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Zengibar Castle Excavations

Zengibar Castle Excavations

Zengibar Castle Excavations

Zengibar Castle Excavations, excavation works carried out on the ancient settlement of Isaura Nea, near the village of Hacılar in the Bozkır district of Konya. Excavations began in the area under the supervision of the archaeologist Dr. Osman Doğanay in 2010 and have received support from the Vehbi Koç Foundation since 2014.

The archaeological site, now known as Zengibar Castle, is located on a hill measuring 1,800 meters in height, surrounded by cliffs on three sides. The area was controlled by the Roman Empire in 78 BCE and fell under the jurisdiction of the Galatian King Amyntas. Hoping to crush a people’s rebellion, Amyntas destroyed the city of Isaura, which was located on a hill near the district of modern–day Bozkır, and had a new city with the same name built close by. After Amyntas’ death in 25 BCE, the region once again fell under Roman rule. The city was home to 10,000 people in Roman times and was surrounded by four kilometers of wall supported by bastions. The wall can be entered from the south via the Acropolis gate and from the west via the City gate. The Triumphal Arch of Hadrian, located in the center of the city, comprises an arch connected by two piers. Next to the arch lies a building used as a basilica in Roman times. The city contains a large number of sepulchers and necropolises. The sepulchers and fortifications are covered in reliefs. 

Zengibar Castle was discovered in 1837 by the British traveler and geologist W. J. Hamilton. In the late 1920s, a group led by the art historian and archaeologist Heinrich Swoboda determined the characteristics of a large number of structures in the city and attempt to reconstruct a number of them. The ruins were officially registered following a decision by the Konya Culture and Natural Heritage Preservation Board in 1988 and its borders as the Grade I and III Protected Site were defined in 2006.

Abadan Unat, Nermin

Political scientist who received the Vehbi Koç Award for education in 2012.