Newly discovered 10,000-year-old settlement to be flooded by dam

A newly discovered about 10,000 years old settlement in Amed is to sink into the water of the Ambar dam.

Mesopotamia is one of the places in the world where the Neolithic revolution began. Especially in Upper Mesopotamia there are always places to find which represent irretrievable sources for the time of the sedentary nature of man. Especially in northern Kurdistan, these settlements are threatened with destruction by the Turkish state.

In Dicle district of Amed (Diyarbakir), a recently discovered Neolithic settlement near the village of Ambar, similar to the ancient city of Hasankeyf or the important Greek/Roman metropolis of Samosata, is to be flooded by a dam.

The Ambar dam, which will impound the waters of the Tigris, is part of the GAP dam project, which primarily serves military purposes. The Ambar dam has been under construction for five years and threatens to devour many villages, settlements and large agricultural areas. Rescue excavations are now taking place in three locations in Ambar in order to document the Neolithic settlement as quickly as possible.

Excavations take place in silence

The excavations began a year ago and take place in silence. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has strictly warned the archaeologists not to provide information to the press about important finds without consulting them.

Finds are quickly removed

Human remains and many important objects have been found on the hills of Girê Fila and Girê Hacî in the Ambar village. Among other things, a large number of ceramics, arrowheads and figures, including an anthropomorphic figure with a headgear, were hastily collected and taken away.

The bones are kept in a school

While the found objects were taken to an unknown location, the human remains are kept in a school in the village of Ambar.

Dam completed

As the construction works on the Ambar dam are completed and it is to be filled, the excavations have been carried out in a hurry.

Ten thousand years old settlement

A part of the excavations in Ambar village is performed under the scientific advice of the Head of Archaeology Department of the University of Kocaeli, Prof. Dr. Ayşe Tuğba Ökse. She explains that all findings indicate the Neolithic period. Ökse refuses to provide information on the finds, but says that two of the mounds are between 10,000 and 9,000 years old and were abandoned about 7,000 years ago. Only in the Middle Ages a resettlement of the two hills took place.

Christian cemetery discovered

On a hill on the outskirts of the village of Ambar, a 500-year-old Christian cemetery was discovered, which was rededicated to a Muslim cemetery at the end of the Middle Age.

Excavation leader gives no information

Excavation leader Aytaç Çoşkun from Dicle University's Archeology Department has not commented on the results of the excavations.