Monday, August 25, 2008

Ancient city in western Turkey waits to be unearthed

An ancient city in western Turkey, discovered by smugglers of
ancient artifacts at an illegal excavation six years ago and recovered
with soil by officials, now waits to be unearthed.

Local officials asked archaeologists to dig the region in Saruhanli
town of the western province of Manisa to bring to light the ancient
city which is thought to be dated from around 3rd or 4th century B.C.

"Six years ago, smugglers found a few pieces of historical artifacts
at an illegal dig here. There were mosaics of a stag's head among them.
But no researches have been carried out since then," Suleyman Cinar,
mayor of the village of Buyukhanli in the region, said.

"We believe that there is an ancient Roman city hidden beneath the soil," he said.

Cinar also said the city could be the outskirts of the nearby
ancient city of Sardis, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia
where the first money was coined in history."