancient city of Duluk in Turkey’s southeastern Gaziantep province is expected to shed light on the history of religions.

This year's part of the excavations carried out in the ancient city in cooperation with the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry and Germany’s Munster University, has been completed.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Engelbert Winter, head of the excavation team and a lecturer at the Munster University, said that life continued in the region until the 10th-11th century A.D. and the region was a state during the Roman Empire.

Stating that they have been carrying out the excavation work meticulously since 2015 and that they have started to unearth a bathing structure, Winter said they also found an archive building and unearthed a 4,500-year-old seal.

Winter also said that they discovered the existence of a church dating to the 4th century and that it is one of the region’s major churches.

They also found a very large structure during the excavations carried out at another area of the ancient city, he said. “We have only been able to open a part of it and we do not know exactly what it is, but we estimate that it was a building that was used for religious purposes.”

Underlining that the ancient city hosted different religions for thousands of years, he said: "As the Duluk in Gaziantep showed us, this was a religious center for thousands of years. Teshup, Christianity, Islam, all religions were here and came one after another.”

He said: “We see the flow of our religious history, and we know that all these periods came one after the other and overlap, which is proven by archaeological data.”

Duluk ancient city

In addition to the Stone Age, artifacts from the Copper Age and the oldest known mathematical operations can be found in the ancient city, which also has traces of the Paleolithic era.

The ancient city, which changed hands between the Hittites, Medes, Assyrians, Persians, and Alexander empires, conveys the knowledge of many civilizations with its artifacts and historical structures.

In the city, where the Mithraic belief was dominant for a while, there are the world’s largest Mithras temples built underground.

04.10.2021

Turkey's ancient city of Duluk to shed light on history of religions

*Writing by Seda Sevencan in Istanbul

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