ZONGULDAK, Turkey

Inscriptions claimed to be the oldest in the Black Sea region, and Doric headers used in ancient architecture have been unearthed in the ancient city of Tieion in northern Turkey.

“We have found pieces [with carvings] in the Runic alphabet. This is of great importance for us in terms of being the oldest written document found on the shores of Turkey’s Black Sea,” Sahin Yildirim, head of the excavation team, told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.

The ancient city is located in the town of Filyos, Zonguldak province, and excavation work is being carried out by a team of 30 archaeologists.

Yildirim said the findings unearthed around a Roman temple show the presence of Phrygians before the Hellenes.

“Earlier we found residential structures dating to the last quarter of the 7th century BC, all of which were linked to the Hellenic colonization,” he added.

It was believed that the cities were set up by the Hellenes; however, local settlements and cultures have been discovered with these excavations, he said.

“So, we can say that when the Hellenes came to the Black Sea region and established cities, tribes of Phrygian origin were among the local tribes.”

Doric headers

“We have obtained information about the oldest Doric temple in the Black Sea region,” Yildirim said, referring to the discovery of Doric headers dating back to 7th century BC.

“As far as we can see, one of the oldest Doric temples of the Black Sea has emerged. This again is a very important archaeological data,” he said, adding that the ancient city was the only one on the Black Sea shores.

Tieion was founded by the Miletus colony led by the priest named Tios. The city was demolished and looted by the Romans, and rebuilt as a trade and fishing area. The region was later turned into a fishing town.

Excavations in the ancient city, which started in 2006, intend to shed light on the history of the Black Sea and Asia Minor.

* Writing by Sena Guler

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