Seljuk palace comes to light in Konya

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New sections of a summer palace built for Seljuk sultan Alaeddin Keykubad on the shore of Lake Beyşehir have come to the surface, but the fate of the ancient site remains unclear due to a lack of funding for its restoration.

Seljuk palace comes to light in Konya
The palace from the Seljuk era unearthed on the shores 
of a lake in Konya [Credit: AA]

“A sum of funds was allocated for the restoration. But there is no clear movement. Actually, works should start as soon as possible. Because stones are falling from the structures every year; they should be handled urgently,” said Çanakkale 18 Mart University Professor Rüçhan Arık, the head of the excavations.

He said the most important issue was the amount of funds, since they needed a modern lab and a larger, specialist staff. “The funds are enough for one month of work only,” he said.

The most recent finds include a boathouse and shipyard belonging to the palace, named Kubadabad.

Arık said two other structures were found in the latest excavations and added that the function of the structures, which were found on the west side of the “Small Palace,” had not yet been determined. Arık said that during excavations over the past 34 years, 15 structures had been unearthed and restored in the region.

He added that among those structures, the “Small Palace” and the “Big Palace” had become two functional structures and their restoration and conservation projects had been approved, too.

Arık said the palace’s shipyard and boathouse, which they identify as “monumental structures,” were unearthed during the 2013 and 2014 excavation seasons.

“This is the first and only known lake shipyard. This discovery in Kubadabad shows us that the Seljuk people gave importance to shipping and water. At the same time, it shows that there was busy transportation traffic on the basin of Lake Beyşehir. It is understood that people used the waterway to reach Kubadabad. It should be restored, too. Right next to it is the Seljuk dam, called Gürlevi, with a pier in front of it. Other than these, we unearthed two areas called ‘Köşklü Bath’ and ‘Structure with three spaces’ and the palace worksite. A brand-new tile category emerged from the storage of the worksite. All of them are waiting for restoration and conversation,” said the professor.

The professor said they had exerted great efforts for Kubadabad to be included on a list of National Palaces, adding that the palace was finally set to be given support for restoration and conservation this year.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [January 15, 2015]

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