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2 November 2008
Excavations prove İzmir was much older than thought

New excavations have revealed that İzmir (Turkey), once believed to be 5,000 years old, may be as old as 8,500 years. Associate professor Zafer Derin of the Ege University archeology department, the head of the excavation team, said in a  statement his team had removed 150 artifacts discovered at the Yeşilova Tumulus excavation site.
     The findings discovered in the excavation played an important role in identifying those who lived in the area 8,500 years ago, and Derin said: "Findings obtained from the excavation determined that those who lived in this area 8,500 years ago had an organized society and were related to the people who lived in Anatolia. We had clues that they also had commercial relations with people in the Anatolia region."  Derin said they discovered spoons with religious motifs and that the handle of the spoons unearthed at the site had been carved as a figure of motherhood and used to feed babies. "We have discovered accessories made of stone and bones, beside seeds and animal bones. These prove that Yeşilova's Neolithic inhabitants were good at handcraft and agriculture."
     Ege University has also launched a project to transform the area where the Yeşilova Tumulus is located into an educational area by re-enacting life in the area for visitors. According to the project, called 'Time Travel' and developed as a European project by the Bornova and Kalmar municipalities from Sweden, the archeological area will first be visited and explained to students and then students will participate in experimental excavations at the archeology park. Students will also wear clothes from the era and have a chance to experience the conditions during prehistory.

Source: Turkish Daily News (31 October 2008)

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