2,400-year-old pendants unearthed in Assos excavations


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Archaeological excavations in Assos, one of the most important port cities of antiquity have unearthed 2,400-year-old pendants made from bone, shaped in human and animal figures.

2,400-year-old pendants unearthed in Assos excavations
Credit: AA

The pendants date back to the fourth century BC, said Nurettin Arslan, professor at Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University (ÇOMÜ) Faculty of Arts and Sciences Department of Archaeology and head of Assos excavations, in an interview with the state-run Anadolu Agency.

The ancient city is located in the Turkish province of Çanakkale (Greek Dardanellia) on the coast of the Adramyttian Gulf (Turkish: Edremit Körfezi)..

“There are two objects used as jewellery among those produced in the bone workshop to the west of the agora, one shaped as an animal and the other as a human. These must be part of jewellery which people used as necklaces in the ancient period,” Arslan said.

The professor also said that during the excavations, coins from the Byzantine and the Ottoman eras were revealed.

“The largest group of coins uncovered in Assos are Byzantine (Eastern Roman) coins, because the layers we are working on are mainly from the Byzantine period. These works show us that the Byzantine ruins in Assos archaeological site is a well-preserved centre,” the professor said.

2,400-year-old pendants unearthed in Assos excavations
Credit: AA

The findings show that there was intense settlement in Assos between the fifth and seventh centuries. The settlement gradually decreased until the 12th century and eventually became a “small fortress” in the acropolis, Arslan said.

“Since there is no settlement later on, we can say that the data related to urban planning, lifestyle functions of houses and daily life in the early Byzantine period are very valuable,” he said.

The professor underlined that one of the most archaic discoveries of the excavation works was stone axes made of granite.

“This stone axe was found on the surface in the necropolis area, but similar discoveries were made by Turkish archaeologists in the American excavations and during the 1990s,” he said.

“We have four axes dating back to the Chalcolithic period, to 5000 BC. These axes are important such as they are traces showing that the settlement of Assos dates back to 5000 BC,” he added.

The city was founded from 1000 to 900 BC by Aeolian colonists from Lesbos, who specifically are said to have come from Methymna.

It was the first ancient city where U.S. archaeologists excavated in the 1800s. It was excavated in 1981 after a long break.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [December 30, 2019]



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