Ruins of Forgotten Byzantine Port Yield Some Answers, Yet Mysteries Remain [Slide Show]

After a drought revealed the seawall of a Byzantine Empire harbor town near Istanbul, archeologists excavated what was a thriving ancient center. But how does it fit into the city's 1,600-year history?
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Water channels:

Spelunkers explored hundreds of feet of a two-part water channel system that archaeologists discovered this year. The channels directed freshwater to the cistern and buildings throughout Bathonea. "They showed us that such an infrastructure can only be constructed for a very big and important settlement," Aydingün says.....[ More ]


As seen in this stitched-together image, the pipes poking through the cistern wall look almost modern and just as ready to pour fresh springwater as they were 1,650 years ago . (Note the Roman arch.)....[ More ]

Hellenistic building:

It doesn't look like much, but archaeologists were excited to find this plaster-coated building hiding in plain sight because it provides more evidence of Bathonea's beginnings. Adjoined to crumbling late-Ottoman buildings, obscured by trees and brush, its walls had been slathered in a deceptive layer of plaster.....[ More ]

Monastery and workshops:

Adjacent to the palace archaeologists unearthed one large building and a series of smaller ones that appear to be parts of a complex dating back to the fourth century, which included the palace, a monastery and a series of workshops for making metal, glass and jewelry.....[ More ]


The remains of a well-appointed villa continue to yield evidence of its residents' wealth. The nine-meter walls held statue nooks and ornate wall mosaics; thousands of dirt-encrusted tesserae were found this year.....[ More ]

Aerial of the Little Harbor:

This aerial shows about a third of the excavated site—a section archaeologists call the "little harbor" after the second-century B.C. pier shown at left. At right are newly uncovered crisscrossing roads spanning 1,500 years, the round foundations of a Greek temple, a fifth-century Byzantine church and cemetery as well as an Ottoman-era building.....[ More ]

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