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23 December 2014
3,000-year-old Settlement in Eastern Turkey

The discovery of a 3000-year-old settlement in eastern Turkey was widely reported in the Turkish media last year. The largest in the Tunceli province, it is a citadel-like site wider than three football stadiums, featuring numerous cave dwellings, a waterfall, and an ancient bridge, and containing traces of early iron age, Urartian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantium period, Islamic middle age, and Ottoman era occupations.
     The site is predicted to be one of the most important centres in an old transportation network. Finds included iron dross, ceramics, as well as evidence of commerce. The settlement appears to have been an important production centre.
     What the report did not mention are clearly visible traces of old Armenian texts inscribed on ancient stones found at the site. The province was historically part of the Greater Armenian region of Sophene. Later it was annexed to the Byzantine empire and eventually occupied by the Seljuk Turks. Nonetheless the Armenian population remained thriving up until the first world war. Following subsequent tragic events most of the Armenian population vanished from Eastern Turkey. Today it is largely populated by the majority Kurdish and Sunni Turkish people, yet the Armenian traces are still found among the ruins of the ancient stones..

Edited from Armenian Community Council (UK), Horizon Weekly (27 November 2014)

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