1,500-year-old drinking water canal found in ancient city of Dara in Türkiye

1,500-year-old drinking water canal found in ancient city of Dara in Türkiye
Photo credit: Anadolu

A 1,500-year-old drinking water canal was found during excavation in the ancient city of Dara in Artuklu district of southeastern Türkiye, according to an official, Anadolu Agency reported.

Under the direction of the Mardin Museum, the excavation started 38 years ago in a neighborhood 30 kilometers (18,6 miles) away from the city center. The excavation still continues at the agora (marketplace) in the ancient city, which was established by the Eastern Roman Empire to protect its border against the Sassanids.

The Roman-era canal was found in the agora, where more than 10 shops were also uncovered.

The channel through which drinking water was transported to the region from the water cistern found about 35 years ago was protected by about two tons of stones on it, and distribution was made through this channel by a cement water pipe system.

A 30-meter section of the canal was uncovered.

Important architectural remains

Abdulgani Tarkan, Mardin Museum director and excavation head, told Anadolu that they have reached important architectural remains in Dara, a settlement founded by Emperor Anastasios in 507.

“There are water cisterns in Dara similar to the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul,” he said. “Water is transported from the water cistern, which contains tons of water, to the city by the canal and cement water pipe system.

“It is actually a water system that meets the drinking water needs of the city established 1,500 years ago,” he added.

Devrim Hasan Mentese, an archeologist working at the Mardin Museum, stated they have been working in front of the agora and walls since 2018.

He noted that they found water channels on the lower sides of the shops that led them to the main water canal.

"We also know from ancient authors that the ancient city of Dara was established as a garrison and accommodated 25,000 soldiers,” he pointed out, adding: “It is not an easy task to meet the needs of such a large army and people.”

“Water systems are very important because of this,” he stressed.

Stating that they plan to continue the excavation works next season, Mentese said: "We are planning to complete this area in a few years.”

“This will make a great contribution to the visual appearance of Dara. Especially with the excavations carried out in recent years, thousands of people have started to come here every day,” he said, adding: “It will increase the number of visitors.”

“We are planning to expose all water systems in the area,” he added.


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Публикация от MARDİN DARA ANTİK KENT (@dara_antik_kent_)

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