Ancient Mesopotamia’s crown city Dara finds new life as a historic tourist center

The city of the Roman era offers opportunities for those who want to take a rich historical journey

One of the most important shopping malls in ancient Mesopotamia, the ancient city of Dara in southeastern Turkey, is poised for new grandeur as a hub for visitors seeking historical splendor.

Excavations and research have been carried out for 34 years in Dara, Oguz, Mardin, about thirty kilometers from the provincial center.

The ruins of the ancient city of Dara, with ancient rock tombs dating from the 5th century AD, have been compared to the famous city of Ephesus in Aegean Turkey, earning it the nickname of Ephesus of Mesopotamia, the granary of the ancient Near East.

The city, an important settlement along the famous Silk Road that also saw great wars, was for years the last stronghold of the Byzantine Empire in southeastern Anatolia, providing unique opportunities to those who wish to take a historic journey.

The Necropolis (City of the Dead), where religious ceremonies took place in Roman times and where hundreds of people were buried together, is one of the most popular places in the ancient city.

“Our aim here is to fully reveal the tourist potential of Dara, one of the most important city walls in the world,” said Mustafa Varank, Turkish Minister of Industry and Technology, while visiting the ancient ruins.

In this context, the government provided support of 4 million Turkish liras (almost half a million dollars) under the Amusement Center Support Program, as implemented by the museum management. from Mardin.

“Each region has in itself different wealth. Some of our regions are distinguished by their industry, some by their agricultural capacity, and others by their tourism,” he added.

It is therefore necessary to develop policies compatible with the regional scale and geographies, he said, adding that Mesopotamia stands before us as a great success.

– Excavations started in 1986

The ancient city, founded by the Eastern Roman Empire in order to protect its border against the Sassanid or Neo-Persian Empire, is a favorite spot for tourists wishing to take photos or honeymooners to pose for wedding or honeymoon photos amidst historic splendor.

Archaeological excavations began in the ancient city in 1986, but only around 10% of the area of ​​an ancient village has been unearthed so far.

Over a period of 25 years, archaeological excavations have slowly revealed a monumental collective cemetery or necropolis.

A cistern located about 25 meters (82 feet) below a village house in Dara, which has drawn comparisons to Istanbul’s famous Yerebatan cistern and which the villagers call the “Dungeon”, was cleared and unearthed during ‘meticulous work spanning fifteen years.

About Ariella McGuire

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