All Things Assyrian
3,000-year-old Assyrian Settlement Unearthed in Southeast Turkey
By Aziz Aslan
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Archeologists have unearthed an engraved stone seal some 3,000 years old in southeastern Turkey.

The seal was discovered around Zerzevan Castle, also known as Samachi Castle, a onetime important military base for the Byzantine Empire now in the southeastern Diyarbakir province.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Aytac Coskun, head of the excavation team, said that the castle had been known as 800-year-old military base but recent excavations showed that its history dates back much farther.

"We unearthed a very important group of things this year. The most important of these was a 3,000-year-old Assyrian seal. The castle dates back to the Roman period, but the findings from the Assyrian period took the history of Zerzevan Castle back 1,200 years," he said.

The seal has an inscribed godlike figure as well as a tree of life, a bird, and holy water in a vessel to give life to the tree of life, showing the importance of the seal, he added.

Seals were often used in the ancient world to authenticate the source or authority of an object or document.

"Perhaps the castle was here during the Assyrian era. Perhaps the highest ruler and general of this place used this seal during the Assyrian era. Along with the seal, many bronze artifacts were unearthed," said Coskun.

"These works showed that there was a 3,000-year-old Assyrian settlement at Zerzevan Castle," he added.

Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak.

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