2,800-year-old Urartian sewage system unearthed in Van


An ancient Urartian sewage system, which was first discovered during excavations in 2004 in the Çavuştepe Castle in the eastern Turkish province of Van, has been unearthed.

2,800-year-old Urartian sewage system unearthed in Van
Sewage system revealed by excavations at Çavuştepe Castle in Van [Credit: AA]

This year’s works in the castle in the Gürpınar district of Van recently came to an end, after unearthing ancient vineyards, walls, cisterns, temples and palace structures.

The 2,800-year-old sewage system, which was discovered in the castle in 2004, was finally unearthed under the structures in the western part of the castle. The sewage is one meter in width and 30 meters in length and covered with fine stones.

The head of the Culture and Tourism Ministry-supported excavations, Rafet Çavuşoğlu, an associate professor in the Archaeology Department of Yüzüncü Yıl University, said the Çavustepe Castle was particularly important in history because it was once located on a major trading route.

“The Urartians thought carefully about what to build and where. They did everything in line with a project. When establishing this city 2,800 years ago, the Urartians made an urban plan and built structures according to infrastructure. This is very important to us. We found an engineering marvel here,” Çavuşoğlu said.

He added that the sewage system was built with stone and inside was a gutter through which water flowed.

“This work defines civilization to us. It shows how ancient civilization was developed. There is also a toilet in the palace section. The toilet water flows outside through the sewage system, which reveals that the Urartians were a very civilized society,” Çavuşoğlu said.

“During the construction of houses today, an excellent system is planned with schools, hospitals, mosques and infrastructure. Urartians did the same 2,800 years ago,” he added.

The city established around the castle was nearly one kilometer in diameter and surrounded by protective walls, according to the excavations head.

“Measures were taken against the danger of enemies. Large dikes were opened up on both the eastern and western sides. They made their defense system in this way,” Çavuşoğlu stated.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [September 28, 2016]