Ancient city of Karkamış, administrative capital of Hittites, to be turned into open-air museum in Turkey
The Ancient City of Karkamış — the most important administration center for the Hittite Empire in the region — will soon be opened to visitors as an archeopark in the southeastern Turkish province of Gaziantep it is located in.
Situated along the Syrian border and on the western coast of the Euphrates River, the ancient city will offer visitors an array of historical artifacts, including remnants from a palace and temple, an ancient avenue with Roman era columns and statues along walls bearing eagle heads and griffon ornaments.
Karkamış had not been able to be turned into an open-air museum until this year since it was included in an active military zone.
Professor Nicolo Marchetti, an archeology professor at the University of Bologna in Italy who also leads the excavation works in the ancient city, told Anadolu Agency that the ancient city had been ruled by kings who also retained control over the Hittite Empire's lands in today's Syria.
The first excavation works in the area were initially carried out between the years 1878-1881, 1911-1914 and 1919-1920 on behalf of the British Museum, and the works have been continuing within scope of a cooperation scheme launched between Turkey and Italy since 2011.
Saying that the ancient city is the most important place in the region in terms of historical richness, Marchetti noted that the city will attract thousands of tourists, giving them the opportunity to walk on the historical stone-paved roads that have remained mostly intact from the Hittite era.
"Guests coming to Karkamış will be able to see the old roads, squares and all the integrated structures of the city," he added.
The Ancient City of Karkamış, which holds the title of being one of the most important settlements of Near East archeology, bears the signs of Hittites and Assyrians along with the remnants of Hellenistic and Roman eras.