The remains of an ancient city on the Black Sea coast will be unearthed for the first time next month. Archaeologists are beginning excavations and underwater dives with the aim of unveiling the architectural plan of Teion (or Tion), located in Zonguldak's Filyos district.
Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, archaeologist Sümer Atasoy said the excavation team conducted surface research last year but that the major digging will start in August with a 30-member excavation team.
He said they had outlined an aqueduct, a theater, defensive walls, a breakwater, a port and port walls by examining remains close to the surface. "The ancient city hosted many civilizations including Persians, Romans, Genoas and Ottomans. The work, which was carried out for the first time on the Black Sea coast, indicates that the ancient city was an important trade center in the region. Its inhabitants sold forest products and bonitos. We uncovered an ancient Roman theater with a 2,000-person capacity as well as marble and bronze statues."
He also said it was the first time that an ancient city on the Black Sea coast was excavated and its remains nearthed. An excavation team of archaeologists from both Turkey and Australia will conduct the excavations. "We will trace the signs of early settlements in the ancient city," Atasoy noted.
He spoke as well of an 18-meter long structure within the borders of the brick factory in the district. Dubbed the "underground city" among the local people, he said they estimated it to be a huge palace. "We will conduct excavations in this area and unearth the structure. We plan to open this structure to tourism after restoration."
The only preserved ancient city:
Atasoy said the Black Sea provinces of Kastamonu, Sinop, Samsun, Ordu and Trabzon had all hosted ancient civilizations but that their traces were lost. "The current settlement areas in these provinces have been built on ancient cities. It is only possible to uncover the traces of these ancient cities through excavations," he explained. "The ancient city in Filyos, on the other hand, is the only place that has been preserved in this regard, and surface studies give an idea about the site and region."
He also said the excavations aimed to fully unveil the ancient theater, as well as some other remains mentioned in a book by German and French travelers who visited the area between 1887 and 1930. "We will try to shed light on the history of the region and that period. Two underwater archaeologists will also join us in our work. I think an interesting ancient city will be unveiled. We plan to utilize the remnants for tourism."