Archeological Tours Turkey and 10 Must-See Sites!
Hi everyone! We continue our blog series with a new one! In this post, we will focus on explaining Archeological Tours Turkey and 10 Must-See Archeological Sites in Turkey!
This post will take you on a journey in the depths of history by providing you the rich history & culture of Turkey over the wonderful examples. As we have mentioned in almost every post, Anatolian/Turkey lands have a very rich cultural structure. The main reason for this is that it has hosted countless civilizations for thousands of years.
With archaeological sites dating back to neolithic times like Gobeklitepe in Sanliurfa, mystic ancient settlements like Hattusa whose secrets still continue to be discovered, and world-wide famous ancient ruins like Ephesus, Pergamon, and Cappadocia that shows examples from Ancient Greek and Roman Empire life; Turkey welcomes its visitors to come and uncover the mysteries of its past.
10 Must-See Archeological Sites in Turkey!
1. Gobeklitepe in Sanliurfa
Göbeklitepe site is one of the most important finds that can change the known history of humanity. It has been located in Turkey, in Sanliurfa City which is located in the Southeast of Turkey. The discovery of Göbeklitepe is not very old, it is quite new; the 1990s! And, it has been added to the Unesco World Heritage List just in 2018.
Göbeklitepe is dated back to the 10th – 8th BCE which says that it has been settled approx. 12.000 years ago! Before Göbeklitepe was found, the Stone Edge (discovered in 1859 under the leadership of Jens Jacob Worsaae, and dated back to the 8th – 7th BCE) was known as the oldest religious building in human history.
So, the discovery of Göbeklitepe has changed many things we know about human history! Because, archaeologists and scientists who came from all around the world and worked on Gobeklitepe say that Göbeklitepe is the oldest Religious Building/Temple in the known history.
Today, the excavations on it continue and it is open for its visitors. To read more about Gobeklitepe, click the link below; Gobeklitepe!
2. Ephesus Ancient City
Ephesus Ruins or called Ephesus Ancient city is one of the most breathtaking places that history/culture lovers might explore during their life! This place, whose history dates back to the Ancient Greeks, lived its golden age during the Eastern Roman Empire.
Ephesus, one of the 5 capital cities of the Roman Empire, was also one of the most important port cities in history, providing the trade link between Asia and Europe. The excavations in Ephesus have been started roughly 100 years ago. And, archaeological work still continues.
Today, it hosts approximately 3 million travelers each year, offering episodes of ancient life and giving them unforgettable moments. If you wish to learn more about Ephesus City, you may visit below link; Ephesus Ancient City!
Hattusa is an ancient city that hosted the Hittites. Today, it is located about 200 km east of Ankara which is the capital city of modern Turkey. During their time, Hittites became a political and cultural power in all around Anatolia and Syria. This huge and rich civilization just discovered in 20th Century. And, archeological works keep going on.
To learn more about Hittites and Hattusa, you may read our below post in which you may find very detailed information about their life; Hittites and Hattusa!
Catalhöyük is one of the Turkey’s oldest findings which shows us the paintings and carvings. It is dated back to the Neolithic period. The archeological works on it are quite new, just started around 1950s. Today, it is located in the middle Anatolia region of Turkey which is around the Konya City.
5. Pergamon Ancient City
Capital of its own Kingdom of Pergamon! This ancient city dated back to the 3rd Century BC, to the Hellenistic Period. In its own time, the city consisted of 2 parts; one is the Acropolis on the top of the mountain, where the nobility lived, the other is the Asclepios, where mostly middle and low-level people lived!
The most famous structures located in Acropolis; Ancient theater with a magnificent view and construction technique built leaning against the slope of the mountain, bath complexes, and the Zeus altar was dismantled(unfortunately) and its parts are exhibited in various museums around the world.
Asklepios is a wonderful ancient city in itself. The foundations of modern medicine were laid in the city of Asclepios. In its own time, it was a very famous place with its doctors and advanced medical techniques. Thousands of years ago, the symbol of this city was the same as the medical symbol(except for some small details) currently used by the World Health Organization.
