Excavations in the ancient city of Prusias ad Hypium in the northwestern province of Düzce and at an 8th century Genoese Castle on the UNESCO World Heritage Temporary List are expected to unravel more of the history of the region and attract tourists.
Previous excavations in the city are known as the “Ephesus of the Western Black Sea,” in the Konuralp neighborhood. It revealed an ancient stonemasonry theater, which dates back to the third century B.C., but there is more underground to be discovered, including the rest of the theater, aqueducts and a Roman bridge.
Last Updated: 7/15/2019 10:23:11 AM
Excavation consultant Emre Okan said that it is a very important area for the region since the ancient theater still survives. An associated professor of archaeology at Düzce University (DU) also added that the project will make Konuralp visible.
Some of the finds are already on display at a museum with three exhibition rooms, two storage areas and an administrative wing.
Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Resul Taştan said that last year archaeologists excavated the steps of the theater and added that this year’s excavations will start soon in the same area.
The theater is the only ancient theater preserved in the Black Sea Region.
Work at Genoese Castle
The restoration of an eighth century Genoese Castle located on the seashore in Düzce’s Akçakoca district also has the potential to revive tourism in the region.
At the time it was built by the Genoese to ensure their control over the Black Sea trade route. The castle joined the UNESCO World Heritage Temporary List about four years ago.
Half of the restoration work at castle, which was declared as an archaeological natural site by the Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board, was completed in two years.
Ahmet Bilir who is a member of the excavation team, said that the area where the excavations occurred was a colonial city within the castle walls founded by the Genoese in the Middle Ages. The castle was used as a trading center. The most important proof of this is that the Genoese used this area in their efforts to dominate the Black Sea trade. The castle is the most important proof of the port trade that started with the Greeks and continued with the Genoese.