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25 November 2017
Iron Age fortress discovered in Turkish lake

A lost 3,000-year-old castle has been discovered by divers and researchers in Turkey's Lake Van. The spectacular ruins are thought to be those of a fortress built by the Uratu civilisation which flourished in the iron age between the 9th and 6th centuries BCE. The discovery was made by archaeologists from the Van Yüzüncü Yıl University working with a team of divers.
     Tahsin Ceylan, underwater videographer and head of the diving team, explained that other divers and archaeologists familiar with the lake advised the team they were unlikely to find much in the water. But they eventually found that the remarkable ruins are part of an extensive site which stretches roughly a kilometre. Despite being underwater for centuries, the height of the visible sections of the fortress's remaining walls range between 10 and 13 feet high.
     "Many civilizations and people had settled around Lake Van. They named the lake the 'upper sea' and believed it had many mysterious things," Mr Ceylan said, adding that Lake Van had a history of around 600,000 years.
     Urartu, also known as the Kingdom of Van, was an ancient nation that spanned parts of modern day Turkey, Armenia, and Iran. Lake Van is thought to have been an important focus for the civilisation.

Edited from The Independent (23 November 2017)

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