6. Troy Ancient City
The ancient city of Troy is a wonderful place consisting of 9 separate layers formed at different times. We can clearly understand that it contains 9 different layers; 9 different civilizations lived here and left cultural traces. This is a valuable feature found in few places.
The city of Troy is such a special place that it has been featured in many famous films from Homer’s Iliad to the present day. By the way, it is located very close to Canakkale City. Transportation is pretty easy from nearby towns and cities. It welcomes thousands of travelers every year as it waits for your potential visit!
7. Mounth Nemrut
Mounth Nemrut is one of the most interesting, remarkable, and captivating ancient sites which Turkey have! Mount Nemrut, built by the Commagene King Antiochus I in the Hellenistic period, is a temple-tomb and a Hierothesion, the house of the Gods, built by Antiochos to honor him in life and death.
This colossal monument features statues of deities and inscriptions depicting the ancestral lineage of Antiochos and legends from both Greek and Persian roots, as well as statues of lions and eagles believed to be the guardians of the site. Today, Mounth Nemrut is located in south central Turkey and it is one of the not to be missed places if you have enough time in your Turkey Travel!
Although today, Cappadocia is world famous for its Hot Air Balloons, it has a very important texture with its historical and cultural structure! Göreme Open Air Museum, Underground Cities, and numerous ancient churches are a few of them!
It is thought that approximately 40 million travelers visit Cappadocia every year. The number of travelers as hosted by Turkey yearly known that about 50 million. So, 4 out of every 5 people travel to Turkey also travel to Cappadocia.
So why does Cappadocia take so many travelers? We can roughly explain as follows;
It has a wonderful historical structure; fairy chimneys, ancient churches, ancient underground cities, etc. It is not possible to find any other place where these are gathered in the same place!
Great cave hotels that cannot be easily found anywhere else in the world.
Hot Air Balloon Flights which you can find only in a few places around the World!
One of the best landscape and natural formations that you may see around Turkey.
There are several other reasons to travel to Cappadocia! You may also read more about Cappadocia by clicking the link below; Cappadocia Turkey!
9. Hierapolis Ancient City
Hierapolis, or Sacred City, ancient Phrygian city is located in South West of Turkey. It is right next to Pamukkale which is very famous thermal source. Believed that it was established by Eumenes II of Pergamum in 190 BC. The huge city of Hierapolis have been excavated since 19th century.
Archaeologists have unearthed wonderful ancient Roman remains; baths, a gymnasium, an agora, and a Byzantine church, St. Phillips martyron, necropolis of the city, etc… They still continue their work to get more! Hierapolis was taken a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988.
It is also the second most popular destination in the Aegean Region of Turkey (after Ephesus Ruins). If you have the chance to travel to Hierapolis, do not forget to see the unique Pamukkale travertines.
10. Aphrodisias Ancient City
Aphrodisias was an Ancient Greek City in the province of Caria. Today, it is located nearby to Geyre Village between Denizli and Aydın Cities. It is about 150 km away from Kusadasi and about 50 km away from Denizli/Pamukkale.
Aphrodisias Ancient City was discovered coincidently by famous Turkish Photographer Mr. Ara Guler in 1958. Ara Güler comes to the village of Geyre while traveling to photograph the villages in Anatolia. Here, he sees the villagers living with ancient ruins without even realizing it.
The villagers used the ancient columns and artifacts as tables, chairs, or in the construction of their houses. By seeing this, Ara Güler immediately takes photographs and send to Turkish Archaeologist Kenan Erim, who works at New York University. Kenan Erim returns to the country without wasting any time and devotes his entire life to the Ancient City of Aphrodisias.
Aphrodisias offers its visitors wonderful hours and reveals thousands of years of history to our eyes. If you ever visit Turkey, we highly recommend visiting this stunning place, which is the most favourite ancient city within Turkey Tour Guides.
Turkey has a larger and richer cultural structure you can imagine. There are hundreds or even thousands of historical and cultural places that can be visited and seen. Continue reading our blog posts and benefiting from useful information to plan your trip smoothly. If you ever need help about creating your itinerary, or have questions, do not hesitate to contact our team!
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